“Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” This line by George Eastman, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company, does underscore how light impacts images. Learning how to effectively use light to create stunning images is an essential aspect of your photography career. Not only could it set you apart from your fellow photographers, but it can also boost your confidence to shoot in any type of lighting situation. As a wedding photo editing company, we connect with professional wedding photographers worldwide and are aware that lighting is one of the most challenging aspects of photography to master. When it comes to natural light photography, though the light is readily available, it might not be one of the easiest lighting situations to tackle. There are some crucial factors that need to be taken into consideration. So, what are those factors and how having control over them can help you create unforgettable wedding images in natural light? We’ve shared top 3 natural light photography tips to help you at your next shoot.
NATURAL LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
1. TIME OF THE DAY
Considering how natural light can alter throughout the day, it is easy to have a love-hate relationship with it. One minute the sun could be casting a gorgeous golden light onto your bride and groom, while the next moment, it could be hiding behind a canopy of clouds. With the light constantly changing, do your best to prepare and determine ahead of time which type of light is ideal for your shoot. For example, if the bride and groom are longing for photos with the glowing sun illuminating the background, you will want to ensure that you schedule a time to photograph them before sunset during the golden hour. While the lighting and weather are always subject to change, if you know the type of natural light you want to work with, you can better plan the time of the day and schedule shoots that will help you achieve the signature look that represents your brand.
2. DIFFUSE THE LIGHT
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @erinm_photography
The great thing about natural light photos is that they do not only need to be taken when it is sunny outside. Beautiful lighting is also created on overcast days, so you can take advantage of this. Oftentimes, couples might think that in order to make their day perfect, there must be sunny and blue skies. So, reassure them that even cloudy days can fetch them great photos! Overcast skies create a diffused, soft light that is flattering on your subjects. Another way to do diffused light photography is to position your couple in a shaded area on a sunny day. This will still allow light to illuminate them, but it will not be as harsh as direct sunlight. A great time to use this technique is during wedding family formals if they are taking place outside. By placing these portraits in the shade, you will have an even light across all of the family members - this also makes the image really easy to color-correct during the post-production stage.
Related Read: Hard Light Vs Soft Light: Understanding Wedding Lighting
3. POSITION YOUR SUBJECTS
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @narvoldphotography
At times, you cannot avoid harsh lighting from the sun. If your couple really wants a photo outside when the sun is at its brightest, we’d say do not panic! If there is no shade to be found, position your subjects in a way so that their backs are toward the sun. This will allow their faces to be in the shadow area, removing any strong shadows that crossed their faces before. If you have the option to utilize an indoor space, this could be a great time to take advantage of the window light. This is a simple way to illuminate part of the scene that you really want to draw attention to, leaving the rest in shadow. The mix of bright light with heavy shadows will also give a more dramatic look to your image, which can be perfect for events such as getting ready or portraits of the bride and the groom.
Attract More Clients With Stunning Natural Light Photography
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @kellyiswilde
Take better wedding photos of your couples during your next shoot with our top 3 tips on natural light photography, whatever the location be. Some patience, experimentation, and practice will enable you to create great photographs over time. When you include natural light photography into your portfolio and showcase some of your stellar creations in natural light, your potential clients will get an idea of what you are capable of, which could increase their chances of booking you. The more you advance your lighting skills, the easier it will be to book clients and create memorable images for them. For more photography lighting tips and tricks, you can check out our blog section.
At ShootDotEdit, we love sharing tips and tricks that can help wedding photographers like you grow as professionals and business owners. One of the other ways we love to help you is by providing professional photo editing services. This could potentially save you a lot of time, which you can use to focus on other aspects of your business that need your complete attention. Or maybe take time off to relax and enjoy with your family. To learn how we can help you, check out our pricing plans.