Wait for the 'magic hour'
Photographers call the hours surrounding sunrise and sunset, respectively, the "magic hour" because the light is especially flattering then. At those times of day, the light is soft and warm; and because the sun is so low in the sky, it won't generate harsh, contrasting light and shadow in your photos.
If you can't get up with the chickens or wait until dinnertime to take your photos, at least you can avoid high noon. When the sun is directly overhead, unflattering light and ugly contrasts are virtually unavoidable. Instead, try to shoot in the morning and midafternoon, when the sun is lower in the sky.