Take Incredible Golden Hour Photos – a BTS Girly Portrait Photoshoot!

Let’s unpack it together in this photography tutorial.

Video for taking great portrait photos during golden hour

Home / Photography Tutorials / Take Incredible Golden Hour Photos – a BTS Girly Portrait Photoshoot!

Take Incredible Golden Hour Photos – a BTS Girly Portrait Photoshoot!

Using Natural light to create beautiful sunlit photos with Jessica Whitaker

Want to take great golden hour photos? Check out this cute behind the scenes photoshoot from Jessica Whitaker at a beautiful mansion with amazing natural lighting.

Jessica Whitaker shares this BTS from a portrait shoot where the sun is just setting and the lighting is dreamy. 

The beautiful photos from this shoot and some tips for shooting with this natural light are below!


How to take amazing photos during Golden hour

What does ‘Golden hour’ mean?

Golden hour, sometimes called ‘magic hour’ in photography is typically the hour just after sunrise or just before sunset. The sun during this hour is positioned low in the sky. 

The light given off from this low position is more warm, soft, and especially well angled for perfect lighting.

Using the sun at the golden hour angle, you can get great front light, side light, or backlighting.

In this portrait shoot, Jessica got the perfect golden hour backlighting by shooting towards the sun:

Behind the scenes of a golden hour portrait photoshoot


Here’s the edited photo, with amazing backlighting from golden hour:


Beautiful golden hour photo lighting

Gear and camera settings for taking photos during golden hour 

You can use almost any camera and lens to get great golden hour photos. 

In the tutorial video Jessica is using a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera, with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM Lens

You will want to be mindful of your aperture settings, shutter speed and exposure settings and adjust throughout the shoot while the light is changing.

Tip #1 for Golden hour lighting: Arrive early so you don’t run out of time

If you’ve planned to get some golden hour shots, you won’t want to miss this window for beautiful natural lighting. 

The sun moves quickly away from the golden hour positioning, so you will need to be ready!

Give yourself at least an hour before the golden hour lighting is going to happen. You can make sure all of your gear and photo subjects are ready to go when that light hits. 

Here’s another of Jessica taking photos before golden hour hits, as she was ready and had the whole hour to work with:

Taking test shots before golden hour hits


And the final edits from these shots are stunning:


Final photos from the shots taken before golden hour

Take Golden hour photos Tip #2: Take test shots beforehand to line up the perfect angle

If you’re followed tip 1 and you’re ready to go ahead of the, you will have some time to spare before golden hour.

Use that time to take some nice test shots or play around with angles and the location for your photos for when the light is ready. 

This is one of Jessica’s photos before it was golden hour just testing out some of the locations and setting:

Trying out different shots in different locations to find the perfect angle for golden hour

Golden hour photos Tip #3: Use the warm lighting to create positive vibes

‘Warm’ colors (like oranges, yellow, red) tend to have a happy or positive effect on emotions (as opposed to ‘cool’ colors like blue and  green). 

Golden hour has these warm colors in the effect the low sunlight creates.

Using the warm golden light as a backlight or shooting towards the light, your photos will have a happy energy to them. 

The warm lighting also creates warmer skin tones for portraits and all around more natural, positive feel.

In these photo from Jessica’s shoot you can really feel the positive vibes!:

Fun golden hour portraits with natural backlighting during golden hour


Here are a few more just fun photos from the girly golden hour photoshoot:

Pretty golden hour portraits

Golden hour photo beautiful backlighting

Golden hour portraits with backlighting

Golden hour provides incredible light for taking portrait photos!

Hopefully you are now inspired to take photos using the natural light that golden hour can give you. Get out there and take some amazing photos!

Which of these techniques will you use on your next golden hour photoshoot?

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