When it comes to shooting in natural light outdoors, there's little debate in the photography world that golden hour is the ultimate time for a photoshoot. Golden hour is the hour after sunrise, and the hour before sunset when the setting sun makes for the most gorgeous, warm lighting that makes any session a little more dreamy.
For me, I've always been #TeamSunrise and will always wake up early if it means I get to hike to the top of a mountain to watch the sun rise over the horizon. For Katlyn + Gerard's couples session, we picked a Winter's day with mild temperatures, and decided to hike to the top of a quick and easy mountain in Stoddard, NH for the sunrise.
While we did pick a day in December with more mild temperatures, it was still very chilly as we hiked in the dark up to the summit of this mountain. The wind at the top is generally always gusting as well, so I encouraged Katlyn + Gerard to keep jackets, hats, and mittens on during the session to keep them warm because I can definitely still make ya look cute in practical winter gear, don't you worry. I also packed loads of hand warmers so that everyone could have some in their jacket pockets to warm up their fingers often.
I love the challenge of going on an adventure in weather that most people would stay away from. Engaging in challenging weather, however, needs to be respected, so my expertise in Outdoor Leadership + Management (which I happened to study in college) goes a long way during more adventurous photoshoots like this one. Definitely do your research, bring extra backups of everything (including camera batteries!), and don't sacrifice your health and safety just for the shot.
That's my short lecture about adventuring safely! Now that we've gotten through that, let's move on.
As soon as the sun began to peek over the mountainous horizon in the distance, the warmth began to rise with it, which was greatly appreciated at that point. Katlyn + Gerard were absolute CHAMPS though and were having fun with each other the whole time. I love when couples listen to our prompts, but start laughing hysterically during them, or doing something only they would do in that moment! That's when the true magic is captured in photographs because personalities are coming through, making the photos look and feel more authentic.
Once the sun had fully risen, we hiked back down the mountain and got into our warm cars to head to the second location of their early morning session. Since we were all pretty familiar with the area, it was nice to be able to show off some of our favorite spots throughout this session. So we drove about 20 minutes down the road to a lake and beach area with wooded areas close by to add even more variety to their couples session.
At our second location, the sun streamed through the trees creating the most STUNNING light, and we definitely took advantage of it. I wanted to help warm Katlyn + Gerard up as well, whilst also playing up on their playful personalities, so I gave them a ton of moving prompts for photos that got them laughing and helped them feel even more comfortable in front of the camera. Being flexible and customizing my approach to suit you and your session best is the KEY to having a fun-filled session that doesn't feel stiff or forced. You'll leave the session with memories from a great experience that genuinely felt FUN!
It was such a fun morning romping around some of our stomping grounds, that it felt more like we were all hanging out rather doing a photoshoot, which is EXACTLY how I want your session with me to feel!
At the end of Katlyn + Gerard's session, we snapped a few polaroid pictures and took some selfies before heading our separate ways.
If you're looking for a photographer to document the big moments in your life, or even to celebrate the smaller, everyday moments, but you also want to have a fricken BLAST, then head to the Contact page here on my website to get in touch! I would absolutely love to chat with you :)
Thanks so much for reading, and speak soon!
The Francis Frames