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When choosing your portrait location or if you think you have a nice spot you would like outdoor photographs taken by your photographer there are some very important things that will factor in.


Here are the things I am looking for when I plan my portraits. What is the best time of the day? This is the most important decision when scheduling your portraits.  The “Golden Hour”, a popular favorite among most photographers is the last few hours before sunset or after sunrise as the sun is at a 45 degree angle and lower. The light has a “warmer” color temperature. More importantly harsh shadows and overly bright spots appear more towards the middle of the day.  


I am always looking to have the sun angled behind the subject’s head as this creates numerous flattering contributions. With the sun positioned behind the subject’s (you) head not only does this keep the sun out of your eyes, but also takes away unflattering shadows and adds a nice rim lighting separating you from the background.  


Playing with the low suns color and direction can also be used for a more dramatic effect as well.


“We are planning on being photographed around 11-2pm”, hearing this is the moment I want to jump off a bridge.. The WORST times for outside portraits are the closer you are to mid-day/ noonish. Of course there is an artistic preference for everyone and there photography purposes for these times of the day. Just not for traditional portraiture.


Best suggestion is to take a walk outside at the location you “think would make a great place for pictures”. See yourself in the landscape. Where is the sun? Where do the shadows fall?  You get the point.


Lastly much as to many peoples thoughts, an overcast day can be your friend. Why? You can shoot almost everywhere without the above issues. 

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