November 5, 2019
Photography is light. True story. If you think about it, there’s really no photo without light, so it’s important to give it some careful thought. Beautiful, considered lighting is absolutely essential to your wedding photographs. Honestly, it’s as crucial to a stunning shot as the camera.
I’ve rounded up a few helpful tips on how to consider light at your wedding like the pros do. After this, you’ll be just a few steps closer to the perfect gallery of wedding memories.
DANCING IN THE DARK
If you’re having a disco and the DJ’s bringing his own lights why not ask for a white spotlight for your first dance. I know it sounds precious, but seriously, the drama and theatricality of it makes for some amazing photos. Oh and I do love a ‘smoke machine’. This perfect combination of spotlight and smoke made for my favourite first dance photo of the year.
Ask your lighting technician or DJ who is bringing lighting to avoid shining pink, red, blue and purple lights on to faces (unless you want to look like lovely aubergine). Ask if it might be possible to have white or warm lighting, at least until your photographer and videographer have finished doing their thing. Then your DJ can use all the purple lights he likes… This helps us to achieve the romantic photographs you desire.
See this example of how bad lighting can look on peoples faces. Not even my flash could get the pink out of the face.
Having coloured lighting looks great for atmosphere but it’s terrible on faces.
EYES WIDE OPEN
If you want your official group portraits in front of that gorgeous chateau at 3pm in direct sunlight, you will be squinting in your photos. And that would be a shame.
Consider the direction of the sun when doing your venue run-through. It may be a case of doing the group shots somewhere with a bit of shade, or asking everyone to wear shades (this can make for fun photos!). When it comes to your bride and groom portraits, trust your photographer on this one. He or she will know all the best alternative locations, most flattering angles and where the prettiest light can be found. FYI, this is usually in the shade, when the sun is low in the sky or indoors in rooms with large window.
WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY
Some venues, especially beautiful old chateaux, can tick lots of boxes…except the ‘large window that lets lots of light in’ box. When you’re choosing which room to get ready in, chose one that suits the style of photography you would like. Rooms with smaller windows tend to set a more dark and moody tone to your photographs. And rooms with large windows or multiple large windows give a light and bright tone to your photographs.
THE GOLDEN HOUR
Want that magical, romantic golden light for your portraits? Check what time the sun sets. In June, the sun sets really late, anywhere between 9pm and 10pm depending on where you are in France.
The “golden hour”, as photographers like to call it. Roughly speaking, the golden hour is the first hour of light after sunrise and the last hour of light before sunset. So if you would love some romantic soft portraits (just like this one below) set out a little time around the golden hour.
IT’S ALWAYS GOOD TO TALK
Lighting is an essential part of any wedding photography and so is keeping your photographer in the loop. When you’ve set the mood and lighting for your wedding venue, tell your photographer so that they (and their team) will be able to bring everything they need to create the wedding photography you’ve been dreaming of.
Communication is important to a good marriage, but it’s crucial to good wedding photos!