Lighting in a photograph is as important as the setting. The weather, location and time of day all play a part. As we can not control the weather, I thought I would share the best times and locations for beautifully lit wedding portraits.
The best time of day for wedding portraits is an hour or two before sunset. This glorious time is known as the golden hour. During this time the light is soft, flattering and free of harsh shadows. The exact time of the golden hour depends on the time of year and the location. A beach location will have this golden light for a longer period time than a location in the city. As the sun begins to set in the city the buildings will start to create pockets of shade. On a beach the sun will be visible until it passes the horizon. During the winter months the sun sets a bit faster so the ideal time for wedding portraits is two hours before sunset. In the summer months, one hour before sunset is fine. As this can get a little confusing, it is a great idea to talk with your wedding photographer before finalising the time of your wedding portrait session.
If you are finding it difficult to fit a pre-sunset portrait session into your timeline, don’t fear, you can still get beautiful light for your wedding photographs. The secret, is shade. During the midday, the light is strong and creates harsh shadows, lots of squinting and shiny skin which is not very flattering. Shade will allow your photographer to use a soft light despite the time of day. Clouds will also act as a giant diffuser from the midday sun but we can make them appear on demand so having a shady spot nearby is important.
For more planning advice check out my wedding timeline tips.