When our couples are planning, one of the biggest questions we get asked as wedding photographers is this: Are there “must-have” wedding photos? If you’re asking that in person, I will basically shout “yes!” from the rooftops!
But the answer is actually a little more complicated. Yes, there are must-have photos. You absolutely want your “end of the night” photo in your wedding album. But that “end of the night” photo can be taken during any one of three times.
The first time is the “golden hour.” If you’ve talked to photographers or had professional outdoor photos taken, you have most likely heard this term but might not know what it means. Well, the “golden hour” is about an hour before the sun sets, when the sun is in the perfect spot in the sky to give us photographers little butterflies of happiness in our stomachs. You can see from the examples here that the golden rays of sunshine peek out from behind the trees at the most perfect angles.
The second time is one of the most popular options: sunset. This is pretty straightforward: I’ll take my couples outside and take photos while the sun is setting for about 10 minutes, about 5 minutes before and 5 minutes after the official time of sunset. Of course, if you have time, you can sneak out for BOTH the golden hour and sunset!
The third and final option is the night shot, after the sun has completely gone down. That means we’re working in the darkness with whatever lighting happens to be around, like lamps or building lights. We can get creative and highlight whatever you want—whether it’s you and your love or the city scenery. Just let us know what you want—and take a look at some options here for inspiration.
Of course, if you want to go big with your photos, you can absolutely do all three. We can take half an hour and catch the end of the golden hour, keep going through the sunset, and then photograph in the dark. It’s a little easier to get all three in the summer months when the sun sets around 9 pm, but if you really want to pull it off, I can of course plan the timeline accordingly! We can accommodate your wedding vision however you want—even if you just want to duck out during a lull in the reception for a quick night shot!
Ten minutes can really make the difference in the timing of your end-of-the-night shoots, so make sure you’re prepared and know what you want. And don’t be afraid to talk to me about your vision! This is one of my favorite topics, so please, send in your questions!
Pittsburgh PPG Zoo and Aquarium
Armstrong Farms — Fieldstone Barn
Betsy’s Barn — Cheeseman Farms
Edgewood Golf and Country Club
Five Pines Barn Wedding
Succop Nature Park Wedding
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Renaissance Pittsburgh Wedding
PNC Park Wedding