Recreating “Golden Hour” for Wedding Portraits When You Don’t Have Sun [RF Video of the Week]

By // January 22, 2016 // Posted in Featured Articles, Lighting, Video, Video of the Week

Ah, golden hour. While some wedding and portrait photographers are devoted to embracing the more neglected times of day (or night) for portraits, other photographers love it, and so do their clients. It’s one of those magical lighting scenarios that many brides have seen and want featured in their own portraits.

Pye Jirsa of Lin and Jirsa Photography was shooting a wedding whose bride articulated this exact preference, but as is often the case for weddings, timing was not on their side. The bride came outside for portraits just a little too late, and though she was at first disappointed, Jirsa assured her that he would make golden hour portraits happen anyway.

Pulling this off definitely takes a helping hand and a powerful source of light. The photographer instructed an assistant to hold a Profoto B1 several hundred feet behind the couple, trees and bushes, where the setting sun would have been. On top of the light they had stacked two full CTO gels to emulate the golden hue. Jirsa was shooting on a Canon 5D Mark III with a 70-200mm lens; the exposure was f/2.8 at 1/200 of a second, and his ISO was 1600. Then he fired away.

“When I showed my couple these images, they were simply blown away,” Jirsa says. “This is where being a photographer that understands lighting is such an awesome thing, because you can really go above and beyond and far exceed your client’s expectations, and make them think that you are an absolute magician—because you are.”

Check out more Videos of the Week, and email Libby Peterson with submissions.

Share This Article:

Libby Peterson

Libby Peterson

Libby Peterson is the Features Editor of Rangefinder. A Minneapolis native, she moved to New York after graduating from Indiana University’s School of Journalism in 2013, starting off as the magazine's editorial intern.

Previously from Libby Peterson:


  1. This video and shoot is one reason I pulled the trigger on purchasing the Profoto B1 set. I just love the idea of being able to do something like this. Well done and thanks