Best time to shoot outdoor portraits


Have you ever wondered what is the best time to shoot outdoors? This post will provide you with some clear answers for a question customers ask frequently:“What is the best time to shoot outdoor portraits?”

Best time to do a location photoshoot


In fact, a skilled photographer should be able to deliver great results anytime. Even in a harsh midday light when the sun is blazing away on full power creating those nasty shadows on the human face.

I love being able to commence my photo session during golden hour. Especially in the late afternoon. Golden hour is a time of the day when the sun is low in the sky, usually just after sunrise or before sunset. Imagine sitting on a beach with a drink in your hand watching the sun setting. Throw few clouds in the horizon into the mix, as the sun goes down and the Big Magician sprinkles those magnificent colours all over you. Simply divine! Light, the main magical component, is much warmer and softer than during any other time of the day. As the sun isn’t anymore above your subject, you do not have to worry about harsh shadows that I mentioned before. Overall, light is flattering and it is one of the best times to shoot portraits. People tend to look best when the shadows on their faces are soft and diffused. Your clients will definitely love the final result with magnificent light adding to the mix. Sounds perfect, right? Almost too perfect…
There are some disadvantages unfortunately but this is just life so you should be used to it.


Best time to shoot outside – things to be aware of


As the lighting conditions change so quickly during the golden hour, you have to be prepared to work quickly. Ideally, you need to be prepared upfront. First, be familiar with a shoot location, you don’t really want to waste precious time exploring. Try to visualise shots before you actually commence a session. Also, make sure your client is aware of the whole situation so you can quickly move forward together. Think teamwork, it does pay off greatly in this scenario.
Another thing to be aware of is that golden hour sun can create intense and saturated colours which might be slightly overpowering. This could shift the main focus from your subject to the unnaturally saturated colours. Please have a look at the image below where saturated foliage in the foreground draws the eye away from the main subject.