How To Plan For Great Light On Your Wedding Day
Photography is all about light. The actual word “Photography” is broken down into “Photo” and “Graph” which is roughly translated into “Light” “To Draw/Piant” so all photographers are practically “Painting With Light”!
The best UK wedding photographers will assess the light on your wedding day and use the best possible light to ensure your wedding photos are both beautiful to look at but all so. So that the subject is lit in the best possible way to really accent how you look or how the moment feels.
There are some things that you could consider when planning your wedding that could really help both you and your photographer work together to create the best possible wedding photos.
Although this won’t be a “ram down your throat” education blog post. Just some quick tips on how you could end up with much better photos than you’re already anticipating!
Getting Ready for your Bridal Preparations
Your whole wedding day – from breakfast right up to your killer dance moves at the end – is a complete story, and getting ready is one of the most important opening chapters. It’s when some key emotional moments can take place, and in relative peace too, before things get busy. If lit correctly the images you take from this part of the day can be powerful, elegant and beautiful.
Natural light isn’t just useful for your photography, it’s good news for your hair and makeup prep too. So if you can, try and select the largest room available that lets in the most light. If you’re visiting a possible space, take note of the shape and size of the room, including where the windows are. Big light walls can also help to illuminate the space and give your photographer more to work with.
If you think your hotel, venue, or home won’t make the best location for bridal preparations – and you really want you’re getting ready shots to be amazing – then perhaps see if you could get ready at a friends house or find a property online for hire that could be the perfect setting for your morning of bridal preparations. That relatively small additional cost could make all the difference to those first few pages of your wedding album.
Sometimes natural light just isn’t an option. If that’s the case, remember that the next best thing is just one kind of light. Candle light, tungsten light, and fluorescent light can all create great shots on their own, but if you have them all in the same room together it can result in odd skin colours in the photographs.
It’s not the end of the world if you haven’t thought about these things in advance, but it can be a real help if you have time. Don’t forget you can always contact your wedding photographer for advice.
When it comes to your wedding ceremony, there will be an awful lot out of your control. Though if there are things that you can control then go ahead and see if you can make changes. Ask your wedding coordinator if any adjustments you can make regarding the lighting. If your wedding ceremony is outdoors then perhaps see what the light will be like during the time you have scheduled for the ceremony.
This image above was taken at Barnsley House after I was booked to be Paul + Cecile’s Cotswolds Wedding Photographer.
Any point between 10am and 3pm can suffer from harsh light, depending on the weather and time of year, so I would recommend opting for a slightly later ceremony if you have the choice. The perfect light in summer tends to be a couple of hours before sunset. Wedding photography was taken during this window always looks fantastic.
Sunset photos are great! I particularly love shooting couples during this time of day. In fact, past couples of mine have booked me for their wedding day and have mentioned one of the reasons they love my work is because of some of these images. It can be hugely disappointing for those who really want them to end up being disappointed due to the schedule of their wedding day. This is because they don’t factor in the timings of the sunset etc. Maybe speak with your co-ordinator or maybe your wedding photographer to see if you can arrange something so you’re not disappointed. Though in the UK the weather can be highly unpredictable!
This image above was taken when I was Clare and Richies Lake District Wedding Photographer up at New House Farm.
The Wedding Reception
This is where speaking with your photographer about the lighting can be crucial. Look at the size and light sources – natural and artificial – in the reception space, and ask your DJ what types of lighting they’ll be using. Also, think about where key moments – such as the cake cutting and first dance – will be happening. It’s a good idea to position these moments and people where there’s plenty of light, ideally not with their backs to a window. (Having key people side on to windows is great, however, and can produce really dynamic lighting.)
Weather on Your Wedding Day
An overcast day might seem miserable or dull, but if the forecast isn’t brilliant for your day, don’t worry. In a strange way, this can create perfect lighting conditions. It just creates a soft light that’s super easy to work with. As a destination wedding photographer, I get to shoot in some great locations but even back in the UK when the weather isn’t as great I can still work with what light I’ve been given. The best UK wedding photographers will have your back even on the dullest day.
No matter where or when you’re getting married – if you have a great wedding photographer and you chat to them about the spaces and lighting conditions beforehand – they will always be able to create beautiful wedding photos that will continue to blow you away for years to come. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading How To Plan For Great Light On Your Wedding Day.
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