When picking the perfect image, the goal is often to show rich, authentic moments of people, places and things. This can be extremely difficult to portray, especially when working with photos of young children. Below, find examples of five photos that capture those truly stunning moments that we all want to experience, emphasized during the golden hour. The golden hour is the period of time shortly after sunrise or just before sunset where the lighting is soft, warm and makes capturing the perfect photo simple. Explore the concepts of childhood, warmth, and the freedom of exploration!


Young man in a field at sunset by Aleksandr Makaranka

This photo takes the concept of a portrait to a new level. The composition, along with the open sky and blurred foreground, provide a designer with a wealth of space to work with and crop, add text or other visual imagery, etc. In addition, the rich, pink and brown tones of the sky are an open invitation for the viewer to experience what is a warm, rich moment. The young boy stares directly at the camera with a facial expression that is difficult to discern. Is he happy, sad, worried, contemplative? Let your own audience be the judge!


Wet Leaves by Jessica Drossin

This young girl, playing in the wet leaves with her yellow raincoat, boots and umbrella reminds one of the smell of rain and the joy of playing in puddles as a child. The artfully captured reflection of the girl in the water creates a beautiful dynamic against the warm tones of the overall composition. The line of fence and narrow path of water create a dynamic that draws a viewer’s eye into the photo and makes the bright, young girl, dressed in yellow, the focus of the scene.


Light by Suzy Mead

Light is always such an important part of photography. The warm feel of sun on your face and late autumn days are captured in this photo with the use of rich tones and soft rays of light. The young girl appears to be in the middle of turning around to greet her parent or another loved one and looks joyful to be enjoying such a poignant part of the day. Her adorable attire, ponytail and positioning create a welcoming scene, and the soft, open space on the right leaves some copy space for a designer to explore.


Young boy running by Keren Woodgyer

Capturing children at play can always be difficult since a photographer has to think carefully about camera angle, lighting, shutter speed, etc. This photo of a young boy, running with his arms stretched wide brings to mind a feeling of freedom and pretending to fly when one was a child. The orange light creates that same, warm glow as seen in the previous three photos and the motion of the child’s hair and uplifted leg give the true impression of movement.


On Fire by Tanya Little

To top off this set of five photos, who doesn’t love an imperfect portrait! Where some photos capture children extremely composed with not a hair out of place, this photo encapsulates the true ambiance of childhood. Running around outside, hanging upside down, playing in the fall leaves and afternoon sun are just many of the joys to be captured by the rich, orange light bouncing off the green grass. The young boys bright red hair, tousled from hanging upside down, only goes to enhance that playful feeling. The direct expression of the child with his clear blue eyes has a look of mischievousness and adventure.

Find this lightbox  and explore images that spark warm memories on 500px Licensing. Share your work inspired by the golden hour with us in the comments below!