What is "magic hour"?

You may often hear photographers talk about "Magic Hour" and be inordinately excited about photographing during this magically time of day.  But what is it?


Magic hour is the time about an hour after sunrise or before sunset when the sun is angled low in the sky, creating beautiful and flattering light.  When the sun is directly overhead, it is very harsh on everything it hits and can create very unflattering shadows on the face.  But when when the sun is coming from the side, it's a soft, gorgeous light that makes everyone and everything look amazing!


It also allows for "backlighting"- having the light filter through behind the subjects and creating that beautiful glow!

So if you have flexibility in the timing of your session, aim for magic hour!  You will thank me later!  ;)