Best time for a photography session in Bora Bora

13 Apr 2016 Damien Gobron In Bora Bora, Photography

If there’s one thing that can make or break a photograph more than any other, it’s lighting. This is particularly true in outdoor photography because you’re completely reliant on the natural light. As a result, it’s critical to find the right time of day to shoot your outdoor scene.

When should I schedule my session in Bora Bora?

What is the Golden Hour?

The golden hour, sometimes called the “magic hour“, is roughly the last hour of light before sunset, although the exact duration varies between seasons. During this time the sun is low in the sky, producing a soft, diffused light which is much more flattering than the harsh midday sun.

1.Morning photography

If you want your pictures in Bora Bora to capture the turquoise colours of the lagoon, and the magnificent mountain Otemanu in the background, the best time would be very early in the morning (around 7 to 9 am).

That implies having to go out at times when you’d rather be curled up in bed, but it’s worth the sacrifice 😉

As an added benefit, there are generally fewer people around than there are at other times of the day, giving you a chance to capture your images in relative peace.

I totally discourage people to shoot in midday (from 10am to 2pm),  the sun is too harsh, not flattering, it will get too hot so you will be sweating a lot and most importantly, you won’t be able to open your eyes.

bora bora photography damien gobron

bora bora photographer damien gobron

2. Sunset photography

If you are not a morning person, or you wish you have your hair and make up done for your photo shooting in Bora Bora, the afternoon is your best choice (from 3 to 6 pm). This light is softer and more flattering for the subject. Also, if you eyes are very sensitive to strong light, it will be easier for you to open them. The warm glow and the golden hour adds a pleasing feel to the scene, making the picture more dreamy and romantic. As an added benefit, you can have silhouettes sunset pictures with the last rays of the day.



In order to know the exact time of sunset and schedule your session accordingly, follow this link :

However, don’t see this time as a target but more like a limit.
For example, if sunset time is 17h30, I recommend a session from 16h to 17h (consider that horizon is always a bit cloudy and that makes us loose the light around half an hour before the sunset time). I’d rather make sure we have great pictures secured with available light for granted rather than risking a late shooting if the sunset is not perfect.
When the sun is gone, there is no more light and the session is over.
Golden hour is what we are looking for here. Avoiding mid day is the most important, getting early and late light is the best but it does not have to be the first or last ray.

To summarise:

Morning session 


  • Best moment to capture blue colours of the lagoon and to have the mountain exposed by the sun
  • Vivid and colourful pictures


  • You have to wake up very early (even more if you want your hair & make up done).
  • The light is not suitable for people with sensitive, you may have to use sunglasses.

Sunset Session


  • Soft, flattering light
  • Best light for people with sensitive eyes and kids


  • The lagoon turquoise colour won’t show the same and the mountain appears in back light (you get mostly only the silhouette of it)

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