This summer I did my first golden hour shoots for clients. Golden hour is the period of time shortly before sunset (and after sunrise) when the sun is low in the sky. It creates beautiful light where the sunlight is soft and warm, making for really magical images. It inspired me so much, I even took my own boys out when we had that brief heatwave at the start of September!
It can take a bit of bravery from parents to give the kids a bit of a late night, but it's well worth it. It's best to think of it as a bit of a unique adventure – you'd let the kids stay up late for a family party or wedding so why not for a magical photo shoot? We do all the things that you would do on my usual lifestyle family photography sessions – games, races, cuddles and giggles, but we do it at sunset in a stunning hilltop location - Coombe Hill in the Chilterns of Buckinghamshire.
My first family had a six year old so not too young for a late night and they bought their dog Freddie along. It was a really special shoot as Mum was about 33 weeks pregnant so I was lucky enough to be able to get some beautiful bump shots for them too. Olivia was such a sweet girl, and she had a lot of fun messing around with Mum and Dad making wonderful memories on a hot summer's evening watching the sunset.
My second family had two boys who I had the pleasure of meeting in my lockdown doorstep days! I did a shoot for them last September, but they were keen on the idea of a sunset shoot and getting some more photos before their eldest, Elliott started school. The youngest, Reuben (3 years) had been under the weather and the skies were not looking promising for us in the day, but we all decided to go for it and it was the most amazing shoot!
The boys were on great form after 5 minutes or so warming them up with some swinging through the woods. It was lovely getting some gorgeous interactions between them, getting them to run races, being chased by Mum and Dad, and pretending to be cheetahs in the long grass, about to pounce on me! Once we'd tired them out they went for a cuddle to watch the sunset.
“The boys were so excited about the shoot – the staying up late, the laughing and all the fun of it. We've got some brilliant photos and some amazing memories to go with them.” Emma and Stu
I absolutely loved these shoots and got so much enjoyment out of editing them as the light was so fantastic. So next summer, I will definitely be doing more of these and we've just got to hope the weather is kind to us. Get in touch if you'd like to be on the waiting list for a magical golden hour shoot.
"We had a family sunset shoot and Tanya was amazing from start to finish. Tanya visited the location before our shoot to make sure it was appropriate for us. She made myself, my husband, my 6 year old daughter and even my dog feel relaxed throughout the shoot which captured the most natural family photos and that is exactly what we asked for. I was 8 months pregnant when we had the photos done and our plan is to have another family shoot with the baby and we are really looking forward to this happening." Laura and Matt