If you want your photographs to look like they’ve been taken by a professional, then you’ll want to take them during the golden hour. The golden hour is a short period of time after sunrise, or before sunset. This is when natural light has a warm, reddish hue. Half an hour before the golden hour is also a fantastic time to take photographs.

 In this article, we’ll tell you how you can use the golden hour to your advantage and take professional-quality photographs:

Get There On Time

If you want to take advantage of the golden hour, then you’ll need to get there on time. A lot of people think that they can turn up late and get the same results. This isn’t the case. After all, it’s called the golden hour for a reason. Being at the right time at the best photoshoot locations in your area can make all the difference. Moreover, getting there early will give you time to set up and get everything ready before the golden hour starts.

You’ll want to research when the sun rises or sets in your area and then make sure that you’re there bang on time. You can find a full list of sunset times in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and any other major U.S. cities online. It’s probably best to arrive early so that you can set up and prepare when the golden hour starts.

Times of the Year

The golden hour isn’t as pronounced on overcast winter’s days as it is on summer’s days. Summer months are the best time to take photographs in the golden hour. While the light will still be soft and easy to work with on overcast days, your photographs won’t be as magical. You’ll also have much less time to take your photographs in winter when the days are shorter.

Move Quickly

When you’re taking photographs in the golden hour, you need to move quickly. It’s important to arrive early and set your equipment up. This will allow you to start taking photographs as soon as the conditions are right. Try to work with the sun as it moves. If you’re taking photographs of a person, have them move according to the sun’s location in order to take full advantage of the soft, directional light.


Keeping in line with our last point, you need to make sure that you angle your photographs properly. Even in the best conditions, badly angled photographs can look rubbish. In the golden hour, long shadows are cast. If you angle your camera incorrectly, you’ll end up with shadows cast over your subject instead of bright highlights.  

Lens Flare

Lens-flare can make your photographs look fantastic. It’s an effect that anybody can achieve. Lens flare occurs when too much light enters your camera’s lens. This causes the light to be scattered. You can work with lens flare to create beautiful, unique photographs. Once you learn to play around with lens flare, you’ll produce one-of-a-kind photographs. If you don’t want to shoot with a lens flare, then you’ll want to invest in a lens hood.

Use Shadows to Your Advantage

If you’re clever, you’ll be able to use shadows to your advantage. Shadows cast at the right angle can help to make your photographs look much more professional and much more beautiful. For example, if you’re taking portraits of a person, a shadow on one side of their face can give a dramatic effect.

Avoid the Crowds

You’re not the only person that knows about the golden hour. At beauty spots, other photographers will come out to take photographs too. The best way to beat the crowds is to get there for the first half of the golden hour. People tend to arrive later on in the golden hour. Alternatively, you can do your research and find yourself a calm, secluded location where nobody goes.


If you’re taking portrait photos during the golden hour, you’ll want to make sure that your model has a fantastic background behind them. In the golden hour, this isn’t difficult. Cliffs, hills, and the countryside are great places to go to take advantage of the light.

Buy a Good Camera

A high-quality camera will take better photographs during golden hour than a low-quality camera. If you want to produce professional-quality photographs, then you need to invest in your camera. You can buy good-quality cameras second-hand or alternatively you can pick cameras up on finance.

Once you’ve got a good camera, you’ll need to maintain it and look after it. Clean it regularly and make sure that you keep it in a bag overnight or when you’re not using it. This is so that it doesn’t get scratched or chipped.

Taking good photographs doesn’t have to be difficult. With this article, you’ll be able to take advantage of the golden hour and produce amazing, award-worthy photography. Good luck!

Published on Holr Magazine

Comments are closed.