Why It Is Important To Shoot Romantics During Golden Hour
Michael & Kia's Wedding | Hudson Gardens Event Center Wedding | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography
Kia and Mike had a beautiful summer wedding at Hudson Gardens in Littleton, CO. I’ve shot a few weddings at this venue and it gets a great golden hour in the back of the property as the sun begins to set. I wanted to show off their romantics because I think these pics are a great example of why it is so important to build in couple’s portraits during golden hour away from your wedding guests.
Why Do These Need To Be Private?
I feel so strongly about taking time WITHOUT any guests, family, friends, wedding party, etc during golden hour to do photos. Why? Because the rest of your whole day can be a blur of people swarming around you. Vendors prepping, planners circling around you, guests hugging you, your weird uncle who won’t stop talking to you, your bestie who can’t be denied the selfie, etc. These can all be fun parts of the day and honestly, most of the socializing is great and a reason to opt for having a bigger wedding celebration.
But it is important not to lose sight of WHY you’re getting married. You are committing your life to your partner and this is a beautiful thing! This is what it is all about and you should absolutely take some time to be alone together. As your photographer in this moment, I’d rather be able to set this moment with you guys and then throw on a long lens and let you have your privacy. Talk together. Hug. Dance. Kiss, make out, or just be. It’s all fair game and I promise to be more of a person holding space with you than an awkward third wheel.
Why Golden Hour?
Well, first of all… what the heck is this “golden hour” you speak of so much? Let’s backtrack a bit. Golden hour is that time before sunset when the sun gets closer to the horizon. The light becomes more dynamic first, then if the weather and clouds cooperate, you’ll get a “fire hour”. This is that gorgeous, warm, amazing gold light that floods through the leaves and across water. This is the stuff of photographer’s dreams. It’s my catnip.
After the sun tucks itself behind the horizon line, the light will get very soft and flattering. Everything seems to calm for a moment (yet another reason for a private moment) and it is such great light for portraits. After this, “blue hour” will begin to creep in. The temperature of the light ‘cools’ off, which means it shifts from the warmer yellows and golds towards more blues and icy tones. Blue hour is also great to shoot in, and can be a fun opportunity to push creative boundaries a bit.
As a photographer and synesthetic, I am super — super — light sensitive. It’s really easy for me to understand that light has a temperature, a shape, an energy, and a tangible quality to it. Some lights to me feel like the ocean, some feel like flannel, some feel like strawberry short cake. It’s weird and I don’t expect my couples to totally understand this, but the good news is that you don’t HAVE to understand it! That’s what I’m hired to do, let me do my light thing and you’ll get beautiful photos my friends.
Why Is The Light So Important?
All of this is to say that the TIMING of your couple’s portraits is extremely important to achieve that beautiful, epic dreamy lighting. Golden hour is rapidly changing, and the good stuff only lasts a few minutes so this is why it is important to have a photographer who really knows light. For me, it’s THE most important technical part of getting amazing shots (I think the number one most important part is making sure you and your partner feel comfortable, are having fun, and walk away with an amazing experience).
The good news is, we can take as much or as little time to do these portraits as you would like. In a perfect world, we’ll have some time set aside in the timeline of the day that works around whenever the sun is setting in your location and date of your wedding and we can go out for 20 minutes to really enjoy the landscape and you can really connect with your partner before the energy of the reception really revs up.
How Do I Build This Into My Timeline?
The easiest answer is: Let’s take a look at what your timeline is looking like and when/where the sun will be setting for your wedding. I like to work backwards here and have just a little bit of flexibility. Remember, sunset is LATE in the summer, so you might already be into your special dances and everything when golden hour happens. On the contrary, winter weddings are often dark by the ceremony. Let’s figure out together how to carve this into your day without it becoming a hassle.
So we’ll figure out when sunset is and then think about the direction of the light and the layout of the venue. Oftentimes, I’ll have one eye on shooting the wedding and my other eye on the light. When it is “just right” I’ll come and snag you guys! It’s the one time during the wedding that when I say “GO”, we really need to go! Haha, but it is without a doubt one of my favorite parts of shooting weddings and oftentimes, my favorite pictures of the whole day. (Think album covers, people) Yes, yes!!!