Game-Changing Photography: Shooting Golden Hour on Guam

Jessica Peterson

Golden Hour Photography on Guam

Learning to shoot during Golden Hour changed my photography game.

Golden Hour is the 60 minutes or so before the sun sets. The soft low light is ultra flattering on the face and skin looks great with a golden hue.

Get your subject to face the setting sun, which helps brighten the skin and eyes (and the model will thank you for not shooting in harsh, mid-day sun). Bring a reflector (and a friend to hold it) if you want to bounce the light onto your model’s face. If you want a hazy romantic shot, position your subject with the sun to their back and they will appear to glow.

Sunset is the perfect time to shoot landscapes, the beach, ocean, and waterfalls. Obviously, you’ve got to be well-prepared to get sunset shots as the moment is fleeting. Scout your location in advance if possible. If you’re shooting long exposures to get that silky water or capture light trails, set-up your tripod well before sunset, frame up the shot, and take a few test shots. Also, don’t forget your neutral density (ND) filters (which I used heavily in Iceland) so you can shoot at a higher exposure and slower shutter speed.

Blue Hour, right after the sun sets but the sky is blue, is optimal to capture silhouettes of mountains against the sky or city lights and urban scenes. Blue Hour gets a lot less hype, but lends itself to pretty cool pics as well. You will need artificial light to shoot a model during Blue Hour though.

One of my favorite places to shoot on Guam is Leo Palace. When I was working as an editor, I took a model out in a gold sequin dress to the red dirt for a fashion shoot. For this shoot, it was my turn to play in the clay.

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The light was so perfect for this shoot that we didn’t use any filters, reflectors, or tripod.

Jess-Leo-Palace-trees-V3Jess-Leo-Palace-fronds-VJess-Leo-Palace-Hills-V3Jess-Leo-Palace-camera-V3Jess-Leo-Palace-fronds-V3Jess-Leo-Palace-sun-VJess-Leo-Palace-fronds-V2  Jess-Leo-Palace-Hills-V1Jess-Leo-Palace-palms-close-VJess-Leo-Palace-trees-V4

Photography by Justin Baldovino

Lashes by Skye Shin at Entre Nous Salon

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What’s your favorite place to experience Golden Hour?

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Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson is a travel filmmaker, photographer, and journalist. She released her first documentary film about indigenous culture on Guam in 2016, after having lived nearly 7 years on the Pacific island.
Jessica Peterson
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