How to Plan a Successful Sunset Portrait Session

In this article you will get some solid tips for planning and executing a sunset portrait session. Learn how to take the images that you and your subjects will love.

Plan ahead for a successful sunset portrait

Many photographers feel overwhelmed when they start photographing portraits, professionally or for fun.

Where should I shoot? How should I pose people? What lens should I use? What settings should I be using? When should I move them to/from a great spot? What should I say to get great emotion?

A plan will give you confidence and help alleviate some of the immediate pressure of decision making. It’s not restrictive because often the best shots are unplanned, but rather something to give you confidence and a direction to fall back on when you aren’t feeling inspired.

Here is our rough plan for all of our sunset shoots, whether it be an engagement, part of a wedding, family portrait, maternity, or outdoor newborn session. Our sunset portrait sessions are always planned approximately one hour before sunset.

This plan’s purpose is twofold – it not only helps you have more confidence and direction, but will also help you make the most of your location and sunset lighting.


Plan to arrive at least 20-30 minutes early to scout a new location. You never know what amazing little lane or spot may be just around the corner, so it’s worth taking some extra time to explore. It’s also nice to arrive before your client so that you can make them feel welcome upon their arrival.

Read the full article in Digital Photography School

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