photography tips the golden hour

There’s a term in photography called the golden hour.

It’s the first hour of the day while the sun is rising and the last hour of the day while the sun is setting.

The world is bathed in a golden glow and all around you are sparkles of light.

And the best part?

Even without a fancy camera or a lot of photography knowledge or even just simply using your phone….

….you can take pictures that look like a camera crew came to your house and styled an entire photo shoot for you.

Here’s five tips for taking pictures during the golden hour.

photography tips

1.  Figure out what time the golden hour is where you live

It’s easier than you think.

You can use this site or I also found this app.

But truth?

I didn’t use either one.  I just woke up and looked out my window and saw the glow and grabbed my camera and started taking pictures on the farm.

Sometimes the best way to find the golden hour is just to watch.

the golden hour photography tips with the farm

2.  Take advantage of shadows

When the sun is low in the horizon, the shadows can make even the ordinary extraordinary.

This is the bridge near the entrance to the farm.

See how the shadows make a simple stone bridge look like a piece of art.

golden hour photo ideas

the golden hour photo tips

3.  Use the light to frame ordinary objects

This is a branch silhouetted against the sky.

I simply focused on the branch and used the warm sunlight and golden glow as a backdrop.

So much bokeh….so little time.

tips for taking pictures during the golden hour

photo tips

4.  Wait

Sometimes for a picture all you need is timing.  For example, when I first took this picture….I took it without the sun.

A little boring.

Then I waited.

I waited for the sun to peep out from behind the clouds and create a spotlight for just a moment.

Perfect, beautiful golden hour.

the golden hour photography tips

5.  Enjoy the moment

I know it’s silly.

I get it.  But taking pictures when you are singing to Colbie Caillet at the top of your lungs on a farm with the golden hour swirling around you?


And so I’m going all CBS Sunday Morning on you and leave you with these golden hour pictures.

And just in case no one mentioned yet today….let me be the first.

You are a rock star.

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Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.

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  1. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    Wow! Have never seen this video that you had posted before! What a very powerful and healing message! Thank-you! Loved you tips on photography! Will use them in a few weeks as the weather is still giving us the remnants of winter! Wishing you a Splendid Southern Spring Day!

  2. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Well I certainly like you too!! You make me laugh, you make me smile from ear to ear, and you make me cry. You make me feel alive and grateful and filled with hope and inspiration. YOU are the rock star. I am so glad I found you and you're in my life. I'm sure there are many who feel the same way. Abbracci forti!!

  3. Image for Brandi Brandi

    Thank you for all of your positivity! I love your beautiful mind and utter happiness and joy in everything you do! It makes for a wonderful morning just to open your emails! I always know that I will be instantly inspired and overjoyed! Thank you for that Kari Anne for helping be that light! Have a beautiful day rock star!

  4. Image for Amy Amy

    My husband gave me a new camera for Christmas a couple of years ago and I have recently "focused" more on the types of photos you show as examples. We have a home in Colorado and the golden hour (I can't wait to slip that term into a conversation with my husband--he will be so impressed!) provides some spectacular sunrises and sunsets. The tips you give are very helpful, especially the one about waiting. I have looked at the mountains, thought I had a great shot, come back in only to look out and see something even more spectacular. PS--I had to laugh when I saw your song of the month--I woke up this morning with that song playing in my head!

  5. Image for Wendy Johnson Wendy Johnson

    I live in a sorta run down house on a fixed income, forced into early retirement due to health and yet I can never be envious of you because I feel like if you lived in a shack next to me you would still be the same glorious person. Thank you. I do have a lovely 4 acres and I am not saying this to be complaining

  6. Image for Carrie Carrie

    You have a most beautiful talent. The ability to tell a story, and make it touch the lives of so many. Thank you for the photo tips, and the link to a perfect video. God bless you!!!

  7. Image for Mary Crozier Mary Crozier

    How timely. Last night I was sitting on my front terrace with my 86-year old father and we both looked up suddenly and all the palm trees lining the front yard were golden and was 75 degrees and a bit balmy and oh, so beautiful. It's a gorgeous time of year in Phoenix--cool mornings and warm days. A time to appreciate it before the blistering summers....Tonight I will take pictures :)

  8. Image for Mimi - 247 Mulberry Lane Mimi - 247 Mulberry Lane

    Thanks for the wonderful photography tips--I can't wait to try them out! I LOVE that song too and I try to play it in my junior high classroom every chance I get. It has such a powerful, positive message. You have an amazing outlook on life. Stay gold, Ponygirl! :-)

  9. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Thanks for the pic tips! And WOW! I love that song, I've never heard that before...I'm thinking they need to make a talking Barbie that sings that song, and while they're at it, she's long over due for a good home cooked meal!

  10. Image for Julie Julie

    Hi Karianne, I just watched your video at Jeanne Oliver. It was SO great to hear your voice! I feel like I finally "met" a friend. :) I also think I might try silver stamping as a result! :) I loved your talk about "tomorrow" and can totally relate. That's my motto when I'm not being healthy. I am struggling with getting started (again, like for nth time). Would you share what program you did? I would love to hear more about it. Thank you so much!! xo Julie

  11. Image for Design Chic Design Chic

    So many great tips and trying to learn to take better pictures! I love the song but have never seen the video - just loved it!! Can't wait to talk in a few weeks!! xoxo

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