The golden hour

Family shoot – January 2018

When I say “The Golden Hour” you may wonder what an earth I’m talking about. It’s a time of day as the sun is setting and it casts a beautiful golden light across the countryside. It’s something that photographers love to shoot in as you get a wonderful hazy soft light, although you have to be quick (hence why I say it’s an hour).

It actually works perfectly for family shoots, especially when you have a big group.  When there are a lot of people and young children, I try and make the shoot as quick and fun as possible.

I met Laura’s lovely family on a wonderfully wintery afternoon at one of my favourite locations. Skipwith Common has 500 acres of grassland, woods, streams and wildlife, it’s perfect for a walk and great for children to roam.  Laura and her sister Natalie had bought the shoot for their mum and dad for Christmas to get a photograph of the whole family together. I love that families take time to have a professional photograph together, as it’s a memory that they will cherish for the rest of their lives and will take pride of place in their family home.

As the sun was setting I knew the light would be perfect for some back lit shots (when the light is directly behind your subject). We started taking some group shots then wandered to the stream for the kids to play and throw stones. I then took some photos of the kids separately, we did some posed but then I let them wandered – I love the one of the twins holding hands, where I’m there just as a fly on the wall to capture the special moment between them. No distractions and no one forcing them to perform for the camera.

When it comes to group shots, it has to be a bit more formal to make sure everyone is in the frame. However, it can still be fun, I love that this family had opposing football teams they supported so I just got them to shout their team the loudest. Everyone relaxes when you’re distracted and being silly, this way you can capture a fun moment as opposed to a stiff “lets say cheese”. Why not try it next time you take a family photograph. Here is a snapshot of the shoot below.

With love

Suzie x