infographic stating 5 creative ways to work with dappled light in wedding photography

Have you ever been entranced by the ethereal light streaming through trees on a quiet walk or while sipping your favorite drink during the cold winter months? That’s the enchantment of dappled light, and it’s more than just a beautiful natural phenomenon. It’s a secret ingredient that could take your wedding photography business to new heights! If your couple seeks those dreamy, romantic vibes, this technique can transform their wedding pictures into love-filled masterpieces. In this blog, we’ll explore some creative ways to use dappled light for breathtaking wedding photography. Plus, we’ve got some stellar examples from our ShootDotEdit customers who have truly mastered this technique to perfection! So, let’s dive in and let the beauty of the sunlight filtering through the trees inspire you! 

Working With Dappled Light in Wedding Photography: Photo Inspiration

1. Brandi Allyse Photo

a couple in their wedding attire standing holding hands and looking at opposite direction
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @brandiallysephoto

2.  June Lion

a couple standing in front of a wall with shadow falling on it diagonally
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @kellyiswilde

3. Lovers of Love

a couple kissing in the middle of a road with trees on either side
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @loversoflove

4. Looyenga Photography

a couple kissing in the middle of a forest with the ground and tree leaves covered in snow
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @looyengaphoto 

5. Brandi Allyse Photo

a couple standing closely on a grassland with the sun shining behind them
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @brandiallysephoto

Tips On Creatively Using Dappled Light In Wedding Photography

1. Look For Shadows To Create A Dramatic Look

Hunt for a sweet spot with open shade and soft light. But don’t stop there – keep an eye out for areas with direct sunlight casting bold, intriguing shadows. Maybe it’s a simple concrete wall at the wedding venue or perhaps an ornate metal gate. Once you spot those captivating shadows, it’s showtime! Position your couple in this hotspot, allowing the play of light and shadow to create a high contrast and rich lighting across their faces. Think of using this natural light as a GOBO (Go-Between Optics). Want to level up the drama? Bring along props like a lace umbrella. Not only does it add a touch of elegance, but it also casts a beautiful pattern of shadows, enhancing the dreamy effect.

Read More: Shadow Photography Inspiration By ShootDotEdit Customers 

2. Utilize Reflectors

infographic stating brighten shadows with the help of a reflector and preserve the dramatic effect created by dappled light

Dappled light in wedding photography creates an enchanting pattern that adds a touch of magic to the couple’s photos. However, it can also cast deep shadows, rendering them black and detail-less. The solution to this problem is rather easy – use a reflector! You’ve found that dreamy spot and the dappled light is creating a mesmerizing scene, but those harsh highlights and deep shadows are proving difficult to manage. Cue your assistant with the reflector. With some skill, you can bounce back the existing light, brightening up the shadows while preserving the dappled light’s dramatic effect and pattern. 

Bonus Tip: You can try another trick while using a reflector – create those irresistible catchlights that add an extra twinkle to the couple’s eyes! So, when you’re out capturing those unforgettable wedding moments, remember to avoid the pitfalls of dappled light with your trusty reflector.

3. Framing With Architectural Elements

As a wedding photographer, your canvas extends beyond the couple – the venue, ambiance, and architectural elements add depth and dimension to your photographs. Imagine you’re at a venue with a gothic archway or a rustic barn where dappled light softly streams through the window. Use these architectural features to frame your couple naturally. The interplay of light and shadow on stone, wood, or glass can create an enchanting backdrop that enhances the romance of the moment. It’s important to avoid positioning your couple directly under heavy spots of sunlight that can lead to challenging lighting conditions. Instead, seek out areas where the light filters through subtly, casting a gentle glow rather than stark contrasts. Incorporating architectural elements not only helps to manage the challenges of dappled light but also adds an element of grandeur and timelessness to your images.

Suggested Read: Architecture-Inspired Engagement Photos From ShootDotEdit Customers

4. Work Under Trees

infographic stating use the soft light filtering through the trees to capture your couples wedding in the most romantic way

Outdoor ceremonies are the current trend of the wedding scene, with couples increasingly choosing to tie the knot under nature’s cathedral of trees, surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful flowers. This trend has introduced a unique element to midday wedding photography – the feature of dappled light.

Of course, this natural spectacle comes with its own set of challenges. But by positioning your couple in areas where the light is softer and more diffused, you can illuminate their features, creating a balance between your couple and their surroundings. So, when you’re next shooting a wedding beneath the trees, embrace that soft light and capture a love story in a light as unique as your couple themselves.

5. Leverage Shadows To Form A Backdrop And Backlighting

One way to take advantage of dappled light is to leverage shadows and backlighting to create a beautiful and unique backdrop for your couples. For example, if you’re taking couples portraits indoors, consider positioning your couple near a window that has trees blocking the direct sunlight. By backlighting the couple and allowing the interplay of light and shadows, you can capture a stunning image that truly highlights the beauty of the couple’s special day. Don’t be afraid to let the shadows work for you rather than blowing out the window entirely. So, why settle for ordinary pictures when you can use shadows and backlighting to elevate your wedding photography skills and create something extraordinary?

Further Read: Shooting With Backlight: A Step-By-Step Photography Guide

Working With Dappled Light In Wedding Photography

infographic stating transform your couples wedding photos by leveraging dappled light

The beauty of natural light can indeed be a transformative element in wedding photography. Its unique ability to add depth, create drama, and evoke a sense of romance is unparalleled. Through techniques such as shadow utilization for a dramatic effect, using reflectors, framing with architectural elements, working under trees for a natural interplay of light and shadow, and leveraging shadows to form a stunning backdrop and backlighting, you can capture the dreamy, love-filled moments that your couple desires. 

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you grow your wedding photography business. A part of how we do that is by lessening your post-production workload with our professional photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.

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