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Tips for Taking Perfect Photos During the Golden Hour

Tips for Taking Perfect Photos During the Golden Hour

The golden hour is the period of time during the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset when the color of the sky goes from red and orange to yellow. It is the ideal time for photography because the light that exists during this period of time isn’t harsh and doesn’t produce strong shadows.  Here are some tips and ideas for shooting the most stunning photos during the golden hour using one of the many point and shoot or DSLR cameras found at


The golden hour is one of the best possible times for silhouette photography.  Capturing outstanding silhouettes is easy during this time of the day when you position your subject in front of the light source and shoot towards the sun.

Lens Flares

Add atmosphere to your photo by shooting into the sun using this technique that allows for a moderate amount of light to reach the lens while the sun is positioned behind your subject.  Unlike the silhouette technique, the subject is not in front of the sun, but is positioned off to the side of the sun allowing for the flare effect.

Take it Indoors

You can also take advantage of the golden hour for some creative indoor photography too. By using a window or open door to let the light stream through, you will be able to capture some unique images.


Wide Aperture

The golden hour is the perfect time to capture what is known as bokeh, or backlit subjects using a wide aperture.  In order to achieve this effect, you must be facing the sun when photographing the subject.  If done correctly, you’ll be able to highlight everything in the air such as dandelion seeds blowing in the wind like flecks of gold, as well as bubbles that look like golden globes floating through the air.


Rims of Light

Taking photos with the sun behind your subject will also accentuate features by creating rims of light around them.


Front Lighting

Front lighting during the golden hour baths your subject in beautiful, even lighting providing a glowing skin tone. Because the sun is not as bright during the early morning and evening hours, there’s no worries of squinting while having your subject facing the sun for these images. Front lighting during the golden hour looks good on everyone!



The angle that light hits your subject during the golden hour is unlike any other time of the day creating striking shadows that can create a separate portrait.


Despite the name, the golden hour rarely lasts an hour - it’s more like 20-45 minutes long.  Also, the golden hour doesn’t come at the exact time everywhere, every day, and it changes with the seasons.  Photographing during these peak times requires planning and a little bit of research, but the results will be worth the effort. So visit and choose the camera that is right for you so you’ll be ready to get the perfect shots when the next golden hour presents itself.
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