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When it comes to wedding photography, lighting is everything. Sometimes, wedding venues have less than ideal lighting conditions (photographers familiar with wedding uplighting or church ceremonies know what we’re talking about), which can make it difficult for you to capture all the special moments. As a result, you might not be able to deliver stunning images that reflect your true style. Wedding uplights may be used by the venue or the DJ to create visual interest and add a pop of color to the ambiance. However, for wedding photographers, these lights can be a significant obstacle. But don’t worry, the wedding uplighting tips in this blog will tell you exactly how you can make the most of this lighting.

What Is Wedding Uplighting?

infographic stating uplighting involves pointing lights upwards or using them as ambiance lighting

Wedding uplighting is a type of event lighting that involves placing lights, which are typically battery operated, on the ground and pointing them upwards towards the ceiling or using them to light the environment in general. Such lights include LED lights, string lights, chandeliers, spotlights, lanterns, fairy lights, etc. These lights can help add a pop of color that can really transform a wedding reception.

Wedding lighting is usually provided by wedding venues or is included in your couple’s DJ package. Uplighting wedding receptions helps to highlight architectural details at the venue and also adds visual interest to the space while creating a more inviting ambiance. However, while this is great for the ambiance, it can sometimes end up being a challenge when you’re taking wedding photos.

Suggested Read: Mastering Uplighting For Wedding Reception

Tips On How To Take Control Of Wedding Uplights 

1. Add Color To Photos

an image of a dimly lit wedding venue from the balcony
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @jorgesantiagophoto

One of the advantages of uplights is the wedding uplighting colors, which can help enhance photos you take of the venue. For example, blue uplighting creates a cool and calming effect, and purple uplighting creates a fairy tale look. You can also use different colors to highlight different aspects of the venue. In wedding photography, it is also important to tell a visual story with the pictures you take. A lot of planning goes into a wedding, and it’s essential to document every aspect. You can use your client’s choice of wedding uplight color to tell a color story through your images.

2. Control The Flash

When shooting a wedding reception in a venue with wedding uplights, you will need to be able to control your camera’s flash or off-camera lighting. With the right setup, you can use your lights for both main and fill lights and still incorporate the uplights for ambiance. Having a flash trigger that controls all off-camera flashes gives you the ability to decide when to add light to your frame and when not to. Using a slow shutter speed in conjunction with on and off camera lights will allow the uplights to come through.

Related Read: Profoto: A Lighting Game-Changer For Pro Photographers

3. Create Silhouettes

a silhouette image of a bride and the groom posing
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @robbmccormickphotography

Uplighting for weddings can also create beautiful silhouettes. You can use the uplights as a backlight to help create dramatic and stunning silhouettes of your couple. When using event lighting for this purpose, it is important to compensate for the exposure so that the couple standing in front is underexposed. Uplighting could also be a great way to add drama and dimension to your photos. When used correctly, it can really transform your images and help to set the tone for your wedding photos.

Related Read: Silhouette Wedding Photography Inspiration From ShootDotEdit Customers

4. Create Color Balance In Images

It is essential to make sure that your camera’s white balance and flash are set according to the existing wedding uplights. Depending on the color or temperature of the ambient light, select a custom color temperature in-camera to balance out the light in the scene. By having a consistent color balance, your wedding photos will have a natural and timeless look when you put together your couple’s wedding album.

 Suggested Read: Photography Lighting For Awesome Wedding Reception Details

5. Plan Ahead

infographic stating coordinate with the DJ or wedding coordinator to familiarize yourself with the lighting

As a wedding photographer, it is important to plan ahead when shooting wedding receptions with wedding uplights. Before the wedding day, make sure to coordinate with the DJ and wedding coordinator for any special lighting requests from your couple during their grand entrance, special dance, cake cutting, and so on. Also, ask your couple for the wedding timeline so that you can plan ahead of time on what lights will stay constant throughout the wedding reception. Planning ahead of time and coordinating with your couple’s wedding vendors will keep you ready for anything.

Further Read: How To Shoot In Small And Dark Wedding Venues

In most scenarios, you won’t get to have a say on whether there should be any uplighting or not. This totally depends on your couple’s taste as well as the venue and DJ they pick. But just because you don’t have a choice doesn’t mean that you can’t make the most of this type of lighting. With these tips, you can take control of a wedding venue’s uplighting. Wedding uplights can sometimes be troublesome when it comes to photography, but whether you’re looking to add color to your photos or create silhouettes of your couples, wedding uplighting can also help you achieve a specific look when used properly. 

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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