You probably have picked up some awesome lighting techniques along your journey as a wedding photographer. And you know that lighting can be liberating OR one the most challenging aspects you face. Every shoot you encounter is different and each requires you to have a vast knowledge of photography lighting techniques (and how to properly use them) to nail the session every time.

We reached out to wedding photographer Mark Condon from Shotkit to discover his secrets to photography lighting techniques you can use for your upcoming shoots!

Check them out in this week’s Fast 5 on Lighting Techniques!


5 Simple Lighting Techniques for Your Next Shoot

1. Subtract The Light

Underexpose the scene with your eyes. You can do this by squinting your eyes until they’re almost closed, and see what objects in the scene are still emitting enough light to register in your vision. In doing this, you quickly scan the scene for illuminated objects that you might want to include in the composition, or ones that you’d prefer to remove.

2. Use Live View to Confirm Exposure

Live View is a hugely underrated functionality in our cameras. We can take advantage of Live View to preview the exposure of a scene, before taking the photo. With Live View and exposure preview turned on, you can switch the camera to Manual mode, and start underexposing the image by adjusting camera settings.

3. Work On Your Composition (yes this is relevant to lighting techniques!)

Since any horizontal and vertical lines such as walls, floors, or horizons will now be lost in the darkness, you’re free to twist and rotate your camera as you wish, using the illuminated objects to frame your subject, guide the viewer’s eye, or simply to be used as compositional elements.

Before you bring your subject into the frame, you have the option of attaching your camera to a tripod to ‘fix’ the composition, or you can just try and remember your composition. Another tip here is to utilize your camera’s Custom Settings. By saving the camera’s exact settings to one of the ‘custom memory banks’, you can switch back to whatever usual mode you shoot in.

4. Add The Light

Place your flash or alternative light source in whatever location you’ve chosen to light your subject. Perhaps you want a rim light, so position the flash to the rear of the subject. Maybe you want to rim light the couple, but include some of the background too, in which case you can point the flash towards a wall behind the couple, still keeping them close to the flash. Or perhaps you just want to light the subject properly, in which case you can point the flash at the subject from whatever frontal angle you choose. You can grab someone from the bridal party to try all of this before you actually photograph the newly-wed. This is one of our favorite lighting techniques!

5. Go Back to Saved Settings on Camera

Finally, switch your camera back to your saved settings, tell your stand-in subject to get back to the dance floor, and go and find the newlyweds to take their place. Then it’s just a case of snap-snap… one creatively LIT photo complete.

More Reading on Lighting Techniques

The above lighting techniques are just some quick tips to produce something interesting out of an uninspiring situation. To know more about these tricks in detail, you can read our blog 2 SIMPLE PHOTOGRAPHY LIGHTING TECHNIQUES FOR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS.

Want more awesome lighting tips? Check out this blog post on TOP 5 TIPS: PHOTOGRAPHY LIGHTING BASICS FOR ANY LOCATION

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