I'm an Orlando maternity and family photographer. I want to capture the important moments in your life. Fleeting moments of growth and change.

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Lanh Balagtas






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Portraits, Tips

Golden Hour: Best Time To Take Photos


One of the most frequently asked questions I get is: What is the best time to take photos?

ANSWER:  The BEST time to take photos will be within 2 hours of sunrise or sunset; during golden hour.  This is when the light is softest and most flattering.  This is the time when your eyes won’t squint when you’re looking at the camera.  You won’t get harsh shadows on your face from the sun.  The heat will be more bearable (and you will sweat less!)  You will get that soft glow of light coming through the trees.

Photographers call this time, “golden hour”  It’s because the light that shows up in the photos has a soft, gold/yellow cast to it AND they even look magical because of that soft light.

If you decide to schedule between the hours of 10-3, the photos can end up having dark shadows.  If you choose a location based on the background, it can be very hard to get flattering images with that background in the bright sunlight.  It’s not completely out of the question but it will limit where you can shoot and what your background will look like.  At golden hour, you can basically shoot anywhere and with any background!

WHAT IF: it’s cloudy?  I watch the weather report throughout the week of your session.  If the day turns out to be gloomy, I ask if they would like to start earlier.  On a cloudy day, the best time to take photos is actually midday.  If we stick to the rule of 2 hours of sunrise or sunset on a cloudy day, the photos sometimes end up dark because the clouds.

So do everything you can to schedule your session during golden hour. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.


Below: look at the soft light coming through the trees and notice that there are no distinct lines of shadows:

Two hours earlier:  You can see that there are lines of shadows.

Below: look at how soft this photo is.  It was taken 1 hour before sunset.  Sometimes we’ll get a beautiful glow to the sky too!

Below: notice the golden hues in the background

Below: these photos were taken 30 minutes after sunrise.  Notice the soft gold hues

Below: this photo was taken about 1 and a half hours after sunrise.  There are shadows but they are soft.  If this were taken an hour later, the shadows most likely would be more prominent.

Below: cloudy day photos shot around 3-4 pm

A few more sunset photos below

Want to see more from sessions taken at golden hour?

Please Visit

Sunset Beach Session

Sunrise Maternity Session at Bok Tower

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