As a wedding photographer, I consider it part of my job to make sure that all of our clients get the most out of their investment with us. And part of that is making suggestions on how to get the best photos possible. One of the things I regularly suggest is something that’s pretty simple, but can make a huge impact on the images you receive…scheduling additional portrait time for sunset!
We usually try to keep an eye on the light and ask our clients if they’d like to go out for more photos when the light looks really good. But during late Spring, Summer, and early Fall when the sun sets later than the rest of the year, sunset usually happens during the dinner hour or at a point in the reception when toasts or special dances might be happening. We don’t want to interrupt those, but we also want to make sure you aren’t missing the opportunity to have sunset photos, either. This is why it’s key to consider adding these to the schedule before the big day when you’re still in the process of planning your timeline.
I use this site to check out when the sun will set on a given day. If you’re planning your reception timeline and want to sneak out with us for sunset portraits, you’ll want to plan to head out about 20 minutes before the sun actually sets. Another thing to keep in mind, the light may vary a bit depending on whether or not you’re near the mountains, the amount of tree cover, etc. For example, an open field with no trees around will be brighter longer, whereas a heavily shaded venue may be dark sooner.
I always suggest doing a First Look as a great way to maximize your investment since doing one usually results in about 30 percent more portraits than if you don’t do one, BUT did you know that designating 10-20 minutes around sunset for more portrait time can up your portraits by 20 percent too?
One last thing to mention is, we typically don’t head out for more portraits (unless the couple really wants to) if it’s overcast or raining. If it’s overcast, it will get darker earlier, so if you still want additional portraits, you’ll need to be flexible with the schedule!