Why do I schedule shoots in the afternoon and evening? The key to any great portrait is lighting and the best time of day for lighting is in the afternoon and evening. You’ve probably heard of the “golden hour” which occurs an hour before sunset. I prefer to schedule my outdoor sessions during this time, and here’s why:
The light in the late afternoon and early evening is less harsh, meaning there is less contrast. If I were to take your photos in the middle of the day, deep shadows would be cast over your eyes and nose. The softer light in the afternoon means softer shadows, even skin tone, and vibrant colors.
When the sun is lower in the sky, like in the afternoon, the light is diffused and softer. The sideways angles of the shadows are also more flattering to the figure and faces.
Shooting in the afternoon, especially in natural settings, also helps light the scenery more evenly. If photographing under trees, I would have to contend with harsh dappled light casting spots across faces in the middle of the day.
Another aspect of taking family portraits in the afternoon is the color of the light. In the late afternoon, the light has a lovely golden, buttery hue. This light can also create unique opportunities for creative shots like silhouettes and halo effects.
When scheduling a session with me, take into consideration what afternoons and evenings you have open. I want you to have the best portrait experience possible and that means also having the most beautiful light of the day.