Everything you need to know to ensure a fantastic portrait session in Prague!
If you are planning on having a portrait session captured in Prague you will want to have an idea of the best locations and the best times. Presented here is a visual take on the best times for those intimate and atmospheric experiences as well as our favorite gardens to visit.
This is the time where the sun starts to peak above the skyline in the morning or just before sunset. The fall months are especially breathtaking as the warmth of the sun hitting the Vltava river sends up gorgeous fog like conditions that create ethereal streaks of light that creates its own patterns. An example is this stunning portrait of our very elegantly dressed couple from Japan, photographed at Lake Bled in Slovenia during the Golden Hour.
The benefits of having a Golden Hour Session
- incredible Golden Light that creates warmth and contrasty conditions that photographers love to work with
- picture perfect for very close and intimate images of sexy couples
- wonderful opportunity for creative lighting such as lens flare, sun flare and even silhouettes
- some drawbacks: getting up and being prepared in time for the sunrise & shortly afterwards the Golden Light Hour. This is usually not a problem for our couples from Asia who are still on their home time zones)
- you can opt to capture this timeline during the late afternoon before sunset. The drawback, many tourists cluttering up your backgrounds
THE SUNRISE OR SUNSET
That amazing period when daytime turns to night or for those early risers when night time turns towards the day. Visually this is one of the most beautiful and creative time periods to capture and create dramatic portraits. As the sun sets behind Prague Castle it can surprise us with an incredible array of colors that look spectacular. Or vice versa, such as this image of our very sexy couple from Hong Kong captured on the Charles Bridge before sunrise. Please note that this image is not possible without the use of flash (which was set up behind the couple and also in front to create this gorgeous portrait of Hebe & Pierre).
- perfect for creative & dramatic images capturing the sky as it flares
- unless all of your images are silhouettes a lighting crew is the only way to truly create and capture stunning images
- the drawbacks: getting up and being prepared in time for the sunrise & shortly afterwards the Golden Light Hour. This is usually not a problem for our couples from Asia who are still on their home time zones)
TWILIGHT HOUR - BLUE HOUR
The period when the day is ending and the night is beginning (or the reverse pre-dawn before sunrise).
- magical, beautiful, romantic & incredible are how couples view their images captured during this time period
- with the softness of the light there is no harsh lighting to cause unwanted and unflattering shadows. An ideal time for creating luxurious (and lit) portraits that will impress and amaze with their rich colors
- if captured before sunrise there are usually very few people out and we are able to capture more styles
- if photographed at night more people are out and can be visible in your backgrounds
- as we do many split sessions our bookings are limited to one couple per day
- these images are more art directed due to setting up lights and the pace is slower. Usually the best time to capture these sessions are pre dawn
- the time of day where the atmosphere of the city feels most alive and fun.
- intimacy in beautiful historic locations such as Prague Castle at night is something our clients still rave about many years later
- the best time for us to create truly unique and creative artistic and art directed portraits
- the later start times means it is easier to commission hair & makeup services and lighting crews
- the drawbacks: these time frames fill up very quickly as we do many split sessions so our bookings are quite limited. As we work with a lighting crew these images are more art directed since we are setting up lights and the pace is slower than a natural light session
- another drawback: many tourists are also out and about. As such we will focus on locations where we can try to reduce them in our backgrounds such as Prague Castle or other locations after consulting with you about your wishes and desires
- pictured our very sweet couple from Japan who had a night time pre wedding portrait session in Paris at the Petit Palais
SHORT LIST OF OUR FAVORITE GARDENS IN PRAGUE
For many couples visiting Prague the first question they ask is where to go? Obviously the historic Charles Bridge, Astronomical Clock, the Old Town Square, Prague Castle and many places in and around the riverside in Mala Strana are gorgeous. But Prague also has stunning gardens that should also be considered for your session.
Here is a short list of some of our favorites:
LEDEBURSKA - ROYAL GARDEN
Offering many levels overlooking Prague and Mala Strana below. This garden also has a wide array of architectural elements, gardens, fountains as well as a few hidden surprises
- a picture perfect location for adventurous couples
- 1 hour of time is the very least you should devote to this garden
- the downside it is an uphill and a steep walk
- should only be captured early in the day due to it's location
- admittance fee of 1000 CZK (40 EUR)
- no parking
One of the most charming Baroque gardens in Prague offering 3 levels of incredible views. This garden is very popular as a wedding venue as such it can be quite busy with tourists and weddings. However the views from this garden under Prague Castle are not only impressive, but are a must have for couples who are investing in their Prague pre wedding photo session. You can realistically spend 1 hour here and have a collection of portraits that you will be quite proud of.
- perfect for adventurous couples who are not afraid of heights and are willing to spend at the very least 1 hour here
- the downside - it is an uphill and a steep walk so high heels are not advised (change into a 2nd pair of comfortable shoes)
- should only be captured late in the day due to it's location
- perfect for capturing dramatic skyline images of Prague Castle and St. Nicholas Church
- admittance fee of 500 CZK (20 EUR)
- no parking
PRAGUE CASTLE GARDEN
Without a doubt the most popular (with free entry) garden in Prague. The Castle Gardens are quite special in the amount of wonderful locations it offers. As it sits under the castle it offers stunning views of the city down below and in addition to the castle grounds it is a venue not to be missed. You can easily spend several hours here.
- picture perfect for views overlooking Prague
- many unique locations for picture taking
- free admittance
- this garden is very busy with tourists
- waiting times can be up to 45 minutes just to enter the garden
- to really capture the many wonderful locations you would need to spend at least 1-2 hours here
Another wonderful garden that offers beautiful landscaped grounds with a small lake, a stunning view looking up towards Prague Castle, and interesting architectural elements. Plus the many peacocks who call it home are always a hit with couples.
- picture perfect for stunning architectural views of Prague
- ideal times late afternoon when the sun is behind the castle above
- several unique locations for picture taking
- free admittance
- extremely busy with tourists and concerts
THE SECRET GARDEN
It was a secret until it a Korean soap opera used the location and then the city started putting it on its maps and with cameras having GSM coordinates built in the secret is no more. The reality is this is a wonderful place to have a portrait captured or to sit back and watch the sunrise and perhaps the sunset. Showing the castle on the left and the city and especially Mala Strana down below Socha Panny Marie z Exilu is a rare gem and has a distinct place in the heart of many people who live and love this special part of the city.
- an ideal location for stunning architectural views of Prague Castle & Mala Strana
- ideal times late afternoon when the sun is behind the castle above or sunrise
- a unique location for picture taking and the bonus is you are in a beautiful park
- free admittance
- difficult to walk to as the paths have not been finished
PRUHONICE BOTANICAL GARDEN
First thing to note this garden is not in Prague it is 30 minutes south of the city. However this impressive Botanical Garden features a stunning castle and is a truly remarkable place for those couples who are having a large package and are willing to travel outside of the city centre.
- lush greenery with the castle and a lake as a backdrop
- unique locations for picture taking
- the downside - paid admittance
- traveling to and from is on average 60 minutes
- to really capture this location you would need to spend at least 1 hour here
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Prague Portrait Studio
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