natural light photography

As a wedding photo editing company, we connect with pro photographers worldwide and know that lighting is one of the most challenging aspects of photography to master. When it comes to natural light photography, though light is readily available, it is not one of the easiest techniques to use.

Natural Light Photography

Learning how to effectively use light to create stunning images is essential for wedding photographers. Not only will it set you apart from other photographers, but it will give you the confidence to shoot in any type of lighting situation. There are several factors to take into consideration when it comes to shooting unforgettable images with natural light, so here are 3 photography lighting tips for shooting better natural light photos.

outdoor couple portraits

Image by ShootDotedit Wedding Pro, Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

1. Time of Day

When it comes to how often natural light alters throughout the day, it is easy to have a love-hate relationship with it. One minute the sun can be casting a gorgeous golden light onto your bride and groom, and the next minute, clouds have overtaken the sky and the sun is gone.

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 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 correct time of day to schedule shoots to achieve the signature look that represents your brand.

Related: 4 Tips for Shooting with Backlight – get them here!

2. Diffuse the Light

The great thing about natural light photos is that they do not only need to be taken when it is sunny outside. Beautiful, even lighting is created on overcast days, so take advantage of this. Oftentimes, couples think that in order for the day to be perfect, there must be sunny and blue skies, so reassure them that cloudy days can actually be ideal! Overcast skies create a diffused, soft light that is flattering on your subjects.

Another way to create diffused light photography is to position your couple in a shaded area on sunny days. This will still allow light to illuminate them, but it will not be a harsh light like direct sunlight. A great time during a wedding to use this technique is during 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 them really easy to color correct, and photo editing companies like ShootDotEdit love that.

Related: 5 Tips to Identifying the Characteristics of Photography Lighting with Justin and Mary Marantz!

3. Position Your Subjects

Sometimes, you cannot avoid harsh lighting from the sun. If your couple really wants a photo outside in a certain location in the blinding sun, no need to panic. If there is no shade to be found, position your subjects so their back is to the sun. This will place their faces in shadow, removing any strong shadows that crossed their faces before.

sunflare wedding couple

Image by ShootDotEdit Wedding Pro, Leeann Marie, Wedding Photographers

If you have the option to utilize an indoor space, this is a great time to take advantage of 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, which can be perfect for events such as getting ready or portraits of the bride and groom.

Related: Use these 5 tips to utilize photography lighting in any location!

These natural light photography tips are essential to help you shoot in any location. When you incorporate natural light photography into your portfolio, clients will know what you are capable of when they are considering whether to book you or not. The more you advance your lighting skills, the easier it will be to book clients and create memorable images for them.

For additional natural light photography tips and tricks, plus much more from lighting expert, Robert Valenzuela, download our Guide to Lighting for Wedding Photographers! Click the banner below to get your copy today.

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