What’s the golden hour sunset shoot and why is it so special?

The golden hour is that magic time of day when the late afternoon light becomes effervescently luminous, the tones grow richer and more golden, the shadows elongate. 

This transformative light is THE most flattering time of the day, when you appear at your most radiant. It’s the perfect time to appreciate your surroundings and who you’re with.

The air is sweetly scented, seeming soft somehow and the ground still holds the heat from the day. You can sense the earth and plants sighing happily as the day comes to an end and the world starts to slow down. This is the perfect time when you and your partner can enjoy some intimate time together, while being captured beautifully by your wedding photographer.

Once the sun has finally set, the sky then turns on it’s main show. It becomes alive. The vibrant oranges, dusty pinks and violet purples become a thing of wonder. Some people turn their back on  what I feel is the main event, when the sky transforms itself into a vivid technicolour masterpiece. This is going to give you an extra set of incredible images.

While you’re watching one of nature’s ordinary and yet most magnificent shows, trust your photographer is working their own magic. She is capturing you in the best light, ensuring you’re perfectly positioned to show off your best side and the wonderful location. These images will be one to be framed. 

During this time I always say to my clients, ‘Ignore me. The more you ignore me the better.’ I recommend getting close to each other, really close. Hold each other’s hands, entwine your fingers, stroke each other’s faces. Gaze into each other’s eyes, look at your wedding rings, admire your outfits, whisper to each other your favourite part of the day. Talk about the funny bits that happened. If something didn’t go according to plan, perhaps this isn’t the time to bring it up. This is the time you want to remember when it was just you two together on your wedding day, watching the sun set. You’ve been with all your loved ones all day, talking, smiling, and drinking, so the sunset shoot is the perfect time to connect with each other, to really see each other, feel the physical reassurance that you have done this huge thing together and you’re there with each other. You’re married. You are able to watch the sunset on the first day of the rest of your lives.

In practical advice, I recommend scheduling this time into your day. Make sure you tell your venue/planner that you want to take half an hour to an hour to enjoy the sunset.

Helpful hint. If you or your partner are nervous about getting your photograph taken, it might be a good idea to ask your photographer for a pre-wedding sunset shoot. Not only will it help settle nerves, but you’ll end up with a beautiful set of golden portraits of yourselves that can be used for invites, save the dates etc. This can also be arranged when you have your make-up and hair trial done! Great to see how the make-up looks in photos!

Helpful hint 2: If there is no sunset on your wedding day, don’t worry as you can always have a post wedding sunset shoot. This way you’ll be able to wear your wedding outfits again, maybe get your hair and make-up done again as a special treat. Have an adventure sunset session together without worrying about missing any of your day.

No time restraints, no worries about getting the dress dirty. I know this kind of shoot is one of my favourites. 

“Since I was a little girl I never dreamt about a big wedding, but I always wanted a wedding photoshoot at the seaside. Emma is incredibly talented. She has a great personality, so we felt very natural during the photoshoot. Emma made us feel so comfortable, so photoshoot was easy and pleasant. When few days later we received 408 (!!!!) adjusted photos, I understood my dream came true.
The light, the sunset, the ocean, my husband and I beautiful and naturally happy. Via these photos we were able to share our special day with our families. Emma, thank you so much!!!
You captured the most special sunset of our lives in a most beautiful manner.”

If you liked this post check out this post for something extra special, west cork wedding with magic. Golden hour sunset shoot.