engagement photos time of day

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by danzel_c, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. if a couple leaves it completely up to you to choose the time of day for engagement shots, and assuming the location would be one where the sunrise would be pretty much unobstructed, is the golden hour an obvious choice? and is the golden hour not as important on a cloudy day?
  2. The golden hour is the obvious choice. You can't always predict the weather though... I sometimes mix it up w/ dawn/ early morning shoots (if the couple is willing to get up and out dirt early :) ), and only very rarely do I find the weather to be poor enough to ruin the gorgeous light of a sunrise. Of course that would depend on the region you're shooting in...
  3. Danzel, The light is great first AM or last PM but the dew associated with an early AM shoot will likely preclude any shots of the couple sitting on the grass. Of the two I would choose the latter. Best, LM.
  4. I schedule all my portrait shoots (not just engagements) about 1-1.5 hours before sunset, to culminate with the setting sun. The golden hour. Sometimes of course Mother Nature will foil our best laid plans, but that's what I always aim for. I've only done one early morning shoot, but it was gorgeous too. It was in summer, and I think the additional humidity and dew gave a lovely glow to the photos.

    I've also done several shoots during grey, overcast weather. Not ideal, but definitely fewer shadows and light spots to worry about. I think if it's overcast, the time of day isn't as critical. If you're shooting during what would be the golden hour, though, you always have the chance of a ray of sun peeking through and giving you some nice light.
  5. I schedule enagement shoots at whatever time of day is convenient for the couple and myself. You can find good light anywhere, during anytime of day. Don't squash yourself into the 'golden hour' thing. Learn to find good light. It'll make your life so much easier...
  6. Time of day depends very much on the location, as well as the weather. If I'm shooting on the beach (hey, this is California!) I start about an hour before sunset, maybe a little more. However if it's in a park, I'll schedule it earlier in the day. Parks don't usually feature the sky in the photo, and the trees and/or hills that might be present will cut down the light levels too much if the session is too late in the evening. So I might shoot in mid-afternoon instead.
    If the weather is overcast, the light can be very flattering and soft on your subjects' faces. However the sky itself will look awful. I will usually reschedule a beach shoot for another day if that happens. If a client has flown in or otherwise can't reschedule, I'll suggest moving the shoot to a non-beach location. If they don't like that, then I will at least try and move up the session to an earlier hour. You do NOT need the golden hour if nothing's going to be golden, so you might as well shoot when there's more light coming through the overcast sky.
  7. You should suggest the golden hour simply because that's when you're going to get the best lighting, but obviously that's not always going to work for you or the couple. And weather does play a factor. As Matt said, "you do NOT need the golden hour if nothing's going to be golden." It really comes down to when everyone can get together and the weather conditions. Always have a backup plan in case your first doesn't work out!
  8. thanks for the replies everyone. good point about early morning dew. and i agree convenience comes first, then you work with what you're given as far as light. a point that wasn't brought up that i just thought about was the chance to avoid crowds too by getting up and out early. this isn't always a big deal because all it takes is a second to get a shot and there could be hundreds of people around you and you'd never know from the pictures, but just thought i'd mention it...thanks again.
  9. I have never, EVER found clients who were willing to get up early for dawn 'golden hour'. :) I used to suggest early morning as an option, but clients tend to think that's 8am. Not 6am. But good luck with that!
  10. Variation is great. If all you shoot is for that golden light.... boy would your portfolio be ever dull filled with sunset/sunrise shots.
    I don't have preference except to avoid harsh sunlight. I even like grey days. If it rains, fine! As long as it's a torrential downpour, use the umbrella. Water can be such great art pieces to complement a composition.
  11. I like mornings best, it's the coolest time in Vegas especially during summer. It's also a good time to not have too much traffic/other people moving around, which is the opposite case during the evening toward sunset. I like it being quiet, private, undisturbed.
  12. One concert when scheduling e session is pedestrian traffic. If a couple wants downtown urban look, I will only do it in weekends. Otherwise, you'll get all sort of bystanders in the frame that're tough to crop out.
  13. Depends how many of these sessions you shoot in one day. In Jeff Smith's Outdoor and Location Portrait photography lighting he makes the point that unless you have one shoot per day, you better learn how to use any lighting, any time of the day when shooting outdoors. His argument is that if you limit yourself to certain times of day, your profitability will go way down. It's amazing what he shows can be done with an understanding of lighting (first and foremost), strobes, modifiers and reflectors.
  14. All great tools if you have the freedom and an assistant. I do not have an assistant and restrictions are extremely tight for photographers in Las Vegas.

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