If you talk to me or any on-location photographer, we might reference something called “The Golden Hour.” This is essentially the one to two hours before the sun sets when that glowing orb starts to dip down below the horizon. We call this the golden hour because the sun provides a softer, warmer light during this time. We prefer this because it is less direct, which means less harsh, which means less unflattering shadows and beautiful, equal, lovely light.
But what does this mean for you? Well, it means there are some better times than others as to when your session might be scheduled. What are those times? I’m glad you asked! I have a cheat sheet that I use that I am going to share with you to help you get an idea of when and how your on-location outdoor session might be scheduled based on the sunset.
- Sunset: 4:31 pm – 5:10 pm
- Session Start Time: 3 pm – 4 pm
- Sunset: 5:12 pm – 5:54 pm
- Session Start Time: 3:15 pm 4:30 pm
- Sunset: 5:55 – 7:37 (Thanks, Daylight Savings!)
- Session Start Time: 4:00 pm – 5:45 pm
- Sunset: 7:39 pm – 8:18 pm
- Session Start Time: 6:00 – 7:15
- Sunset: 8:19 pm – 8:55 pm
- Session Start Time: 6:15 pm – 7:30 pm
- Sunset: 8:55 pm – 9:06 pm
- Session Start Time: 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm
- Sunset: 9:05 pm – 8:40
- Session Start Time: 7:45 pm – 6:30 pm
- Sunset: 8:39 pm – 7:47 pm
- Session Start Time: 7:30 pm – 6:15 pm
- Sunset: 7:45 pm – 6:48 pm
- Session Start Time: 7:15 pm – 6:00 pm
- Sunset: 6:46 pm – 5:52 pm
- Session Start Time: 5:45 pm – 4:30 pm
- Sunset: 4:51 pm – 4:22 pm (Thanks again, Daylight Savings)
- Session Start Time: 3:30 pm – 2:15 pm
- Sunset 4:21 pm – 4:31 pm
- Session Start Time: 3:00 pm – 1:45 pm
A NOTE: These times are based on sunset in Duluth, Minnesota, but it will be very similar to most times elsewhere in the midwest. It also takes into account Daylight Savings Time. I used this website to find these numbers.
ANOTHER NOTE: These times are all subject to change based on other variables, such as weather, location, etc. But these are the baseline times I use to plan sessions during Minnesota’s seasons.
What is your favorite season?
Kayla Lee is a Minnesota-based wedding and elopement photographer. She provides services to elegant, authentic, sentimental couples who not only choose their own adventures, but also live them to the fullest!
On Mondays we educate! Check out the blog every Monday for a new post to help you plan your wedding your way! Find past posts here!