A family is laughing together by a lake at sunset in the Hudson Valley

Natural lighting for your family portraits

Why the time of day matters when planning your photography session


Stephanie Lozano Photography


I have been obsessed with natural light for as long as I can remember. It is soft, even, and there is something just so organically beautiful when the sunlight hits just right. There are beautiful photographs that can be created with artificial light, however, my process consists of strict use of natural light. I find it gives my photographs a magical quality, especially when I can capture that light just right. Because I use only natural light in my sessions, timing is so important when we plan a session together. I primarily schedule sessions for two times of day: Golden Hour (sunrise or sunset), or mid day when working indoors.

For sunrise and sunset sessions, I will generally plan our session to start within an hour of each depending on the time of day we choose. Exceptions to this would include if we are in the woods, and there is a lot of tree cover, then I may adjust the time slightly so I know we will have enough light. When the angle of the sun is low, light is soft, even, and warm, and it is absolute magic. Not to mention, incredibly flattering for portraits!

For indoor sessions, mid day is best. In contrast to outdoor sessions when I prefer the angle low, indoor sessions need a lot of ambient light. Between 11a-1p is my preferred time for indoor sessions, as it is the brightest time of day, and homes get the best light! When I arrive at your home, I will also take a peak around myself and plan out the best locations for photographs based on the lighting.

Good lighting is everything for photographs! It makes you look your best, and illuminates the entire image. Good lighting adds depth and emotion when used in a creative way, and it is so important to my work. When we plan our session, timing is imperative to capturing this beautiful light, so be sure to be on time for our session. Trust me, it is so worth it!


A mom is kissing her daughter during an autumn sunset


I wholeheartedly believe in the power of authentic documentation. Our stories and truths are not only a gift for ourselves, but also through the generations, becoming treasured keepsakes as proof of our place and time. My passion lies in storytelling that focuses on your present moments. Whether our adventures take us deep into the Hudson Valley, high in the Catskill Mountains, or within the comfort of your home, it is always about where you are meant to be and where you feel the most alive.