Photography 101: Mastering the golden hour

Magic hour creates magic photos. Follow our tips to capture dreamy stunners

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So now that you know what the golden hour is and why its light is so special, you probably want to know how to use it.

Using the golden hour

Portraits and landscapes benefit the most from this special light, so we’ll break the tips down between those two categories. Like most photography tips and techniques, once you have the hang of them, you can apply them to less obvious situations – e.g., you can apply the portraiture tips to landscapes and the like. However, regardless of what you’re shooting, one rule is as golden as the hour…


Even if the golden hour is going to last a full 60 minutes, that’s still not a lot of time and you want to utilize ever single minute you have. The best way to do this is to schedule your plans around the golden hour. Arrive at your shooting location beforehand to set up. If you’re shooting portraits, make sure your subject is all ready to go. Check what time golden hour starts at your location. Scope out the area beforehand, if you can, to look for good vantage points and to see where exactly in the sky the sun sets. The smallest amount of preparation can be the difference between getting a good shot and getting several perfect shots.

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