Photography has everything to do with light. So the time of day to shoot is very important. But remember, it all has to do with light.
Here is how I chooses the best time of day to shoot.
In the Morning
The morning sunrise produces beautiful soft light and soft shadows making it very easy to take breathtaking photos.
Though not very convenient, the morning sunrise is absolutely gorgeous, and a fantastic time of day to shoot!
Sometimes (depending on where you live) you get really nice mist which will create an interesting dreamy environment.
I love shooting in the morning and wish I had more opportunities to.
Something to keep in mind though. You only have so much time like this. The environment changes by the minute and it changes fast. So don’t feel rushed, but also don’t let the time get away from you.
Also, keep in mind which direction the sun is coming up when choosing your photo locations.
Middle of the Day
The middle of the day during a sunny day is the hardest time of day to shoot in. It’s way too bright, causing blown out highlights and super dark shadows.
If you can find a nice shadowy area, you can pull it off, but if you absolutely have no choice, you can shoot in the direct sun. But be very aware of shadows and highlights, it can be challenging.
In the Evening
The evening is my most favorite time to shoot. You get really nice long soft shadows and soft light. This is the best time to get fantastic natural light. I try to schedule every possible session for the evening for the best images.
The Golden Hour
Golden hour is the time of day just before the sun goes over the horizon.
When your shooting in the golden hour, the colors are absolutely stunning! Like in the morning, you get very soft shadows and highlights. But again, you are very limited on time.
Golden hour can be tricky though as faces can easily become washed out and turn a nasty orange tint which is caused be the sun reflecting off of your lens. Sometimes a lens hood will help with this, but not always, because your practically shooting right unto the sun.
Try blocking the sun with something like a tree or your subject to reduce this effect.
In Overcast (Bonus)
Shooting in overcast is great! Though you don’t get the beautiful light as you would otherwise, you can shoot at any time of the day in overcast. And you can shoot in any direction. The clouds naturally diffuse the light, making the perfect shooting environment.