Forums > Photography Talk > When is the worst time of day for a photoshoot?



Posts: 25319

Bath, England, United Kingdom

Any time when you don't have a model to shoot! wink

Just my $0.02


Feb 02 13 09:33 am Link


Images By Joseph

Posts: 895

Naperville, Illinois, US

Kaouthia wrote:
Any time of day works for me.  You can always put up flags or diffusers, add flash, stand your subject in open shade, all kinds of stuffs. smile


Feb 02 13 09:36 am Link



Posts: 4705

New York, New York, US

When models (or myself) are tired and/or hungry.

Feb 02 13 09:39 am Link


Beautifully Soft Focus

Posts: 530

Peoria, Illinois, US

It depends on where you live and the time of the year ... late spring, summer, early fall ... 10 am to 4:00 pm ,  in the southern U.S. its just too hot wink  The model is melting, which is really not a problem as sweat looks good on them depending on shooting theme, but I am melting ... my sweat and my camera don't like ... check that ... hate each other sad

Be easy,


Feb 02 13 09:43 am Link



Posts: 9063

Seattle, Washington, US

i use natural light exclusively, so inside or outside, the worst time is when the sun disappears.

Feb 02 13 09:54 am Link



Posts: 774

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US

I don't think it's so much the time of day, but more so the weather and the clouds. I would say right before sunset is the best time though. Just because the lighting is so gorgeous.

Feb 02 13 11:28 am Link



Posts: 9207

Alpharetta, Georgia, US

Jaz S wrote:
I know I've heard over and over again that around 2pm is the worst.. (1-3). Due to harsh lighting, shadows, etc.
If that's the case, would around 11am and 12pm be around the same? Or should you really only shoot the first few hours after the sun comes up or down?
I would love your experienced opinions! Thanks!

edit: and of course I mean outdoor shoots :p

There is no such thing as worse time of a day for photo shoot if you great the sun as one of the light source. smile

  But generally speaking, people who uses the sun as their only main light source, there definitely certain time of the day is better.

Feb 02 13 11:32 am Link


Connor Photography

Posts: 7425

Newark, Delaware, US

SPV Photo wrote:
2:00 AM would probably suck. tongue

Not at north pole on a summer day.  tongue

Feb 02 13 02:50 pm Link


Rebel Photo

Posts: 11446

Florence, South Carolina, US

the deciding factor is weather, the look desired, experience and equipment.

It's landscapes where the Golden hours are a must... not so much portraits.

Feb 02 13 03:03 pm Link


AVD AlphaDuctions

Posts: 10640

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

when calculating the time of day remember daylight savings time.  high noon is really 1PM.

to be safe, shoot at high noon December 21st smile
its the least-worst

Feb 02 13 03:07 pm Link


Posh Penny Photography

Posts: 1

Canton, Georgia, US

Like others said, I get a reflector if needed. Or I use a fill flash if needed.

Feb 02 13 03:33 pm Link


Jon Macapodi

Posts: 296

New York, New York, US

It's only a bad time of day when you're unwilling to play by the rules of the sun (either stubbornness, ignorance, or creative goals that necessitate different conditions). I love shooting in harsh 1pm sun without reflectors as much as I love shooting in overcast, or dusk, etc.

You just need to plan ahead and have creative flexibility in case that plan goes to hell.

Feb 02 13 03:40 pm Link


David Nelson Photograph

Posts: 348

San Antonio, Texas, US

Aside from all the other considerations, 11AM to 3PM are the worst.  I do shoot at those times, but it requires finding open shade, diffusing the light, filling in the shadows, etc.  If you're using just the natural light without modification, you are going to have hotspots, washed out color, models that squint and dark hollows under the eyes (shooting in open shade).

If money is an issue a 5-1 reflector (the biggest you can get) will solve a lot of issues.  You can use it to reflect light into the eyes of your subject and if it is large enough you can take off the cover and use the translucent panel as a diffuser and shoot directly in the main light.  You do need an assistant, to manipulate the reflector.

Feb 02 13 03:49 pm Link



Posts: 406

Lüderitz, Karas, Namibia

No such thing as bad time of the day for photography. As its all about light, it would differ from LOCATION to Location. Also,it depends what the theme is, or the concept.Way to many good shoots have been wasted, because the photographer already decided beforehand,whats working and not, instead of waiting to see what the LIGHT can offer.Always prepare well, BUT,leave also some scope for change while on site.

