The importance of light
on your wedding
If the meaning of photography is to write with light then why not pay more attention to this detail on your wedding day? Don’t stress it, an expensive course is not necessary to get the most of it, all you need are these tip and for sure you’ll be more than prepared to ensure your photos will come out as amazing as you originally intended.
It would seem that a cool venue is all you need to have an awesome wedding but there’s more to it. It’s about going above and beyond by incorporating the importance of lighting, with just a tiny effort, you won´t believe the quality of photos you’ll get.
“The photographer’s main tool is light, not just location. If the venue has a crappy lighting the photos won’t look cool”
This means that, if you are picking where to have your makeup and hair done and you are dead set on the mega luxurious hotel that’s blowing your mind, ¡Awesome! Just make sure the space where you’ll get it has a good lighting source (huge ass windows work great) so you don’t end up on the ugliest corner of the room and miss out on the beauty of the venue and of course, the importance of the moment.
The best thing to do would be to plan the wedding around the lighting, even if you can’t go full dictator about the specific time at which everything must happen, it is possible to take care of some specific aspects.
For example: having the spiritual ceremony (or any other kind) on exteriors at 1pm is a really bad idea, just because the lighting will come right from above which provokes horrible shadows on everyone. Just picture yourself looking at the photos and absolutely no one has their eyes open, the sun has dazzled everyone including you and your partner!…the horror!
No matter how talented the photographer is, that’s a tricky situation.
“Is not just the camera but the quality of lighting and the usage of it”
Thinking the photographer will shine no matter where you put them is a bit incorrect. The best to do would be an effort to collaborate and communicate with your planner and even your makeup artist about how every step could develop to guarantee a good lighting, this way the photographer will perform better and bring to life that story you and your partner have designed.
For teamwork to work you have to share these tips with your staff, this way everyone’s hob will look a million times better and the pictures will show it!
Moments + time of the day = the coolest pictures
At the end, every one of the pictures you have from your wedding will be a visual reflection of the story you wanted to tell.
Every moment you share with your family, with the guests, your significant other and even yourself will be better with lighting.
Before choosing the venue, makeup and even the reception or the cocktail, make sure you photographer will have proper lighting and that the final result will be amazing. Something useful would be…
The more horizontal the light source is the cooler the photos will look.
Take note and keep it in mind so you don’t forget because that sentence will help you understand lighting and how to make the most of it in your photos.
Keywords here are dawn and dusk and that’s the space where you must set your most important moments.
When you go out venue scouting, try to do it at the hours the wedding would take place, that way you’ll have a clear idea of how everything would look.
Quick tips to understand lighting and play with it
01. GETTING READY
This will up the probability of your photos looking amazing.
02. Group shots
The best will be to have some shadow nearby, a gazebo, a big tree, something that will help hiding direct lightning. This is so the light won’t show wrinkles or tense the skin on faces.
(like before) this is to not miss the…That’s right, HORIZONTAL lighting! Sometimes it hurts to be stuck inside a church right when you could be making magic outside, even if everything will depend on your schedule for the day, it’s never wrong to take this into account. Now, if you are going to have your ceremony outside between 1 and 3pm then you must find some allies to soften the lighting or generate shadow. Spaced covered with fabric or tents are good idea, just like very big trees, the help guests not be dazzled by sun and end up with closed eyes on every photo.
And all that is focused on arquitectonic lighting, but the best is to focus on faces. When you think about faces then the photographer becomes invisible and there’s no need for artificial light (LEDs, flash, you name it…)
The most romantic solution are industrial light bulbs (you’ll probably already seen them everywhere). With these type of lighting the photographer has an invisibility cloak, everyone’s actions are more natural, there’s no big nuisances and everything comes our flawless.
Now, everywhere in the world…. Intense lighting will make even the most magical place look like shit. That makes the difference is the way lighting is directed.
It’s not about controlling the day from start to end, it’s about paying attention beforehand so everything flows perfectly and with the best timing to capture unique photos.
In the case of an intimate wedding, that’s when you get the chance to work with your photographer on where you’ll get married and how to make the best out of the light, even sitting placement!
When the couple gets involved in those topics the magic is completely guaranteed. Every recommendation will go towards making magic moments happen.
If you have any doubts you can ask all the necessary questions so your photographer gets you the perfect strategy and you know how to land the topic of your wedding.
Another misconception is “Sun’s out! This will look wonderful” but…
A cloudy day makes everyone look incredible. ALWAYS.
Clouds will never be our enemies and having an excess of light won’t mean the photos will be better.
Even if you don’t believe it, lousy weather means great photos, it makes people feel liberated and the moments flow better.
Imagine you are talking with an architect, and they are giving you the instructions on how to understand spaces, where to put the windows and how to guarantee your house is well illuminated without the sun shining straight on your face. The photographer does the same (almost).
Now think of every romantic movie you’ve seen, If you analyze it, they always have soft lighting and everywhere you look people look amazing; on the other hand, in a horror movie, for example, shadows are extremely focused because the brain reads them as tension, as if something were wrong.
From 12 to 3 on the afternoon
The best is to be in interiors, if not possible, then we must look for a light source that won’t hit directly on the attendees (filtered light or the shadow from a terrace)
Green is not the same
as good pictures. If you think just because there’s a big garden the photos will look better, wrong! Color green is the most prominent to the human eye, so when everything turns green and the sun shines intensely the skin gets that tint.
Try visiting the venue
At the time each moment would happen, that way you’ll know how light will work on your wedding day.
Textures or smooth patterns. Non Distracting backgrounds are best, this way you won’t see, for example, a waiter doing their job on the back of the photo.
Set the most
romantic one closer to dusk. The horizontal lighting trick will always work.
Flash is the last resource
Even if you use it at the party for a paparazzi/mischievous effect. Just be careful! Because it can look very commercial and unnatural when over used.
It is better
To know what you can do from the beginning instead of trying to fix everything in that moment.
If every phase of the wedding had the proper lighting every moment will look way cooler and with better intention.
Disclaimer about hard lighting:
Before you go out of your way because you don’t want any hard light on your wedding, you must know that with the correct usage this type of lighting will work too.
Hard lighting has an incredible characteristic on portraits, it allows you to creat your own bubble.
This works best when it’s only the couple. If you add mystery, it will give you a diva effect, hides some details, marks others, allows you to be creative as long as you are in control of it.
Lighting is more important than we want to believe and if we put 20 minutes to think about it, the possibilities of getting great photos are multiplied x3.
Now that you know everything about, all we need to do is create and make magic…