When shooting during the wedding day, being comfortable with your couple and knowledgeable about how to capture the best images is key to a smooth shoot. Because your shoots may occur during any point of the day, it is necessary for you to understand how to use various lighting techniques. Though the wedding shoot happens quickly and you are constantly moving, you have an opportunity to test out your skills in lighting. For you to capture dynamic images for your couple, you must learn about tools which can help provide the perfect light.
A video light is a small and consistent light source which provides a harsh and direct light. Knowing how to use this light so it does not overpower your shoot is a must. Here are 9 simple tricks to help you use a video light in your next wedding shoot.
1. Position the Light Correctly
When shooting the bride and groom, create light to flatter your couple by positioning it correctly. A video light allows you to focus more easily on the light on one subject, rather than lighting everything in the background. Because of its harshness, height is crucial when using a video light. To create flattering shadows on your couple’s faces, hold the light above the center of their eyes so the shadow is just below their noses. Be sure to keep the light equal on their faces, especially when they are looking directly at the camera.
2. Overpower the Ambient Light
As you shoot the wedding day, some locations may have conflicting light sources, like the reception. Whether you can control the distance of the light or not, a video light can overpower any ambient light and properly highlight the details of the location. By focusing directly on the object or individuals with the video light, you can accurately capture the details. To include some larger details, try highlighting one table in the room with your video light to make it stand out from the others.
3. Provide a Constant Light Source
When you use video lights in an outdoor setting, especially at night, it can save you time by helping you focus your camera. Since your camera does not always adjust as well in the dark, using a video light as your main source of lighting can help your camera immediately focus on what is happening (and it can help your couple see what they are doing). A video light allows you to have a constant light source without worrying about any additional off-camera flashes.
4. Produce Better Ring Shots
During the wedding day, there are many important details for to you capture. One of the must-have detail shots is capturing your couple’s rings. Because it provides continuous light, you can adjust the video light around the rings to capture their details. You can also try placing the video light behind the rings as they lay on a flat surface. This can help you backlight the rings and focus directly on them with the light.
5. Adjust the Brightness
Though there are many lighting tools with adjustable settings, a video light allows you to quickly adjust the brightness depending on the situation. There are some instances where you need a harsher light or when you want to produce flattering shadows on one side of a detail shot, and using a video light places the focus directly on the detail. You can also turn down the brightness to include the details of the background, which ensures you are not creating too many conflicting light sources.
6. Include Lighting Gels
During your shoots, the location of your couple’s wedding day may not provide you with much color or appeal to match the theme of your images. Using gels for your video light helps you create interest for your images by adding energy to the scene with a particular color. Making subtle changes in color with gels is key in creating dynamic images during the wedding day. Try placing warmer colors on your couple while using a cool gel to highlight the background to create mood for your images.
7. Feather the Light
As you capture your couple and the details of the wedding day, remember not to overwhelm them with powerful lighting. Strong lighting can cause harsh shadows that do not flatter your couple. Try feathering your video light by directing the harsh light away from your couple. Feathering the light is based on the concept that the middle part of your beam of light is the strongest and the edge of your beam is weaker. Since the harsh light is not directly pointed at your couple, it appears as a softer and more balanced light source.
8. Use Barn Doors
While you are shooting, there are many times you just want to shape or direct the light in a way that flatters your couple or the subject you are focusing on. Barn doors are two or four metal attachments added on to a video light to help you control and shape the light. You can also use this accessory to focus the light on a smaller detail or area from a location. Whether you purchase barn doors or create them yourself, they can be helpful to capture diversified images for your couple.
9. Add in Diffused Glass
For you to produce unique and special images for your couple, use tools with a video light to create a certain mood for the photos. Similar to feathering, diffused glass helps you control the light in ways that do not create harsh or unflattering lighting. Using diffused glass softens the harsh and powerful light coming from the video light and can help you control the light for the shot. Also, diffused glass can create a romantic mood for your images, which is especially helpful to match the story of the wedding day.
When you use a video light during your shoots, you allow yourself to work with light without much hassle. For you to capture the best images possible from the wedding day, it is important for you to understand how light works in every scenario. Learn more about lighting on the wedding day with our Pro Photographer Lighting and Posing Guide!