As a bride, your choice of venue is super important, but many brides don’t even consider something just as important - understanding the lighting scenarios of your special day. You could be in the most beautiful location known to man but if the lighting is wrong, the pictures won’t make you happy. Lighting can be the bane of your existence or the saving grace that blesses your wedding photos with that ineffable “wow” quality. The difference between the two is how well you can adapt and more importantly, prepare. Lets go over four different kinds of lighting and see how you can make them work for you to get the most out of your memories.
Harsh lighting is exactly what it sounds like: strong light that shines directly onto the subject and has to be contended with mostly at midday, especially on clear, sunny days. You should generally avoid doing family and formal bridal party shoots around high noon; it casts lots of shadows. Stick to more creative, high-energy moments that you want captured in greater colour and detail.
Pros: Pictures will be crisper and colours will be brighter.
Cons: Light can be overpowering and strong shadows can be bad for formal shoots.
This refers to when the light source is behind the subject, which helps eliminate pesky shadows obscuring faces and can give an absolutely gorgeous ‘light halo’ effect to your photos. Luckily, Mother Nature provides us with the perfect opportunity to get some epic backlit shots: sunset! This is the perfect time to get those dreamy bridals and romantic shots. You can’t go wrong!
Pros: Eliminates shadows and gives pictures a magical glow.
Cons: Literally nothing!
To achieve soft lighting, you can find a bright, white-walled room to shoot in, or alternatively, keep an eye on the weather. Make the most of overcast, cloudy days to get some smooth, gentle shots. This is a great time for close-ups, as the softer light can even out and perfect skin complexions and tones. For the same reason it makes for good family and bridal party photos, just make sure when outdoors to look for places with shade and no harsh shadows.
Pros: Makes for near perfect skin tones and complexions.
Cons: During overcast days indoor lighting may be too dark.
Last but not least, indoor lighting can sometimes prove difficult. You may not always have control over the lighting conditions of the ceremony, but there’s usually some wiggle room as far as your ‘getting ready’ set or any other indoor shoots are concerned. Generally, you’ll want to seek out a bridal suite with lots of natural light and preferably white walls. It’s your best bet for gorgeous indoor shots. In addition, be sure to avoid tungsten and florescent lighting wherever possible; natural light is almost always the better option.
Pros: Can be much more predictable and adaptable than outdoor lighting settings.
Cons: Can be restricting and artificial lights that can’t be changed can negatively impact picture quality.