So, today I went for an early (very early, 7am early, and it’s Sunday =D) morning photoshoot, to make pictures for new SKILLSHARE class. The reason was that I wanted to make pictures during the magic hour. (The giant pumpkin result picture is right down the end of the post)
As you may know, magic hour is the the first or the last hour of sunlight, meaning you only have about an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. Magic hour pictures are indeed magical, and if you never tried it, oh I so advice you to do so! You will be amazed how whimsical pictures can be.
But, anyway, back to the photoshoot preparation.
Here are a few organisations tips if you are planning to do an early morning photoshoot.
Prepare everything the night before and put it into a bag. And I really mean everything and very importantly into the bag. Camera, lenses, props, tripod (if you use any), memory cards and batteries – all in one place. So that in the morning you don’t have to run around the house mindlessly looking for anything and ultimately forgetting something important – everything will be already in one place, you just have to pick up your photography bag and go. This is especially important for all those night owls among us =) For example, although I did pack my bag the night before, while packing I put camera battery to charge in my room, planning to pack it in the morning. Needless to say, being sleepy, I forgot all about it. I did have second one packed in my bag, so all was fine and I didn’t have to go back. But you see my point, right? =)
Dress accordingly. If your photoshoot is outdoors and you don’t spend a lot of time running around fields at 7 am in October, I really suggest to check the weather forecast and wear something warm. Because it can be cold and doing a photo session when you are short on time (magic hour goes fast), while all you can think about is a warm jumper you left at home won’t do any good to your images (and you =D )
Check the weather forecast. Yes, again. This time, however check if it will be sunny. Because the point of magic hour is that warm, hazy sunlight. Like on this picture. And if the day is overcast or rainy…well I don’t see the point of waking up so early then =)
Scout the location before. That is of course if you have any time the evening before or even a few days before. So that in the morning you don’t have to walk/drive around looking for a perfect place.
Think about your shoot – the idea, the pose, the setting. Once again, since the magic hour is quite short, it’s better using it for actual picture taking, rather than thinking what to do, and how to go about your photoshoot. I draw a few sketches of the pictures I need to make, so that will not miss anything.
Adjust the exposure. Morning, and evening light is not stable, it changes. Well that’s pretty obvious. Just keep in mind, if you shoot in manual, be sure to check your exposure settings every 5-10 minutes or so, because the amount of light will increase as the sun will rise and exposure settings would have to be changed accordingly.
I rarely make morning photoshoots, as I’m not really a morning person. But I think I will definitely be doing more of those into the future. Morning is such a quiet and creative time. Especially on weekend, when no-one is around to ask what are you doing in the middle of the field with a tripod and a camera =D And as a bonus, you can enjoy the beauty of the sunrise – a perfect way to start the day =)
And this is the result of the photoshoot and some photoshopping, all about which you can learn in the class Creative Photography: Grow Your Own Giant Pumpkin! =)