Golden hour portraits made easy

Trick title, the golden hour itself makes taking portraits all too simple. For those of you that don’t know, the golden hour is the time just after sunrise and just before sunset in which the sun bathes the Earth in golden light. Said golden light compliments skin tones very well making it ideal for portrait photography.

Since this weekend is looking sunny and warm, I’ll likely take some time out of my afternoons to shoot in the golden sunshine. In case you wanted to do the same, The Phoblographer posted some really handy tips to help you capture the perfect sunset portrait.

I’ll summarize with three simple rules:

  1. Don’t front-light your subject. You’ll cause them to squint and you’ll lose some valuable depth-creating shadows.
  2. Try backlighting, but be careful about it. Backlighting (placing the sun behind your subject) will give a very airy effect, but you have to know how to set your camera to avoid silhouetting your subject. Try setting your camera to spot-metering and meter using a point on your subject’s skin. If you don’t want to blow out the highlights in the photo, try using a reflector or bounce card to brighten your subject
  3. Find shadows if you’re hesitant about shooting in direct sunlight. The shadows will give your subject nice, even lighting while still preserving that golden tone.

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