I have had people ask me in the past when the best time to take portraits is. I thought I would turn it into a blog post and share it with all of you. I learned early on in my journey as a photographer that the best time is called the golden hour. During the golden hour the light becomes soft and bounces off everything. Creating ideal lighting for portraits.
Now, speaking from experience I think the best time to shoot is actually the hour as the sunsets, not before it. So this would be a half hour before the sun dips below the horizon and a half hour after. After the sun dips down the light continues to bounce beautifully all over. I have noticed that sunsets become generally more dramatic as the sun creeps towards the horizon. Providing stunning backdrops. Here is a little list of tips to think about when you are photographing people, besides the time of day.
*Remember, a professional image doesn't have what the industry calls "raccoon eyes". This is caused by the subject being placed incorrectly in alignment with the light. Your subject should be placed with the light source (the sun in this case) behind them . If the light is overhead you will get shadows caused by the eye socket which gives you "raccoon eyes". You always want your eyes to pop and never fall into shadow....unless your doing it on purpose.
*Remember that shooting straight into the sun gives lens flair, if you use your lens cap this can help reduce flair and haze.
There are a couple of tips for you budding photographers out there! Now practice shooting at sunset, with your subjects back to the sun. Enjoy!