This previous weekend I was able to experiment with taking pictures during "Magic Hour" or "Golden Hour", i.e. the time leading up to sunset. I was pleasantly surprised by the results of a pre-wedding session with the bride and groom I did on Sunday. The window of time is fairly small but the potential to take great photographs is huge, starting just more than an hour before the sun disappears below the horizon.
As you may notice above, I took the opportunity to get a great lens flare and in this particular case, a good reflection of the Sun also. I will admit I did have trouble at first because I tried to take pictures of the couple with the Sun behind them. This method seems possible and creative but I think I will need more equipment set up for this, as the faces were dark and the proper off-camera flash setup would easily fix the problem. However, once I realized I should use the Sun as the primary light source I was amazed. The Sun was still high and bright so it illuminated the subjects very well and my on-camera strobe helped slightly also.
I will most definitely keep Golden Hour in mind the next time I book a photography session. Also, I look forward to trying a few other ideas, I noticed that during this time, the Sun casts interesting shadows through trees, and as it begins to move lower in the sky it could create dramatic shadows on faces. Just before sunset it is said that the sky becomes a rich shade of blue and I have noticed the area surrounding the sun takes on a pink and orange hue. While processing the photos I learned the rumors are true and I believe there does seem to be something truly magical happening at the end of every day.