"See The Light, Be The Light"


Photography means "the study of light" Therefore good lighting is a very important component of what I do.

But what is good light? How do you know if its good for portraits?

These are questions I have asked myself for years while studying photography. I have noticed that I am not the only one asking these questions and I am very excited to share my thoughts on the subject.


One of the most common questions I get when scheduling portrait sessions outside is, 'What time of day is best for photography?' 

Every portrait photographer will tell you the golden hour is the absolute best, meaning sunrise and sunset. I completely agree, I always love the sessions with that dreamy yellow golden light, it is absolutely breath taking.

But as we all know, the weather doesn't always like to cooperate with our busy schedules! 

The photos featured in this blog are examples that I thought showcased "good light" without opportunity to have the coveted "golden hour"


The first image shown of Cate sitting in a chair with rays of sun creating a spotlight for her was shot at 12pm, midday. (This time of day many photographers aren't a fan of because the light is very harsh and directly overhead) I chose to backlight her with the sun and catch the sun flare to make the rays of light. Keep in mind the sun flare doesn't always work like this! Depending on the lens, exact time of day, and where you are; the sun flare will be different every time. 

Next, the photo of Mackenzie leaning against a rustic stone wall was taken at around 6pm, which is normally around the time of the golden hour but we had an overcast evening. This created a beautiful even light that is actually wonderful for portraits which shocks a lot of people.

Finally image above with Makaylah in a pink wonderland was actually shot on a cloudy overcast day at around 3pm. I was able to create a bright dreamy effect by brightening my exposure and using a few flower petals at the end of my lens for the dreamy pink cloudiness around her.



After looking at all the photos featured and knowing the time of day, in my opinion they are all beautiful in their own unique way. Yes, the golden hour is beautiful, but I have found that the light  keeps you on your toes to challenge you to create amazing images everyday.

In my opinion the question isn't, 'What is good light?' or 'How can I find good quality light?'

The question now is, 'How can I use this light to create an amazing image?' It's all about problem solving and creating your best image.

Contact Gretchen Elaine Photography today to schedule your portrait session today!

717.799.7077 ~ gehphotos@gmail.com