Why Light Matters On Your Wedding Day!
Let me start of by saying that a great wedding photographer should have the extensive knowledge of lighting required to adapt to ANY light situation. They should have full frame model DSLR cameras designed for low light to ensure you get the best possible outcome on your big day! They should have a true understanding of natural lighting (ambient) as well as off camera lighting systems. Wheather you choose an indoor location with low light for a romantic feel or a bright sunny day at the beach your photographer should have the experience to capture every detail in stunning detail! Be sure to ASK your photographer how many wedding they have shot and how they plan to deal with the lighting at your specific location. If you have any concerns be sure to address them BEFORE you book with them!
Be sure to share with your photographer what look you are going for ( Light & Airy, Dark & Moody, Golden Wash, True to Color, Vintage, etc) so they can be sure to capture your images with the exposure you desire.
1. Your getting ready photos The moments just before you say I do are so special! You finally get to wear your gown, put on that lovely veil and your something borrowed! These moments are what dreams are made of and you deserve to have them documented beautifully! When you’re deciding where to get ready for your wedding, the light in the space will make all the difference. A room with large windows and plenty of natural light will make your photos SO much better! Your photos will be more flattering, the color will be richer and truer, and the image quality will be more in keeping with the beautiful getting ready photos that you see on wedding blogs. If it’s not possible to get ready in a space with natural light, ask to see if there is an outdoor area that you can use for your finishing touches. I also bring additional lighting for less lit areas when needed. Some brides choose to get dressed in one area then use another space with more light for those finishing touches you want captured beautifully.
2. Your portraits Let me begin by saying if you have chosen an indoor venue there is no need to panic! Our team bring lighting so if we need to brighten the space we will to ensure your photos are perfect! However natural light provides a softness and an airy beauty that flash cannot match, and it is more even and flattering than the light from lamps and light fixtures. If you're attracted to the style of portraits you see on my site, that probably means that you prefer natural light portraits. If this is the case, you will want to arrange your wedding day timeline so that you have plenty of time for portraits while there is a lot of pretty natural light. Your photographer and your wedding planner will both help you make sure this happens! If you prefer a more dramatic look just let us know so we can use dynamic lighting to shape the light to create a look you desire. If you want sunset or golden hr. portraits those can always be done later in the day or at the end of your portraits. The main thing to keep in mind is you don't want to end up with a timeline that allows for a very short time for portraits if you are planning outdoor photos. If you run a bit behind (which is usually the case) you end up rushed to get everything done while the light is still present. So plan for extra time when you can. Generally an hr. to an hr. and a half is ideal for all of your bridal portraits!
3. Your ceremony Light will affect the type and style of photography during your ceremony, as well. Many churches, for example, have dim interior lighting, and also have restrictions against the photographer adding lights or using flash. This doesn't mean you shouldn't have a church wedding! But it DOES mean that you should know what to expect. This holds true for all ceremony settings -- from harsh mid-day sun to the fading light at sunset. Ask your photographer (or potential photographers) to see examples of their work under the lighting conditions that you expect to experience during your ceremony. That way your expectations of the lighting in your ceremony photographs will be in line with your final images. Also, if you opt for an outdoor ceremony be sure you have a great plan B if there is rain......it happens.
4. Your Reception There are two important ways that lighting affects your reception photography. First, it impacts the images that your photographer is able to capture of your reception details, like the flowers, linens, cake, and place cards ... all of those special little touches that you chose so carefully. If your reception will be taking place at or after sunset, make sure that your photographer will have time and opportunity to photograph your reception area -- fully set and prepared, and empty of guests -- before the light fades. The second way that light affects your reception photos is during the reception itself. Talk to your wedding planner or lighting vendor to ensure that the aspects of your decor that matter most to you are visible and highlighted. For example, you might choose to have a pin spotlight on your cake. For the dancing and celebration, I love to use off-camera flash in conjunction with the flash on my camera. This allows me to capture the energy and fun of the dancing, even in a dimly lit ballroom. There is no single right way to light your reception, but you should look at a full gallery of your photographer's work to see how they handle reception lighting conditions so you know what you can expect. If you plan on a grand exit be sure to tell your photographer so they have the proper lighting set up and ready for your exit!
Getting ready, portraits, ceremony, and reception ... light impacts EVERY part of your wedding photography! I hope this post helps you feel more informed, and that the tips and suggestions above help you and your wedding team to achieve the kind of beautiful images that you've been dreaming of! We would LOVE the opportunity to capture your big day and share with you in person samples of our varied lighting abilities.