Nothing takes my breath away more than a well lit photography session. Is that what draws you in too? You know what I’m talking about. There are multiple different types of lighting, but I’m especially drawn to golden hour images. These sessions produce warm tones, even lighting and creamy skin tones. Maybe you have seen them as well and you think that it’s just some photoshop mastery or angle of the camera. Unfortunately, time of day is everything. As the sun goes down, the light softens, the neon and overexposed spots diminish and shadows soften. All of these things together plus happy subjects produce some of the most beautiful images.

Often times, as photographers, we have clients that don’t understand the times we offer for sessions. Over the years, I have learned that in order to achieve the look of the images I would like to have represent my work, my sessions need to start no sooner than 1.5  hours before sunset. 2 hours might be ok in the fall, but only if you have adequate open shade to help you out.

I know nap and bedtime can be tricky when you have small children. Here is my advice: try it anyway. 99.99% of kids do amazingly well outside, even past their bedtime. Extra snacks, fun games during the session and the freedom to let your kids be exactly who they are, even if they aren’t sitting and smiling will pay off big in memories to enjoy for a lifetime <3

Just to give you a reference, here is a session that started 1.5 hrs before sunset and went until the last drop of light faded into the distance. I hope it helps you understand the world of scheduling and even more so, helps you understand why certain (most) times of the day for sun drenched natural light sessions won’t work.