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How to Shoot Golden Hour Portraits with No Sun (and a Powerful Flash)


What happens if your portrait clients request golden hour lighting… outside of golden hour? That’s the situation photographer Pye Jirsa of Lin & Jirsa Photography found himself in recently while shooting a wedding. As you can see in the 4.5-minute video above, Jirsa was able to deliver by using creative lighting, a powerful flash, and a couple of colored gels.

The team “recreated the Sun” by placing a Profoto B1 flash several hundred feet behind the subjects, on the horizon line where the Sun would be during a real golden hour. This allows the light to shine through and hit all the objects in the scene, just like the real Sun would.



Two full CTO orange gels were also held in front of the flash to create a warm light that looks like sunlight.

Here are two of the faux golden hour photos that resulted:



You can find more lighting inspiration and examples over on the Profoto website.

Image credits: Video, still frames, and photographs by Lin & Jirsa Photography and courtesy Profoto