Photography Tips- Golden Hour Sessions

Ah…Summer has arrived in Seattle, our most beloved time of year. I am not a native Seattleite but I have learned that once the 4th of July hits the Pacific Northwest we can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the next 3 months will be filled with glorious sunny days and starlit evenings. This is what we live for- after months of overcast and rain, Seattle comes to life during these summer months. People are smiling, the beaches are full, and there is a vibrancy to the landscape that you can’t find anywhere else. I have lived in several states across the US and none of them have summers like Seattle. The days are comfortable, the humidity is low, the cool, salty air tickles your nose and the golden sunsets are amazing. It’s no wonder that photographers live for these long days where we can still have dinner with our families and then head out to a gorgeous park or beach to shoot in the golden light. Ah yes, it’s finally here- another sensational Seattle summer.

Getting out my camera during the golden hour is by far my favorite time to shoot. So what do you ask is “the golden hour”? Well, the golden hour (or magic hour) is typically defined as the hour after sunrise or the hour just before sunset. During these times the sun is low in the sky, producing a soft, diffused light which is much more flattering than the harsh midday sun that so many of us are used to shooting in. It creates a balance of soft colors and a warm, juicy glow that makes photographers squeal with delight (at least it does for me). That beautiful even light on your face, gorgeous catch-lights in your eyes, and that soft halo of light in your hair- all these come together for spectacular pictures. It’s no wonder that these are the most popular and sought after sessions during the summer months.

For photographers, the golden hour can be tricky to shoot in. The sun coming directly into the glass of your lens can cause images to be out of focus, over-exposed, hazy or completely blown out. It takes time and practice, but I have learned that if you keep working at it and try different angles, it gets easier and easier. As a tip to get you started, getting your subject lower than you and angling your camera down so that the sun is not directly into the camera creates the light and warmth that you are looking for without the harsh haze. Since the camera can only expose to one source, I always meter off my subject’s cheek and will darken the background during post processing if needed. The most important things to look for is even light on the face, catch-lights in their eyes, and that softness lighting up their hair- magnificent.

So, here we are with only three short months to get out there and enjoy that beautiful golden light! If you are booking a session at this time of year, make sure to ask for this romantic, soft time of day to capture your images. For those of you shooting- get out there and have fun, experiment and enjoy the season. To view more of my golden light sessions, click on one of the posts below. Happy Seattle Summer Days everyone, now get shooting!


Senior Pictures Lavender FieldsTeen Photo SessionPt. Defiance Senior PicturesPt. Defiance Senior PicturesTween Photo Session Downtown TacomaChambers Bay Senior PicturesRuston Way Senior PicturesMayflower Dairy Farm Senior Pictures







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