• Tamara Merri

What time should your engagement photos be?

Did you know there is a specific time we photographers try to schedule your session for?

Usually it’s right after sunrise or before sunset so that the sun is on the horizon line which provides more flattering light for portraits. The worst time of day I’d midday, like 2pm, because the sun is harsh and casts shadows on your face. Think of shadowed eye sockets - merp.

The timing goes like this:


✨golden hour


🌝blue hour

💫nighttime (star photos!)

Golden hour is the prime time we try to shoot. The light is “soft” and you get a warm, golden glow to your photos, halo hair lights, and evenly lit skin. For example, today's golden hour (I'm writing this on September 30) is from 5:52 pm to 6:47 pm. Sunset is at 6:30.

Blue hour is right after sunset, when the sun is below the horizon line and the indirect sunlight makes everything a blue shade which results in soft, romantic photos. Today's blue hour is from 6:47 - 6:57 pm.

If the light is harsh I pose a couple with the sun BEHIND them. Once the sunlight gets softer, I'll face the couple towards the light.

Check out examples of the different stages of light by scrolling through this post. Christina and Corey were blessed with one of the most beautiful sunsets and I’m so glad they were down to keep shooting through blue hour get those romantic purple tones!!

Daylight & backlit:

couple walking hand in hand on the beach for engagement photos during golden hour

daylight and direct light:

couple walking along the beach holding hands with their dog running ahead of them

golden hour backlit:

engagement session on beach. couple is sitting on jetty during golden hour in a romantic pose

golden hour direct light (sun was just below horizon line)

guy is holding girl in his arms like a baby, dipping her head below her feet. they are looking at each other laughing. cute engagement photo pose on beach in cape cod during golden hour

girl is in the air straddling guy on the beach during engagement photos

sunset backlit

couple dances on a sandbar during low tide on Brewster beach during sunset

blue hour direct light

engagement session during blue hour on the beach. pink and blue skies. boy has girl in his arms, off of her feet and they're kissing

Light looks different in different situations. On the beach there is nothing shading the couple from the sun. Golden hour in the forest, in the mountains, or in an urban setting will look different.

So, which is your fave? Contact me to plan your engagement session!



Tamara Merri Photography



I'm Tamara!

I'm a Massachusetts wedding & elopement photographer. I'm the voice behind this blog and the girl behind the camera. 

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