What Is Golden Hour And Why Is It Important

Kevin Ryan

When shooting outdoors, one of the most important things to take into consideration is the time of day. Typically, the best time to shoot portraits is during golden hour. 

Golden hour is a very important aspect for photography, there are many great things you can benefit from so we suggest start using them to your advantage!

The term “golden hour” (which can also be known as “magic hour”) is a form of natural light typically used by photographers in reference to the period of daytime after a sunrise or before a sunset. Now, I could get all sciency and explain the atmospheric aspect of golden hour, but there’s no need to bore you with that. The most important thing to know is that the sun is lower in the sky, offering a more usable natural light that is typically more of an orangey red, giving off that “golden” look. When the angle of the sun is around 6 degrees above and 4 degrees below the horizon. Weather can also play a huge role in how well this glowy effect can work in your favor. A rainy, cloudy day can dull this effect on your pictures. 

Golden hour light is very easy to work with, it offers a golden light to your subject. Throughout this time of day, the light is a lot softer. This offers a more flattering look and compliments the skin tones. Another advantage to golden hour is that the light is directional and lower in the sky, allowing you to use your creativity! 

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