If you are thinking about a photo session for portraits or getting married and need to capture those special moments then it is a good idea to consider the best time of day to do so.
For a cloudy day with no harsh shadows the time of day isn’t that important as the light will be soft but if the day is bright and sunny, then you should know what time of day is best for your photography.
On bright cloudless sunny days, you will find that around midday is not the best time to shoot any images. The lighting is directly from above and very harsh. You will get harsh shadows below the eyes and if the person has dark eye makeup, it will be even worse. The hours to avoid are between 11:00am and 2:00pm and even later if you can.
There is a golden hour and generally that time is usually between 4:00pm and 9:00pm depending on the time of year. During winter, the golden hour may be around 4:00pm and summertime around 8:00 and even later. The image below was taken at 8:31pm with a setting sun and a tungsten light pointed at the couple to highlight their faces. The same sort of photo taken in the middle of the day just wouldn’t have the same appeal. Shadows would fall below the eyes and may result in an ugly image.
The following image was taken at 9:40pm on the same day in January last year. The dark blue sky just looks terrific and can really make an image.
It is possible to take perfectly acceptable images at any time of day given the right equipment, technique and location but early in the morning or later in the day can just give that extra sparkle to your images.
If you are planning a wedding, it is a good idea to talk with your photographer before working out your timeline for the day after all, you want the best images you can get for your special day.