What is the "golden hour?" It is the time of day that photographers love. It has the right amount of light to help illuminate your subjects and gives them a warm golden glow. Golden hour happens the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset. The lower the light is, the less harsh it is on your subject.
This photograph was taken about 2 hours before sunset. The sun was still strong but it created a nice backlight for my subjects. The light streaming through their hair was the look I was going for. Shooting in manual is important to have full control of your image. Your subject can quickly become out of focus by the sun's rays. I cup my hand over the top of my lens as I focus on my subject ( I use back button focus). I remove my hand and take the picture since the subjects are already in focus. If you have a lens hood, you can use it also. Letting the light in brings more haze and lens flare than if you are using your lens hood. Play around and see what you like better. It's all about your style!