How to Get the Best Light for Your Engagement Session

April 14, 2020

Elopement Resources

Stressed because you don’t know how to get the best light for your engagement session??

If you’re not a photographer, you probably don’t know a ton about the different lighting that different times of day provide! Hopefully, your photographer will be able to help you get the best light for your engagement session & nail that golden hour light, but in case they don’t, you’ve got this blog post you can refer to! Lemme walk ya through the basics of EVENING LIGHTING for your engagement session:


Daylight is just that – daylight! It’s when the sun is higher up in the sky and is harsh & closer to directly ABOVE you than it is to the horizon. If the sun is out & shining, it provides harsher shadows and more contrast, and if it’s behind the clouds, you’ll have shade and even lighting wherever you go.

Here are some examples of both harsh sun & daytime shade:

Golden Hour?

Golden hour typically starts around 40-45 minutes before sunset. It’s when the sun is low in the sky and turns more orange than yellow. The light is much softer & more diffused, and provides gorgeous effects in photos with light flares, a softer look, and suuuuper nice skin tones!

Example: If sunset is at 7:30, golden hour will start around 6:50, and you’ll most likely have enough light to be shooting with until around 8:00. If your engagement session will last around 1.5 hours, I’d suggest meeting up with your photographer around 6:20! This gives you a little time to walk around & find spots you want to shoot at, and makes sure you get that golden hour light if the sun is out. If it’s cloudy, you’ll want to start a tad earlier, as it’ll get dark faster & you won’t have good light for as long.

Here are some perfect examples of golden hour when the sun is shining:

Blue Hour?

BLUE HOUR: Blue hour is my personal favorite. I loooove me some beautiful golden hour, but I crave the soft lighting & color tones of blue hour, which starts around 20 minutes after the sun sets. You can start to see lights glowing if you’re near a city or a highway, and blue tones are brought out beautifully, as you can see in the first 3 photos here. The lighting is even and just soft as can be.

Here are some examples of soft blue hour lighting:

Seattle Engagement Session

Need help picking your outfits & accessories for your engagement session, too?! Don’t stress – here’s a blog post to guide you through it!

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