As a photographer, I live for gorgeous, natural light. In today's post I'm talking about what's known as the "golden hour" to photographers, and why it's so important to my work and your photographs!
What is the "golden hour"?
The golden hour is both the first hour (or two) of light after sunrise, and the last hour (or two) of light before sunset. This time varies with the seasons and changes depending on where you are in the world. It may be a small window of time, but chasing the golden hour light often yields magical results! I love to photograph during these hours, when the sun is low and the light is soft, which helps create a lovely and soft glow.
Sunrise Portrait Sessions
My preference for my Paris portrait sessions is to shoot during the beautiful light just after sunrise.
The light is at it's most flattering. If you want soft, gorgeous skin tones, shooting during golden hour helps to achieve this. Early morning light means we can avoid strong shadows and squinty eye situations, too. Hooray!
The rest of the city is still sleeping! It feels like we have it all to ourselves. To experience Paris without hundreds of tourists is a magical and unique experience. Also, they won't be in the background of your photos. Bonus!
The rest of the day is all yours! You can relax and explore (perhaps even take a leisurely nap) and you don't have to worry about interrupting your day to prepare for an evening portrait session.
What if it's cloudy?
No problem! On overcast days the light is usually lovely and even (even though not quite as golden). On cloudy days we have a lot more freedom regarding where to shoot as the light will be less directional. We'll still be able to create gorgeous photos!
Location is Key
Some locations work better than others during golden hour. Open spaces are ideal (although it's true that these are not always easy to find in Paris!). Most areas around the Seine, including the Eiffel Tower and the surrounding bridges are examples of just a few locations that work best in the early morning light.
Not a morning person? You and me both! Usually the benefits of waking up at what we might often consider silly o'clock are enough to get even the sleepiest of heads out of bed early! However, please know that I will never force you to do a sunrise session if you're not comfortable with it. At the end of the day it's your decision and your happiness is fundamental to the success of our session and the final outcome of your photos.
I hope this post has been helpful in explaining why the golden hour is so imperative to my overall style and how you can get the most of it for your own portrait session here in Paris. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below! Thanks for reading!