When it comes to photography, nothing could be more important than light. The very way a photograph is created requires light to enter the lens and react with the film or sensor to create an image. Not only is light a crucial element to the physical creation of an image, it will also determine the feel and mood of every one of your photos. So, it’s worthwhile taking the time to consider the lighting for your wedding, here are just a few things to think about when planning your day.
Walking into a space with big windows and light streaming in is probably one of our favourite lighting scenarios. The soft outside light is often very flattering and the resulting shadows create interest. Big windows where you are getting ready is a real bonus, not only for us but your hair and makeup artists will thank you too. We love creating portraits with window light.
Outdoor Ceremony Lighting
If you are planning an outdoor ceremony, even shade is ideal. We know this is not always possible, so if you can't have even shade, try to avoid having the sun shining directly into either of your faces, where one of you may be squinting and the other in shadow. Dappled lighting can also be tricky. If your outdoor ceremony is in a sunny location, having the sun behind you is one of the best scenarios. It’s a good idea to visit your ceremony location close to your wedding date, even the day before and stand in position at the time of your ceremony to see what the sun is doing, then you can always angle the ceremony orientation to ensure the best lighting conditions possible.
Indoor Ceremony Lighting
When it comes to an indoor ceremony, the lighting is often already in place and it may not be possible to change it. The crucial things to look out for are whether there is enough light where you will be standing and if you will be on a stage with access to stage lighting we suggest warm/yellow light as this will be most flattering for skin tones. Even if you would like to use coloured lights, it’s helpful to have some warm light hitting your faces as well.
The last hour before sunset and the following 15 minutes of dusk is our favourite time to make portraits. This is the time when the sun is most golden then often becomes soft and pink and the glorious blue of dusk. Googling what time the sun will set on your wedding day and potentially factoring that into the way you schedule your day is worthwhile. Of course, if the sun decides not to join us on your wedding day, clouds, rain and shadows are cool too, we may just need to start portraits earlier as it can get dark quickly. This is also true for photos in urban locations where there are tall buildings that the sun can hide behind.
For your reception try to avoid fluorescent lighting, as fluoros can cause inconsistent lighting conditions and have a tendency to make skin tones look green-ish. Plenty of candles, strings of festoon lighting or any warm lighting is perfect and creates a lovely ambience.
This is of course only a guide and ideal lighting conditions are not always possible. We can work with whatever lighting we encounter on the day and sometimes this leads to even more creativity in how we photograph. Either way there's no need to stress.
Comment below if you found this helpful?