Sunset Dashes and Golden Hour

Sunset dashing: a quick dash by a bride and groom out of their wedding reception around sunset for an additional portrait session.

That is the newest addition to my wedding photography terminology. Wedding schedules are hectic and it’s not usually convenient or possible for couples to time their wedding portraits with the beauty that is golden hour.
Golden hour is not really just one hour, it’s the few hours after sunrise and the few hours before sunset when the sun is just near the horizon, casting softer light and warm colour hues. It’s like a natural filter. You may already recognize it – it’s essentially what makes sunny mornings and sunsets soft and pretty.

Golden hour is by far the most flattering light to be photographed in. I also love it because it allows photographers to play with the light, since the source is so close to the ground. They can position couples directly in front of the sun making halos around them and blurring everything behind them into what almost looks like brush strokes, or let a little bit of the light into the camera creating original effects with ‘lens flare’.

One option to catch this light, if your wedding schedule doesn’t allow for it, is to have a ‘sunset dash‘ – to leave your reception for twenty or thirty minutes and to have a private couples shoot in golden hour. That is exactly what Blake and Lyndsey did at their spring wedding. After speeches and before dinner was served, they discreetly slipped out of the hall and went down to the marina for these images:

Toronto wedding photography sunset

Toronto wedding photography sunset

Toronto wedding photography sunset

Toronto wedding photography sunset

Toronto wedding photography sunset

If your schedule doesn’t permit your full-length photography session to happen around this hour, definitely consider a sunset dash. You will not regret it.

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