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Outdoor Photography Tips from Jen CYK - Golden Hour Moments

Happy summer everyone! I hope you have enjoyed these days to their fullest! This is Jen from Jen CYK Photographyand I’m back {as a new contributor, check out my about me page!} to inspire you to take some beautiful pictures as this season winds down.

Who doesn’t love glorious summer evenings? It stays light out super late. It stays warm out all night. And there’s a sweet glow in the sky that cannot be duplicated. With all of these elements, let me inspire you to get outside, and take some pictures, during the Beautiful Moments At Golden Hour!

Pictures At Golden Hour

Pictures At Golden Hour

golden hour photo tips

Pictures At Golden Hour

diy photography tips

Pictures At Sunset



By: Jen Hrycyk

You have probably heard the phrase “golden hour.” It’s the time of day about half an hour before the sun sets, when the sky has a warm and happy glow. It’s the time of day that you want to bask in the light and just smile. If you haven’t taken the time to notice, step outside this evening and take it in! The thing with golden hour, is whether you’re a professional photographer, an amateur photographer, a mom-tographer or an iphone-ographer, you can take advantage of this incredible light.


– A camera (DSLR, point and shoot, or iPhone)
– A subject (your kids, your love, your friends, your pet)
– A setting (a beach, a field, a driveway, or anywhere else!)
– Golden hour sunlight ;)


I find that my best golden hour pictures are created when I’m looking into the sun with my camera. This means whoever you’re taking pictures of, you’ll want the sun behind them. This will also help them not to squint.

Now, find a cool location. I live in Southern California, so I have amazing beaches. But maybe you live in the midwest, and have an awesome corn field near you. Maybe there’s a beautiful lake around the corner. Or keep it simple….step outside your house, into the middle of your street where it’s wide open (but please look out for cars, hehe).

From here, point and shoot away! There are times when I can’t see my subject’s faces because I’m looking into the sun directly. So I take plenty of shots, and get some of my most favorite images come from these  moments. Don’t be scared of mistakes….they’re pictures, there aren’t mistakes. Just memories.

If you want to add one more element, let some your camera lens see some sun rays. This is called “sun flare.” Sun flare is when you can literally see rays of sunlight in your picture. Just lift your lens up a little more than you normally would, and you’ll literally see rays of sun as you’re taking your picture. Sometimes you even get an extra bonus, a few rainbow sparkles sneak their way in your picture!


The amazing thing about pictures, is there’s no right or wrong answer! They’re about documenting everyday moments in your life. And if you can use nature to enhance those moments, then your pictures can only get better!

Also, try some silly ideas. If you’re taking pictures of your daughter, ask her to twirl around for you. If you’re taking pictures of your son, ask him to tell a joke to get a genuine smile. Asking people to be silly always makes for more natural moments. Just make sure to do all of these things with the glowing golden hour sun behind your subject.

Take this inspiration and run with it! I promise these tips will help you to create some amazing images that will last a lifetime!