The time of day is an important factor that plays into how your shoot and photos will turn out. Most photographers, me included, prefer shooting during golden hour. This is usually because the light is softer and warmer rather than the harsh light brought during midday. Golden hour times also depend on the time of the year, so whenever you’re planning on shooting, look up sunset times for that date and shoot about 2 hours before that!
The biggest benefit of a studio is that light usually isn’t an issue. The windows and curtains that studios provide oftentimes diffuse the light in a great way! If you are shooting in a studio, ask the owners what direction the windows face and what time they personally think is the best, and base your decision on that!
Golden Hour/Blue Hour
Golden hour is that time about 2 hours before sunset until the sun actually sets. This is when you get that nice (as the name implies) golden warm glow. The best tip I have for sunset shoots, look for those kinda clear partly cloudy days, those are the days that when the sun goes down it’ll light up the clouds with gorgeous colors!!
Blue hour is when the sun has gone down but there’s just enough visible light that takes on a blue shade. This can be such a fantastic time to shoot because not everyone stays for after the sunset, you should be able to get some unique shots in.
This is when you’ll get the most direct sunlight. For most photographers, this is a very tricky time to shoot and edit. Most people get very washed out in the direct sunlight. If you do decide to shoot during this time, I recommend finding spots of shade to help mitigate this. As you can see below with some of my work, the subject in the direct sun has spots on their face that are more highlighted, if you look at the ones in the shade, their skin looks more even. Some of the shots below are still during the day but on cloudy days. This can be nice because the clouds help diffuse the light and create that evening skin tone as well.
Personally, I rarely shoot early in the morning mostly because more people schedule shoots later in the day. But you can’t beat a good sunrise shoot as I got with the shot from below. The sunrise can also bring out outstanding colors that are a bit more on the cooler side than sunsets. The other photos below were taken around 9-11 am and show how they would look outside and through the windows of a studio.