Sunrise vs. Sunset Photoshoots

Photo Shoot Tips

One of the questions my clients ask me most is how to choose between sunrise vs. sunset photoshoots. The truth is there is no “right” option, especially living on the beautiful island of Oahu. I’ve captured dozens of shoots during both sunset and sunrise, all with stunning results! That being said, there are benefits and drawbacks with both options, which I’m laying out for you below. 

Sunrise Photoshoots – Benefits

  • Golden Hour: We all know the benefits of a golden hour shoot – hello, extra glowy lighting and extra flawless looking photos! The best places to capture the A.M. Golden Hour on Oahu are  the East, South and North side. Keep that in mind when planning your locations. 
  • Soft Light & Pastels: Morning shoots typically offer a softer light and a more pastel-colored sky. If this is the look you’re going for, you’d probably prefer a sunrise shoot 
  • Beat the Traffic: The benefit to a sunrise shoot is we start so early, that you face less traffic on the roads and less people at our shooting location 
  • Done Early: With a sunrise shoot, we’re normally wrapped by 7-8 AM. Aka any potential nerves around your shoot are gone. Cross “epic photoshoot” off your to-do list, enjoy the rest of the day, and eagerly await your completed gallery! 

Sunrise Photoshoots – Drawbacks

  • Early Wake-Up: If you’re not an early bird, the obvious drawback of a sunrise shoot is that it requires an early start. I recommend starting a sunrise shoot at 5:45 – 6:45 AM, depending on the location. If you’re hiring hair and make-up for the shoot, that will require an even earlier wake-up time. 
  • Location Limitations: Some beaches/locations aren’t open to the public in time for sunrise photoshoots. So, if you have a specific location in mind, be sure to check their hours first! Don’t worry though, I have a long list of dreamy locations that I frequent and can assure are open at sunrise. 

Sunset Photoshoots – Benefits

  • Golden Hour: The best places to capture the P.M. Golden Hour on Oahu are the West, North and East Side. 
  • Vibrant Skies: If you’re looking for more dramatic, vibrant, skies Sunset is probably the winning choice for you. Plus, we can grab some moodier shots post-sunset if you like. 
  • Get Your Beauty Rest: A sunset shoot means no stress about waking up early or getting ready in the dark. Keep those precious ZZZs! 
  • Beaches Galore: Since all beaches in Hawai’i are open until Sunset, you have lots of locations to choose from.  

Sunset Photoshoots – Drawbacks

  • Busy-ness: The reason the “early bird gets the worm” is because most of the other birds are still sleeping. A sunset photoshoot allows you to sleep in a bit longer in the  morning, but you do run the chance of more evening traffic to and from your shoot. It also means there may be more people out and about while we’re shooting. I can always edit people out of the background of your photos but it is something to keep in mind – especially for my more shy clients. 

Like I said, Sunrise vs. Sunset photoshoots, there’s no right answer! They both offer gorgeous natural backdrops for your photos. It really comes down to your lifestyle and visual preferences. If you’re naturally an early-riser why not get that Sunrise photoshoot out of the way? If you’re a night owl – go ahead and book that Sunset shoot. In the case you’re booking a family photoshoot – take into consideration which time of day your family is most available and most energized so we can give you the most stress free shoot!

If you’re ready to book your dream photoshoot, book a session with me HERE