Lets take the location where my studio is. If you come to shoot here, with the mindset that the golden hours is the RULE OF PHOTOGRAPHY, you gonna miss out on 80% of the fun of photography.Best light to shoot here,is from 11h00 in the morning till 14h00.

Feb 02 13 10:34 pm Link


Art Silva

Posts: 9709

Santa Barbara, California, US

I can't tell you which is the worse time to shoot because as a photographer you should adapt to the light given, although the best time is the magic hour for skin exposures IMO, stay away for harsh mid day sunlight if you're doing beauty work unless you have a scrim to use.

Never a bad time because its a controlled environment.

Feb 02 13 10:57 pm Link



Posts: 2978

Oxnard, California, US


Feb 02 13 11:04 pm Link



Posts: 75

Orem, Utah, US

Whatever time it is when you don't have the right stuff to control the light the way you want.

I think the consensus will be the harsh mid-day light...but that's only true if it's not what you want and don't have the tools to change it to something more useful, right?

Feb 03 13 02:55 am Link


Select Models

Posts: 36284

Rancho Cucamonga, California, US

SPV Photo wrote:
2:00 AM would probably suck. tongue

Actually that's one of the best... cool temps in the summer... no crowds... borat

Feb 03 13 03:12 am Link


Robert Mossack

Posts: 1261

Joplin, Missouri, US

With the proper preparation, any time is good.

Feb 03 13 06:17 am Link


Neil Snape

Posts: 9474

Paris, Île-de-France, France

Rules are to be broken after you understand why.

For me nothing better than harsh sunlight at 2pm.

On the Creative Live webinar with Lara can't remember she said don't shoot with direct light it doesn't work.

Nothing could be more wrong.

Time of day not to shoot, only when you or the team/model are too tired. Then just take a siesta, and start when you're ready to play again.

Feb 03 13 06:27 am Link


Marin Photography NYC

Posts: 7319

New York, New York, US

Rakesh Malik wrote:

Edit: misread it...

You can ALWAYS have enough power to match the sun, by using the sun. That is, a reflector.

One large reflector is all you need...

Feb 03 13 06:38 am Link



Posts: 9063

Seattle, Washington, US

Select Models wrote:

Actually that's one of the best... cool temps in the summer... no crowds... borat

is that sunlight? hmm

Feb 03 13 06:40 am Link



Posts: 4605

Jacksonville, Florida, US

RacerXPhoto wrote:
Golden hour … hotography
Unless you have enough strobe power to nuke the sun

This was taught in my photography classes, although it was 2 hours after sunrise and 2 hours before sunset, also take in digital editing/ retouching, mid-day shoots outdoors can possibly be corrected due to harsh sunlight/ shadow...etc., but of course we try to fix all that with stuff such as shades, reflectors, fill-flash...etc.

Feb 03 13 06:41 am Link



Posts: 3152

Lancaster, England, United Kingdom

ShotbyRon wrote:
I don't think it's so much the time of day, but more so the weather and the clouds.

Yup, weather and clouds play a big part.

This was shot at 1pm yesterday, with just available light when a cloud briefly went past the sun.

And this was 10 minutes later when the sun came back out.  Use the sun as a rim, add an SB-900 in a 24" box, and away we go (1/1000th @ f/8, ISO100).

Feb 03 13 06:49 am Link


Derek Ridgers

Posts: 994

London, England, United Kingdom

This is the kind of forum question which is very hard to take seriously because, as others have said, it's lacking any sort of qualification.

Some people might think that the harsh overhead sun of noon, or thereabouts, would be the worst time but in the hands of a photographer with ideas and vision it can be exactly that which separates the work from the ordinary (always assuming one wants to escape the ordinary and the commonplace).

For instance the work of Viviane Sassen -

Try taking some of those shots at the golden hour :-)

So, creatively speaking, shooting at the worst time of day or at any time when most others will stay at home, might actually be to ones advantage.

Feb 03 13 04:42 pm Link


Herman Surkis

Posts: 9819

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Before I have had my coffee.

Feb 03 13 07:46 pm Link