Proper Lighting Techniques for Wedding Photography
All quality wedding photographers understand the importance of quality lighting for wedding photography. More so than other professional photo shoots, wedding need lighting for many different settings: inside a dim church or ballroom, outside for the bride’s arrival and couple’s send-off, natural light from a window and even candlelight. These offer a myriad of possibilities for creative photography, but each has a drawback as well. Real artists are very aware of the qualities of light on their subjects, and the person taking pictures at your wedding should be too.
Of course most modern cameras have electric flash equipment, and some photographers may find this sufficient to shoot everything at the wedding. This may leave the pictures looking flat and unappealing in many instances, however. It does not take into account the beauty and nuances created by different qualities and tones of light.
The two main categories of light photographers work with are existing light and electronic flash lights. All existing light is from the natural sources of light already in a location, whether it be sunlight or a chandelier, lamp or candles. Electric light includes dedicated lights on stands that are angled for the appropriate effect, as well as bounced lightning accessories like reflector umbrellas.
Of the two types, existing light requires the most finesse when it comes to photo taking, especially for wedding photography with such a contrast between black tuxedo suits and the white bridal gown. The photographer should ideally measure the light source to be sure of how the picture will turn out. You neither want the groom’s suit vanishing into the shadows or the bride’s dress glaring as if it has become a light source of its own.
Reflected light meters can be very useful for this. They measure the brightness or light bouncing off an object, such as the white dress, and how intense it is when it reaches back to the camera. Subtle adjustments in angle can help reduce the glare and result in a much more beautiful photo of the couple.
Bright direct light, such as that from a window, can create too much contrast between features and a fill light is often used. This is a great example of when to use electric lighting with existing light. Other options include drawing a shade or curtain between the people and the light source. Diffuse lighting options are usually available and can create more attractive photographs.
Quality photographers should know all these things and be prepared with the correct equipment for any lighting situation. It takes the right tools coupled with quality skills to create memorable photos of a lovely wedding day.