I'm Nikki, a creative old soul who loves tea time, tip-toeing through gardens, mounds of books, swaying to records, watercolors, sunset walks with our three yorkies, and star-gazing with Paul. This blog carries snippets of my life with just us two (five with Rusty, Lucy, & Ethel) - I hope it brings you happiness as you snuggle in with something warm and delicious and begin reading. Enjoy, friends!

the blog!

If I had to choose:

Shooting in Natural Light | Golden Hour

First of all, I would like to say thank you so much for all of the love I received on my last post, Christmas Country Bridal Session. You all made my whole week!! :)

On to today’s post!

I get this question a lot, either from new photographers, new clients, or even other people’s clients: When is the best time to have photos done? It definitely varies with different photographers especially those that have a studio and an abundance of lighting equipment. But I choose to be a natural light photographer (with the exception of weddings and couples who have their session during the winter in which case we sometimes do 50/50 indoors/outdoors). That means I rely solely on the weather and the sun, or lack thereof. When I schedule a shoot I always check the weather and the time at which the sun sets. Although the season varies what time I start, I always start sessions an hour and a half to an hour before sunset. Why?? Because the lighting is absolutely gorgeous. There are no harsh shadows on faces, the “golden light” adds a beautiful warmth, and the back lighting is just fantastic. When I shoot at noon or midday during a wedding, I’m always on the hunt for shade or natural reflectors (white sidewalks, white buildings, etc.) – those things can make or break great photos. However, the “golden hour” (it’s actually called that) is amazing. Here are some examples of what I mean:

The one of Tegan & John on the left is one of my absolute favorites. The light in the back is so dreamy. Sean & Hannah’s on the right is another one of my absolute favorites. I love the light on her hair.

The harsh light from the setting sun is one of my favorites. Sometimes people’s faces will not be perfectly exposed, but I’ll sacrifice a few shots so I get that orange-y glow.

If I don’t get the orange-y glow, I still get a beautiful blown out sun – another favorite of mine.

It’s also gorgeous when the light is hitting the subject’s side, like Emma’s photo on the left. Ethan (on the right) was facing the setting sun directly – love the warmth on his face.

The sun was still too high for my liking at Tara & Rick’s wedding so we used a tree to get this dreamy light instead of the harsh, high, light.

Sunrise light is also my new favorite. If I can’t take photos at sunset, my only other option is when the sun rises and an hour after that.

Another example where the sun was hitting them directly while it set. Love this!