What time of day is best?

The closer to sunrise and sunset the better.

In the UK our Winter mornings are sometimes a little foggy to start with.  If you like this, a morning shoot from 8.30am might suit your preference.  The mist/fog often burns away by 9.30am and that is another good time for a winter morning shoot.

If you enjoy winter sunshine and crisp blue sky, you never know, you may be lucky enough to catch some by choosing between 2pm and 4pm for a winter afternoon shoot  and 4.30 towards early March/ the end of winter.

In Spring (which officially starts on the 20th March) the latest sunrise is around  6.45am getting earlier each day. Perhaps you may like to schedule a morning shoot from 7am-9am giving you the rest of the day free. 8am-10am  is fine too.

Afternoon shoots are better later in the afternoon in Spring. With the sun setting from 7.30pm upwards after Daylight Saving time starts on the last Sunday in March, 4pm-7pm

(Once the sun is overhead, it can creates little shadows from one’s eye brows down  to one’s cheek bones (panda eyes) and this isn’t ideal, which is one of the reasons I prefer not to do shoots in direct sunlight between 10am and 3pm.

The ideal time is what photographers call the “golden hour.”    This is when the sun is shining and it’s not overcast, the sun is low and its sunlight creates a pleasant warm, golden glow of diffused light which softens shadows and flatters its subjects.  The duration of the golden hours changes with the seasons as the sunrise and sunset times change but as a rule of thumb, the first golden hour in the day starts just before sunrise and lasts for an hour whilst the second golden hour starts an hour before sunset and finishes just after.   (This might be an ideal time for families with older children, couples or engagement shoots.)

In Summer, the 16th June is the longest day and the shortest night of the year; sunrise is at 4.45am and sunset is at 21.20. This is the earliest sunrise and latest sunset.  Ideal times for shoots shift earlier and later respectively, however I am happy to work around families’ routines as far as possible.  At this time of year, a morning shoot is best any time between 5.30am-9.30am  and an afternoon shoot from 4.30pm-9.30pm

While an overcast day may not be as cheerful as sunshine and blue skies, the low clouds actually filter sunlight and reduce the intensity of shadows across faces which is actually quite helpful and means we can often shoot longer than on a bright sunshiney day.

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