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Sunset Wedding Photos: 5 Tips To Help You Get Them Right

For couples who love the idea of grand endings, sunset wedding photos can be a great addition to the shot list – even if it requires a few changes in your timeline. The natural backdrop of crimson, red, and purple hues can make for breathtaking wedding images. And what’s not to love – a sunset can be a brilliant time to get the best of natural frames, soft lighting, and it’s an ideal time to create a romantic setting that you could capture through your camera. So if your couple is having an outdoor wedding – or is willing to travel to an outdoor location – and have decided to take sunset wedding photos – then here’s how you could make that happen.

Tips For Taking Sunset Wedding Photos

1. Prepare

Preparation, timing, and posing are crucial for incredible sunset wedding photos

To get those stunning sunset photos, it is crucial that you plan ahead. On the wedding day, check what the weather is going to be like, note the time the sun is predicted to set and keep your eye on the clock. If it rained a day before the wedding or even on the morning of the wedding day, you might want to ask your couple to pack an extra pair of shoes to keep them from spoiling their wedding shoes. Also, double-check if you have all the equipment – camera, lights, tripod, reflectors, extra batteries, and anything else you may need during the shoot.

2. Arrive At Least an Hour Before Sunset

To execute your plan successfully and to have enough time to prepare, consider reaching the location at least an hour before sunset, especially if the location is far from the reception venue. The sky keeps changing colors during dusk, but that perfect golden hour is often a fleeting moment. So even if you have been to the location before and know all the right photography spots, reaching early gives you the option to catch the sky change colors, and get some variety in those sunset wedding photos.

3. Give Posing Direction

Your couple may be perfectly comfortable in front of the camera and know exactly how to pose, or they might not be so confident while taking photos and not know where to place their hands, what poses would suit them, or where to look when your camera is pointed at them. If your couple happens to be the latter, try to guide them through different poses throughout the session. Instead of just directing them through one post after another, you could initially let them pose however they feel comfortable and see how you can work that into the sunset wedding photos. Giving posing cues could make a huge difference in the pictures that you get. Learn how to pose your couples better with this guide.

4. Get Creative With Lighting

A bride and groom holding each other beside a tree as the sunlight peek in from the groom's side
Image Credit @jodibphotography

Most sunset photos are often backlit, putting the focus on the background and making it vivid. This can sometimes lead your subject to appear dark and not properly lit. To strike the right balance between vivid backgrounds and a well-lit subject, you can use off-camera flash. Using an off-camera fill flash, you can reflect light on your couples so that their faces and attire are adequately lit. To warm the light, you can use CTO gel.

Another way to experiment with light and one of the most sought-after sunset photos is where the natural light is filtered through trees and creates either a creative lens flare or a sunlit peek-a-boo effect. If you are photographing in a forested area or a space surrounded by trees, this may be fairly easy to create. Try taking this type of photo towards the end of the sunset – when the sun’s light is not very sharp and filtering it creates a soft effect.

5. Experiment With Silhouettes

A bride and groom holding hands and posing in front of a lake during sunset
Image Credit @brianbossany

Sunsets often offer the opportunity to take some stellar silhouettes. If you are near a lake or a water body, try experimenting with the reflection as well. The most preferred time to capture silhouettes is 15-20 minutes before sunset. During this time, the light is softer, and the sky gets painted in various hues of orange, purple, and red. So find the spot where you can create a solid outline of your couple as the natural light creates that perfect silhouette. When creating silhouettes, try experimenting with poses, angles, and perspectives to give them that unique finish.

Related Read: Silhouette Wedding Photography Inspiration From ShootDotEdit Customers

Keep With Time

Infographic stating experiment with lighting and perspective for romantic sunset photos

Taking photos of your couple as the sun sets undoubtedly creates a romantic setting and also gives you plenty of options to experiment with lighting and perspectives. When outdoors, try using elements such as trees, lamp posts, or water bodies to your benefit. And remember, when it comes to sunset wedding photos, timing is everything, so keep your eye on the watch and be prepared. Also, if you don’t manage to get those exact sunset colors in camera, don’t worry. During post-production, you could make some edits to achieve the desired effect.

At ShootDotEdit, we love bringing you ideas that will help you stand out as a wedding photographer. We also strive to make editing effortless by taking it off your plate. Learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business through our pricing plans.


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