Best Time for Family Portraits

What time of day should you schedule your family portrait session?

There is one best answer, and that is during the golden hour, approximately one hour before sunset. Preferably when the sun is out. I know that’s difficult in rainy climates like Hamburg, but I will share with you and show you why.

The golden hour is roughly the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset, but the exact duration varies between seasons. During these times the sun is low in the sky, producing a soft, diffused light which is much more flattering than the harsh midday sun that so many of us are used to shooting in.

Yesterday, my husband, son and I went to Wildgehege Klövensteen, a wildlife reserve about 10 minutes from our apartment. I’ve been itching to shoot and play with the light, as the weather is starting to get better here in Hamburg. I decided not to bring out my clunky DSLR and instead used my new compact camera (the Fuji X100T, an awesome X-mas present from my hubby!) 

My husband might get a little upset with me sharing these pictures; he wasn’t exactly dressed for showing off. We have this fleece jacket that is extremely useful when we wear Jackson, but it is ugly. Don’t mind our styling. Sorry, Mike!

These pictures were taken when we first arrived, approximately 4:30, a little less than 2 hours before sunset.  The sun stays relatively low in Hamburg, so even at this time, the light was pretty good. Pretty good, but not amazing.

 Best time for Family Portraits

 Best time for Family Portraits

And as time went on…..

 Best time for Family Portraits

 Best time for Family Portraits

Here we’re starting to get into the good light, into golden hour.

 Best time for Family Portraits

 Best time for Family Portraits

Here it’s 5:45 pm, and the light is perfect!! The light is soft and the colors are warm and saturated.  Notice the light yellow light outlining them.  AAAhhhh I’m such a geek with light!

 Best time for Family Portraits

 Best time for Family Portraits

 Best time for Family Portraits

Even black and white portraits are better at this time.

I would have kept shooting but we were cold and hungry. Thank you, Mike, for being a great model!

 

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