When I’m booking location sessions, you will typically receive two time options: one very early in the morning, the other mid afternoon-evening, depending on the time of the year.

Then there are days I get really excited and I’ll photograph people all day.

How does that work?

I promise it’s not all based on a whim.

The hour immediately following sunrise and immediately preceding sunset have the softest light. This is known as the golden hour. When light is directly overhead, it creates harsh shadows on faces, which is not pleasing, photographically speaking. There are ways to combat it (because I feel that is what you’re doing with midday sun) but it’s much easier to get prettier light during the golden hours. Here are some prime examples of gorgeous golden hour light.

Couple portrait on the beach at sunrise couple portrait at sunset

But wait! What about the days I’ll shoot all day?

Those days are always cloudy days. The clouds are amazing and act like a natural soft box to the sun’s harsh light. It’s a very pretty diffused light. This is the same reason that during your session you’ll end up being placed in shade. Shade is our best friend during photo sessions. Just look at these photos I took on an overcast day.

us marine dipping and kissing wife, quantico couples photographer

us marine and wife in gown, quantico photographer


So how do I make this work? Every few months, I look up sunrise and sunset times and write them in my planner and book your sessions based off of that information. However, weather happens. Rain. Snow. Ridiculous cold. Wind. When those sessions get rescheduled, I start looking for mostly cloudy days ahead. I want you to love your pictures, and a huge part of that is having nice, pretty, flattering light.

So when I offer you a 7 am session, it’s not because I’m a bit evil; trust me, I don’t particularly want to get up that early any more than you do! It’s because of the quality of the sunlight and wanting to maximize the quality of your images.

  8 comments for “Light and Why the Time of Your Session Matters | Jacksonville, NC Photographer

  1. April 29, 2015 at 5:21 am

    fab blog post! I do hate early mornings myself though but you are right about the light!

  2. April 29, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Beautiful couples photos! Light definitely matters – great post!

  3. April 29, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I love this post – light does make such a difference in the quality of images. You take beautiful portraits and your clients are lucky to have you close by to capture their precious memories for them.

  4. April 29, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Ha! I love that you said that you were not evil!! That cracked me up! I think its interesting how many people don’t understand golden light and want mid-day sessions! Your use of the light and explanation in the post to potential Clients is perfect. Great job!

  5. April 29, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    You are exactly right…time of day is what matters most for gorgeous photos! And you sure have some amazing ones in that light!

  6. April 30, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    What a great tool to give your clients to explain why we shoot when we shoot. Light does matter!

  7. April 30, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Wonderful way of explaining why light matters and makes all the difference in your portraits!

  8. April 30, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Great info in this article! Light is one of the most important factor in a shoot. I agree with you about cloudy days.

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