Best Tips and Ideas for Shooting Golden Hour Photography

Golden Hour is a term used to describe the time of day when the sun is at its highest in the sky, but not directly overhead. This time of day is perfect for shooting because it provides soft shadows and highlights, which make everything look more dramatic and beautiful.

Why You Should Take Golden Hour Photography

The golden hour is the period of time directly after sunrise and before sunset. It’s a magical time of day that offers photographers incredible opportunities to shoot stunning photos.

You might be thinking, “Why would I want to shoot in the morning or evening when I could shoot during the middle of the day?” Well, because the golden hour offers some unique benefits that you can’t get any other time of day:

Soft lighting. The sun is lower in the sky at these times, which makes it softer and more diffused than direct sunlight. This makes it easier to balance shadows and highlights in your images, which is crucial for creating a balanced and pleasing composition.

Dynamic clouds and skies. As the sun rises or sets, you’ll often see dramatic clouds moving across the sky that can add interest to your image. You can also use them as leading lines or even as part of your composition itself if they look good with their shape and color against any other elements in your image (like foreground subjects).

Shadows lengthened by perspective changes. Shadows tend to look longer during these periods because the angle at which light hits objects changes as the sun moves across the sky during these times. This can make for interesting compositions where shadows fall on subjects in interesting ways (like leading

Tips to Take Golden Hour Photography

Golden Hour doesn’t last very long, so you’ll need to plan ahead if you want to take advantage of it. Here are some tips for capturing golden hour photos:

Choose a nice day to shoot

Find your location early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This will give you plenty of time to set up your shot before golden hour starts and ends.

Pick a nice day with clear skies so you don’t have to worry about clouds blocking out the sun or making it look hazy in your photos. Even if it’s sunny, you may want to check the weather forecast in case there’s a chance of rain or snow later in the day — this could ruin your shoot by washing out all those lovely colors!

Be prepared before you head out with your camera equipment. Make sure you have enough battery life left on your phone or camera, as well as extra memory cards if necessary (or plan ahead by putting them into your bag before leaving home). Pack any other gear that might be needed like tripods and reflectors

Check your location.

The ideal spot for golden hour photography is a beach, field or forest that faces east or west. You’ll want to be near water too — lakes, rivers and oceans work great! In addition to being beautiful, these locations provide ample shade from trees and sunshades that will keep you cool during hot summer days.

Pick up some reflectors.

Reflectors can help fill in shadows on sunny days and make your photos pop with color. If you’re traveling without one, try using pieces of white cardboard as reflectors instead! If you’re shooting indoors or at night, reflectors aren’t as useful but can still add flare if used correctly.

Find a good vantage point.

You can get great shots from any angle as long as you’re looking down at your subject. For example, if you want to take a photo of a tree, stand on the ground and shoot up at it. If you want to shoot flowers growing in a garden bed, lie down on your stomach and shoot through the flowers with your camera at ground level (or just climb into them).

Use backlighting if possible.

Backlighting creates beautiful rim lighting around objects that gives them a glowing effect. The sun will be behind your subject during golden hour so don’t worry about getting silhouetted subjects or harsh shadows on their faces.

Get up early.

If you want to photograph during golden hour, you’ll need to get up early. The sun rises earlier in the summer than it does in winter, so if you want to catch this magic light during summer months, you’ll need to start shooting by 5:30am at the latest!

Use landscape orientation.

If you’re using a smartphone camera or point-and-shoot camera, set it up on its side – this will ensure that your shots have more negative space and won’t look too crowded with too much detail (since most things aren’t as interesting during golden hour). If you’re using a DSLR or mirrorless camera, make sure you use landscape orientation so that your photos have plenty of negative space around them.

Wait for the right light.

Unlike shooting during other times of day, when you’re shooting during the golden hour, you’ll want to wait until you see that beautiful orange glow in the sky before you start snapping away.

Use filters if necessary.

If you’re photographing landscapes or cityscapes with water or glass in them (like buildings), you may need to use graduated ND filters or neutral density filters so that areas that would normally be overexposed won’t be blown out by too much sunlight coming through them onto your sensor.


The golden hour is the period of time when the sun is at its highest point in the sky and exposure times are more ideal. The term “golden hour” comes from the fact that during this time, sunlight has a reddish-gold hue to it.

Shooting during the golden hour can give your photos a dreamy feel and enhance their color saturation. It’s also a great opportunity for photographers to take advantage of natural lighting and avoid using artificial light sources, which can give photos an unnatural look.