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When is the Best Time of Day for a Photoshoot?

When scheduling a family photoshoot in Tucson, AZ or anywhere, you want to consider the time of day depending on the look you want to accomplish. Most people are looking for that soft light that makes everything look magical and awesome! While others are looking for harsh light to create edgy shadows and vibrant colors!

Here are three times during the day that will give you three very different looks to consider!

#1 Golden Light at Sunset

When the sun is setting there is a special moment that photographers like to call "Golden Hour" or "Golden light". That is because as the sun moves closer towards the horizon the light becomes soft and golden and much less harsh. This gives opportunities for amazing backlighting that just brings a magical golden glow to your photos.

Your photographer is going to place you with your back towards the sun or angled slightly away from the sun. They are then going to use exposure settings and possibly some reflectors or off camera flashes to light up your face while they capture the exquisite colors of the setting sun behind you and this will also create a beautiful golden backlight on your shoulders and hair.

This picture of Maribel was captured at 6:30PM and sunset was at 7:00PM! We placed here in this beautiful green grass and exposed for the sunset behind her. Then using a reflector we lit up her face and eyes and created this beautiful and magical picture that was so vivid and yet the light on her face was very soft and flattering!

Golden hour is a great time to get dreamy pictures of your family. It is definitely one of the most popular times that are requested of photographers.

Also, Golden hour is great for working families because it gives them time to get home from work, get ready and go to the shoot. Golden hour is great if you are planning a family outing that night as well. Since you are all dressed up, what a better idea for a family date night than to get your pictures taken and then hit up an amazing restaurant to celebrate.

#2 High Noon or Mid Afternoon for Vivid Colors

If you are looking for photography that is vivid and has high contrast then you want to think about a mid day shoot. The sun is going to be harsh but that harsh light can create some really energetic and fun pictures. Plus the colors are going to be very saturated and amazing! Shadows are going to be very sharp and photographers can shape that light to create very flattering pictures of your body.

As a photographer in Tucson, AZ these kinds of photos are an everyday occurrence because of how harsh the sun is here!

Check out these photos of Michell that were taken at noon with almost no cloud coverage.

Your photographer will expose for the highlights in your picture so that the tone of your skin or light clothing is perfect! When the exposure is brought lower because of the harsh light it allows the camera to capture amazing colors!

Look how vivid the blue sky is behind Michelle and how gorgeous this light makes her skin look. Her clothes and hair are sharp and have vivid contrast.

Doesn't this photo look fun! We had her dance and jump and move naturally and were able to capture this stunning, fun, and energetic picture!

This photo demonstrates how dark shadows can be at high noon in full sunlight. Because the sun is over her head it creates shadows on her face and because her hair is dark it creates a deep contrast. These photos can be edgy sometimes and very dramatic because of how dramatic the shadows can be. This photo draws attention to her stylish jacket and sweater and draws your eyes to her white shoes.

If you are into fashion or social media branding, this type of lighting can be great for high energy social media posts or to create a variety in your social portfolio.

One big warning around Mid Day shoots is that the sun can be very bright and can be hard on the eyes. Many photographers will have you close your eyes while they are not shooting and then have you open them just in time for the shot!

Mid Day photoshoots are great if you are sporting sun glasses too! And create some very fun and energetic images.

Mid Day photoshoots are harder for most working people to schedule and are usually reserved or weekends. Some people love the harsh light of a mid day shoot and some people hate it! What do you think?

#3 Anytime of Day in the Shade!

If harsh light creates vivid colors and contrast, that doesn't mean that soft light creates less vivid images! Shade is a photographers best friend because soft light is very flattering on facial features and allows the photographer to better capture light in the subjects eyes. No matter the time of day, if you can find some beautiful backdrops with shade, you are going to have amazing photos!

Check out this photo that was taken at Golden light but instead of using the golden backlight we placed this little boy in the shade of a tree! The shade allowed this little boy to open those awesome blue eyes wide! The light softly surrounded his whole face giving a soft and very flattering look. The contrast in this little boys eyes helped to create an out of this world sharp picture that makes you melt and say, "Awwwwwww!"

Shaded photoshoots are great for kids! It helps them keep their eyes open during the shoot and you can usually find some pretty fun spots to take photos to keep their interest high! Shaded photoshoots allow for more time to get those shots too! Unlike Golden hour which is locked into the last few minutes of the day, if your photoshoot is under a good source of shade, you and your photographer can determine a good amount of time to get the shots and style of photography you are looking for.

What is your favorite time of day to take photos?

What time of day would you like to try? Have you had any photoshoots you wished you had taken at a different time? Share your comments below!

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