This is the next installation in the Engagement Photography Session Series. Geez, that is a lot to say! Last week we covered finding an awesome location and how to pick a location that is perfect for your session. This week, let’s talk about the best time for your engagement session.
In a nut shell – the best time for your engagement session is during the Golden Hour. I chatted about this in a blog post earlier in the month when we talked about romantic portraits on your wedding day, but the golden hour is also the best time for your engagement session. We have done early sunrise sessions, too, because they also use the best light and work on the same concept as the Golden Hour – the prettiest sunrise light is 1-2 hours after the sun comes up. Most of the engagement sessions though, do happen in the evening. I always find the best light and the light really dictates where we are shooting in the location we are at. Here is a rough idea of what time we would start based on the season –
Winter/ January: Sunset is around 5:30 p.m. – So, we would start around 3:30 or 4 p.m. based on the location. Sometimes we start around 1 or 2 p.m. depending on the weather. We try to go for the warmest part of the day, and if it’s super cloudy, then we shoot for the brightest time of the day, as well!
Spring/ April: Sunset is about 8 p.m. – Right now, my sessions are starting around 6:30 p.m.
Summer/ July: Sunset is 9 p.m. – We start around 7:30 p.m.
Fall/ October: Sunset is around 6:45 p.m. – We would start around 5 p.m.
There is really a huge range for when we start sessions in the spring and fall based on when the sun actually sets. We loose light so fast during these times of the year, plus you have the time change to factor in!
There is a hack for figuring out when sunset time is – I use this website all the time. I check it before each meeting with my couples so I know exactly when sunset time is for their wedding day. Also, when we chat about their engagement session I can give them a better idea of when we would start their engagement session based on the day they have selected – https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/columbus. This website is amazing. I used it when we planned our wedding since we do not live in Hatteras, N.C. and I had no idea what the sunset time was at all.
They do only list all the major cities. So, if your city is not listed, pick the major city closest to you and check your local weather app to see what the sunset is for that day in both your city and the major city listed. Figure out what the difference is in time, if there is any, so you will know to add or subtract that amount of time from your sunset time. It involves a little math, but this is what I did for our wedding since Hatteras was not listed, but Raleigh, N.C. was! I think I might have been a couple minutes off, but a minute here or there will not break a photo session!
I always work closely with my couples to figure out the perfect time to start their engagement session based on the exact day they have chosen as well as the location! I hope this post has brought some insight into when you can expect to have your engagement session.
See you in the next post!
I am an Ohio based photographer who loves photographing weddings and engagements, traveling to beautiful sandy beaches, running after our adorable son Wyatt and border collie Bentley. A chips and salsa freak. Lover of coconut smelling lotions - candles - tea - desserts and... well anything that smells coconuty, and finally warm summer nights on our patio! Come hang out with me on Instagram and Facebook!