Today we’re going to be talking about natural light portrait photography, and specifically why the best time of day for this type of photography is 1 hour prior to sunset.

First off, let’s talk about why natural light is so important for portrait photography. Natural light provides a soft and flattering glow to the subject’s skin, making them appear more vibrant and alive in the photo. It also creates depth and dimension in the photo, enhancing the overall composition.


Now, let’s get into the specifics of why 1 hour prior to sunset is the best time of day for natural light portrait photography. During this time, the sun is low in the sky, creating a warm and golden light that is perfect for portrait photography. This type of light is often referred to as “golden hour” or “magic hour” and can create stunning and ethereal photos.

Additionally, during this time, the light is more directional, which means it’s easier to manipulate and create interesting shadows and highlights in the photo. This can be used to create depth and texture in the photo, making it more visually appealing.

One other benefit of shooting during this time is that the sun is not directly overhead, which can create unflattering shadows and harsh light on the subject’s face. Shooting during golden hour allows for a more even and natural lighting on the subject.


Colors are more vibrant during golden hour in contrast to the middle of the day. During midday, the sun is directly overhead, creating a harsh and bright light that can wash out colors and create unflattering shadows. In contrast, during golden hour, the sun’s light is more scattered, creating a soft and warm glow that enhances the colors in the photo. This means that colors in the photo, such as the green of the trees or the blue of the sky, will appear more vibrant and vivid, adding to the overall beauty and aesthetic of the photo. So, not only is golden hour great for flattering and directional lighting, but it also enhances the colors in the photo. It’s truly a magical time for photography!


Another important piece affected by time of day is dynamic range. Dynamic range refers to the range of brightness values in a photo, from the darkest shadows to the brightest highlights. During midday, the sun’s harsh light can create a high dynamic range, making it difficult to capture detail in both the shadows and highlights of the photo. In contrast, during golden hour, the dynamic range is lower and more manageable, making it easier to capture detail in both the bright and dark areas of the photo. This means that the photographer has more control over the exposure and can achieve a well-balanced and detailed photo. So not only does golden hour create a flattering and warm light, and enhance colors, but it also allows for easier control over the dynamic range of the photo. It’s truly the perfect time for portrait photography