The Golden hour, when the warm sunlight hits the earth with the mix of yellow/orange rays. The golden hour most likely occurs when the Sun is between 6 degrees below and 6 degrees above the horizon.
featured Senior Payton class of 2023 | Golden hour
When the Sun is just above the horizon, its rays impact the Earth at a low angle and they have to travel through more of the Earth's atmosphere before they reach us. On their way to the Earth's surface, they encounter atmospheric particles such as dust and water droplets, which filter the sunlight, ultimately making it less bright.
This process also adds more indirect light to the mix, softening contours and reducing the contrast. At the same time, the thicker layer of atmosphere that the sunlight has to pass through scatters the blue and violet wavelengths, allowing more light in the orange and red spectrum to reach Earth. This scattering decreases the sunlight's color temperature and makes it take on a golden or reddish hue.
While preparing for your high school senior photos may seem exhausting, it is easiest to take it step by step, starting with choosing the optimal time to take your photos. In order to end up with the most beautiful and personal product, you should consider your desired outfit, setting, and overall vibe when choosing the right time to capture your photos. Another factor to consider is the flexibility of you and your photographer’s schedule.
With all of these factors in mind, the best time to take your photos is ultimately up to you! Continue reading to see my take on each season and its advantages!
Spring is a great time to take your photos because it is right before graduation, meaning you will look exactly as you will when you graduate! Bright spring colors and mild weather make this season great for outdoor shoots. A spring photo shoot is something you can look forward to all year long, and is a perfect way to end this special chapter of your life.
There’s no better way to celebrate the next chapter of your life than dressing up and getting to take beautiful photos? Like dresses and platform sandals are super popular among seniors during the spring months. Additionally, a Spring photoshoot allows the opportunity to take cap and gown photos! In addition to all of this, high school schedules are often not as busy without the football games and competitions. If you are busier in the fall, this may be the best time for your senior photoshoot!
Choosing to have a photoshoot in the summer may be better for a senior with a busy schedule because you won’t have to worry about school work and extracurricular activities. In addition to all of this, a summer photoshoot allows you to have your photos early on in the year so you can use them all year long + yearbook pages. With countless “Senior Sundays” and social media opportunities, having your senior photos as early as possible can make your Instagram shine throughout your entire senior year! Taking your senior photos in the summer is a great way to start your senior year off with a bang!
Fall is often the most popular time of year among seniors because of the beautiful fall colors. The gorgeous leaves make for vibrant and timeless photos that you will treasure forever. With fun fashion trends such as sweaters, hats and boots, a fall photo shoot is great for a fashionable senior. As you settle into your school schedule and cooler temperatures begin to arrive, a fall shoot may be perfect for you! Additionally, if you take your photos before the holidays, you can give your photo prints or albums as Christmas presents!
While winter is usually not everyone’s first thought for a senior shoot, it can sometimes be just what someone needs! After all, choosing the best time to take your photos is unique to each individual senior and their vision. The most attractive quality of a winter session is the slower and more flexible schedule. If setting aside time for a session is difficult for you, senior photographers tend to have a more open and flexible schedule during the winter months ( January - Feb ). The colder weather allows for more layers in your wardrobe and taking photos in a more urban setting is great for winter.
golden sunset with Payton Senior Class of 2023