How it began
We love celebrating the most important hurdles of life with our friends and family, but how do we commemorate the emotion of a child being born? Or the day that two people decide to share their lives together? Our founder, Gavan Goulder, asked himself the same question in 2005 when his close friends had their first child. Instead of going down the traditional route of a bunch of flowers and a bottle of wine; he decided to capture the day that their son, Teddy, was born and provide that as a gift to be remembered forever. That is how The Day That began – to commemorate big moments of life in a meaningful way.
After the success of this gift idea, Gavan decided to continue to capture the sunrise from that day forward. Over the following years he built a small team of photographers to capture each new dawn. These photographers now brave the elements and head out before sunrise regardless of the weather, so that you too are able to give the gift of a new day dawning.
Why we do it
The dawn of a new day for us is an analogy for the dawn of any new experience. It also represents the endless possibilities that lie ahead. To then capture and frame that day forever is what makes this such a thoughtful gift. There is little to compete with the sense of hope and optimism that floods our minds when we witness the new dawn. Even if the sky is moody and dark, and the ocean a heaving mass of white foam – there is still a tangible sense of the incredible power that surrounds us.
So next time you’re wondering how an earth to commemorate the day that a child was born, the day that your daughter graduated university, or the day that you fell in love – then why not have a look through our archive and witness what that day looked like when the first rays of light hit the horizon. As well as being a simply beautiful image, it also has the significance to go with it. Ultimately, we started this journey to celebrate the birth of a child in a meaningful way, now we want you to be able to do the same for the remarkable things that happen to you.
Well that depends… each and every day brings something unique. The perfect sunrise to some may be warm golden hues of the sun’s rays against a shimmering backdrop of still seas. To others however, it could be stormy waves crashing against a rocky backdrop and moody skies. It could even be a City Centre skyline – it’s each to their very own, and is often down to personal preferences and circumstances.
We’ve all probably witnessed a glorious sunrise. It’s both captivating and breathtaking which can energise your day. There is a magic at this time of day, and often you are one of only a small amount of individuals witnessing this special moment.
We are however at the mercy of the UK weather and sometimes this isn’t so kind to us as photographers. Even if you never see the sun, it’s still a wonderful time of day. 50mph winds and crashing waves… yes please!
Even if the pictures turn out poor you won’t regret getting out of bed.
1. Check the weather and set your alarm! If you’re committing to seeing the sunrise, make sure you don’t miss it. Find out the local sunrise times and calculate any journey times. Factor in driving, walking, getting set up, making a flask of coffee… you may need to to rise a good hour or more before official sunrise.
2. Get down to your preferred location early. Our photographers are in position at least 30mins before sunrise and the results can often be more incredible than later in the shoot. Beautiful pre-dawn colours, warming skies and the emerging light can all be reasons to be there early.
3. The ‘Golden Hour’ as it’s often referred can be filled with plenty of light and over-exposure. Don’t be put off by passing cloud cover which skews the perfect sun star. Extra features in the skies and foreground can often lead to a more startling light show, and often adds interest and wonder.
4. Use settings on your camera that you’re comfortable with. As professionals, we use a suitable SLR (from Fuji) and tripods with appropriate lenses having selected manual settings. For anyone wanting to capture the essence of the day, just make sure you’re ready and can make your technology work for you!
5. Use the rule of thirds – which in layman’s terms is about positioning and generic photographic principals. Make sure you think about the wider framing rather than just what the sun or colour is doing.
6. Don’t rush and don’t rush back to bed! Some of the most beautiful skies can emerge shortly after sunrise, so keep yourself in position for at least 30mins after the time on the day. You never know.
7. Take as many shots as you feel is right. You can always edit them down, and it’s best practice to edit as soon after the event as possible. Our team normally edit down from 100 images captured shortly after leaving their location. Keep shooting… you never know if your first or your last may be your best. Keep your eyes on the clouds… sudden bursts of colour can come and go in a matter of seconds.
8. Enjoy your time and don’t get too caught up in the digital capture. It’s easy to miss the essence and beauty of an event being busy trying to photograph it all. In this day and age, it’s becoming all too common to be focused on our technology at an event when we should be witnessing it first hand. Consider also using time lapse or timed function so you are free to enjoy.
9. If the weather isn’t kind don’t give up and go back to bed, see what beauty you can capture, there’s always something. Use long exposures, or foreground objects to create interest.
10. So you’ve captured dawn yourself – and now what? Check out our custom page – we welcome helping bring to life own prints and have the facility to print and personalise something of your very own. Just get in touch and we hope we can help…
We’ll be publishing a new video series full of tips and tricks in due course. If you’re curious to know more then feel free to join us on a dawn patrol or simply get yourself down to one of our locations and witness what we do! Get in touch so we can tell you which beach we’ll be shooting from that morning.
The cutoff for ordering any prints to arrive before Christmas has unfortunately now passed. You can still place orders but these will likely arrive early January.
In a pickle or left it late? You can still order:
After a discount – get signed up to our newsletter via the homepage form and save 10-20% off your order.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas from all of us at The Day That :-)