Golden Hour – it is a magical gorgeousness. But did you know that golden hour does not only happen at sunset - sunrise has it's own look and a feel to it? A lot of times we look at an image and it has certain LOOK AND A FEEL to it but we can’t express in words exactly what it is. We just feel something. I wouldn't be good at what I do if my images did not invoke a feeling. I want you to look at your images years down the road and have the emotions flooding right back, feel the emotions of that moment, remember the sounds of the waves and your kids giggling, remember the touch of their soft hair, remember the baby smell of your newborn. Let’s discuss so you can make a decision which time of the day captures your family best


First the colors – the sky during sunrise tends to have soft blues, creamy pastel hues. It is very calming, peaceful, soft look. The water takes on a lighter blue hue and it creates a dreamy glowing look to an image. The image feels serene, ethereal, warm and loving. Another perk of sunrise is non-crowded beaches. It is such a huge difference to be at the same beach at 7am when no one is there or 7pm when we can’t find a parking spot. In addition- a lot of kids are in better mood in the morning, ready to start the day so that might be a win for parents who already have to wake up early. And for busy parents, the day is freed up to enjoy other activities.

The cons of sunrise are …. Well waking up early. That is about it. In the summer months, we start our session around 7am. If you wanted to get your hair professionally done that can be a con. I do love the natural beauty look, light makeup and soft beach hair looks amazing. We are there to capture the love and connection between the people you love.

One consideration is that not all beaches open at sunrise. The ones that do and are my go to favorites are Fred Howard Beach in Tarpon Springs (gorgeous rocks) Ft. De Soto North Beach in St. Pete (in low tide it is pure magic) and Sand Key Beach in Clearwater (sun rises over a beautiful water bridge) 


Sunset is where that magical golden hour really comes out. I love playing with the sun, creating artistic images with the sun flares (always natural, no photoshoot. I believe in beauty of the moment and authentically capturing those moments). This dreamy golden glow is when we can create some amazing kissed by the sun captures, get the dreamy golden haze look. While sunrise light tends to be more blue, softer and calmer, sunset skies have more vividness and drama to them. The gorgeous warm light covers everything in the sparkles of gold and orange hues. The gold rays brush softly through the hair. The skies can turn into a dreamy cotton candy clouds. I absolutely love the magic of that golden glow and having sun’s rays peeking out though rocks on the beach.

The cons are – beaches are much busier in the evenings. With late summer nights, not all kids are happy to stay up late. On summer nights, sunsets can be as late as 8:30 pm, so your little ones will be up late. Otherwise, it is just as perfect for that dreamy, golden glow.


Now we also do have overcast weather, I mean we do live in Tampa Bay - Pinellas beaches would not be Pinellas beaches without all summer storms. No problem. I love me some stormy clouds. Overcast is great, promise. The light is soo soft, I am not worried about family squinting or harsh shadows on people's faces like full harsh sun can produce. Then I add some drama to the stormy clouds (my favorite colors for stormy skies are blues) and we create emotive images full of passion, love and connection.

Whether or not sunrise or sunset magic at any of the beaches here in Clearwater, St. Pete or Tarpon Springs is the right setting for your family session, the first step is selecting a right photographer to tell your family's authentic story. Learn more about me and check out my Tampa Bay Lifestyle Family Photography Portfolio. Contact me to tell your authentic family story and preserve the memories for years to come.