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  • Writer's pictureLaLa

The Best Time to Shoot Outdoors

What’s the most important factor to take into consideration when taking a portrait picture outdoors? Here’s a hint – it’s not your subject’s pose or the backdrop.

It’s the light!!!

Direct, midday sunlight will result in portraits with harsh and unflattering lines and shadows on your subject’s face and body as well as spots of intense highlights. Instead, you want soft, warm light, and this is readily available early in the morning right after sunrise and early in the evening right before sunset. Photographers refer to reach of these times as “The Golden Hour.”

Taking Portraits in the Morning

You and your subject might not like the idea of getting up early for Picture Day, but the results are well worth it. First of all, you won’t need to worry about too many people being around and interfering with your picture-taking. And more importantly, the natural soft, diffused lighting is perfect for all types of shots. So, this means you can give all your attention to your subject rather than trying to get the light just right.

Taking Portraits in the Evening

In the hour just before sunset, the lighting is also just right. As the length of the shadows grow, you can use this to your advantage by using it to add texture and drama to your portraits. It’s no surprise that most wedding photos are taken at this time. And I’m sure you’ll find that your subject will be much happier with this more convenient time of day.

You’ll find that the “Golden Hour” is also a great time to take pictures of other types of subjects. Pets, flowers and even automobiles will all look better in your pictures without the harsh lines and contrast that appear in the midday sun.

Have you tried taking pictures during these ideal times? I’d love to hear about your results.


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