How To Plan For The Best Light On Your Wedding Day

As a natural light wedding photographer, light is incredibly important to me. I get a real buzz from a beautifully lit space and it certainly has a huge impact on the sorts of wedding photos that you’ll get. Light may not be something that you have considered on your wedding day and it’s probably not on your massive list of priorities but it is incredibly important. Any seasoned wedding photographer will tell you that to get the best from your photos, the light needs to be good, so here are some helpful tips to consider:

THE LIGHT LOW DOWN : Light has temperature (who knew!) and much like the temperature we feel, it has a warmer end and a cooler end. Images that are taken in a warmer light temperature have more yellow tones and images taken in a cooler light temperature have blue tones. Every source of light has a temperature, whether that be light bulbs, daylight, disco lights, candles etc. Light bulbs generally give off a tungsten light, which is very yellow, daylight is white and blue lights can sometimes be found in the uplighters at some wedding venues/in the disco lights. The temperature of light has a huge impact on the colour of people/objects that it is lighting, especially on skin tones. The best sort of light to look for is daylight because it shows colour in its true form and is very flattering.

Daylight is my favourite sort of light to shoot in, but it too has its challenges. On a very bright, sunny day, the light can be very harsh. It can create harsh shadows and lots of squinting. Having sun on your wedding day is wonderful and definitely a novelty in this country and there are lots of ways that harness the very best bits of the sunshine by allowing some flexibility with our schedule. Here are a few examples of points in the day where you can make light work to your advantage…

MORNING PREP…

Natural, window light is super important for accurate makeup application. To be able to see the colours of the foundation/eye shadows etc, your face will need to be lit with a white light. Often your makeup artist will set up next to a window which is great and really helpful for these sort of shots. When you are deciding where to get ready, consider where the best light is. Ideally in front of a big window is best. Often hotel rooms have very yellow lighting and so a spot next to the window will ensure that your face is lit in the most flattering way.

GROUP SHOTS…

If you are lucky to have sunshine on your wedding day, you will want to spend as much time as you can outdoors. Lots of weddings happen around lunch time at at this point, the sun is at its highest in the sky. You may have noticed that if you take a photograph in the middle of the day when its really sunny, there will be lots of shadows. Its not the most flattering light to be photographed in and its also possible that you’ll be squinting in the photos because its so bright. What I usually recommend to my couples in this situation is to find a nice, big, shaded area for your group photos. The shade will even out the light and is less harsh on your eyes.

VENUE LIGHTING…

One of the things to consider when looking for a wedding venue is what sort of feel do you want for your wedding day and therefore your wedding photography. If you are looking for a light, bright feel, then the types of venues that you should consider have lots of natural light. Some of my favourites are: Buddileigh Farm, Wilderness Wood and OddFellows. If you are looking for a more romantic feel, then there are lots of venues that have limited natural light but can be lit with lots of candles to create a more intimate feel. My favourites are Owen House Wedding Barn and The Normans.

GOOD OLD BRITISH WEATHER…

If you’re worried about the weather on your wedding day and are disappointed with a dull, overcast day then don’t worry. Overcast days are actually the most flattering day time light to shoot in. All the colours are vibrant, all skin is evenly lit and there is no squinting. It may not be quite as bad as you thought!

GOLDEN HOUR…

My absolute favourite time of day to shoot is the hour before sunset. The sun is much lower and often a beautiful golden colour. This hour of light is called golden hour. It is the most flattering and beautiful form of light and in my opinion, it is the most dreamy. Consider leaving some time in your schedule for some sunset portraits. Not only does it give you the opportunity to have some beautiful photographs taken, but it gives you some down time together during a very busy day. Often by this point, the nerves will be gone and so you’ll feel much more relaxed in front of the camera.

FIRST LOOK…

If you are thinking about getting married in the winter but dont want to lose out on daylight, then doing a first look photoshoot can often be a great way around that. A first look is an opportunity to see each other before the wedding ceremony and take a collection of special portraits. This can be great is you are particularly anxious about holding it together in front of your guests. It can help to resolve a lot of your nervous energy and allow you to share a very intimate moment alone.

 

AFTER DARK…

For couples who are planning a wedding during the autumn and winter months, light might disappear pretty quickly, but don’t worry because there are lots of things that can be done to add light into your photography. I love playing with outside lighting at venues, whether that be festoon lights, fairy lights, or in some cases, street lights. Lots of couples love to use sparklers which is always good fun and i’ve been known to break out my pixel stick (no that’s not a euphemism) Taking portraits after dark can be just as fun and creative as in the day light.

If you are getting married and would like to chat about your wedding photography, then you can contact me here