How to time your wedding photography for sunset?


Many couples and wedding photographers now asking wedding coordinators to reserve the “golden hour” to take pictures of the newlyweds. Well, the “golden hour” can pass very quickly, so if you’re not already out shooting when the golden light starts, it’s likely to be over by the time you are ready. The “golden hour” is that first and last hour of sunset on each day. Often the most majestic and breathtaking light that we see during the course of a day, it is in fact only a “golden 30 minutes” at best. You may use this online golden hour calculator to get an accurate time of your wedding venue: http://golden-hour.com/

As a wedding coordinator, how do you schedule the ceremony to accommodate the time for sunset portraits? I would suggest scheduling the wedding ceremony an hour and a half before sunset. Why? Assuming the wedding is going to last around 30 minutes, it would be done an hour before sunset. The light starts to fall out about an hour before sunset, but there will still be plenty of light for portraits with family and wedding guests. Formal portraits generally take around an hour to photograph, with the last 10-15 minutes of the pictures generally being the bride and groom’s portraits. At that point, the sun will be setting.

Don’t forget to share some beautiful work you did! We love to see how our alumni are doing.
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Photo credit: Studio X Photography

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Using Candles at Weddings


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The use of candles as part of a religious ritual, ceremony, or service, provided that such candles are located in a portion of a room, building, or premises not normally occupied by any persons except those charged with ministration duties, and provided that such candles are safely supported in an approved manner.

The request for the Special Permit must be made in person, with the type of candles, holding device, and floral arrangement, if used, to the Los Angeles Fire Department, Bureau of Fire Prevention.

The following are the Los Angeles Fire Department’s minimum fire safety requirements for the use of open flame, candles, and their holding devices in a public assemblage:

  1. All candles shall be secured in a nonflammable solid holding device and protected by an enclosure. Exception: Floating candles may not need to be secured.
  2. The flame tip from the candle must be maintained a minimum of 2 inches below the top opening of an enclosure or “Hurricane” at all times.
  3. When used as part of a decoration or centerpiece, the flame of the candle shall not be within 6 inches of cut fresh foliage, nor within 12 inches of dry foliage or other combustibles at any time.
  4. Only one centerpiece used for holding candles shall be approved per table unit regardless of the table size or shape.
  5. The use of multiple loose candles or candle holding devices is not permitted. If more than one candle or candle holding device are used on each table, those candles or candle holding devices shall be placed and secured on a common base. The amount of candles or candle holding devices placed on each table unit shall be limited to 4. The base shall be constructed of a noncombustible solid material.
  6. Candles in excess of 4 may be permitted for use on candelabras on a case-by case basis.
  7. Candles or candle holding devices shall be placed at least 24 inches from the table’s edge, and a minimum of 5 feet from curtains, drapes, or other decorations.

For more information, please contact your event venue and local fire department.