Understanding light in photography is a crucial part of your role as a wedding photographer. The types of lighting in photography will differ from every location and subjects you work with. Light in photography is one of the elements can cause the most challenges during your shoots since it often can be unpredictable. Without the ability to accurately identify and use proper lighting in your shoots, you risk the overall quality of your imagery. What can you do to simplify lighting to create the images you desire?
As a wedding photographer, understanding lighting is a crucial part of your role. Every shoot will have different scenarios, with various lighting for you to work with. Without the ability to accurately identify and use proper lighting in your shoots, you risk the overall quality of your imagery. How can you comfortably work with lighting to create photos your clients will love (and ones which will share your overall brand message)?
To shoot through any scenario and create stunning images, you must understand the fundamentals of lighting and how to properly utilize them. In our free guide, we partnered with pro photographer and lighting expert, Roberto Valenzuela, to share 26 key lighting tips from his #1 Bestselling book, Picture Perfect Lighting: An Innovative System for Photographing People.”
“With this guide, ShootDotEdit and Rocky Nook have created the perfect overview of my book, Picture Perfect Lighting. These two resources go hand-in-hand, and the guide provides the perfect sneak peek into the core elements that my book can teach you for becoming a master of light.” – Roberto Valenzuela
Think back to your recent shoots, or even ones from years ago. When was the last time everything went perfectly during one of your wedding shoots? There are distractions and issues that occur during the wedding day which you have no control over, and this is something you learn very quickly as a photographer. But, when things go wrong, it is necessary to be prepared and know how to capture images your couples hired you to take. This is especially true when it comes to low light photography.
Whether you shoot the couple portraits before the ceremony or after, this is a moment your couple will remember as they look back at their wedding photos. This means it’s important to create stunning photos you can deliver to them after they are color corrected by a wedding photo editing company. Since various challenges can occur during the couple portraits (harsh lighting, unflattering backgrounds, cluttered areas, etc.), you should know how to work with the bride and groom through any situation that occurs. Today, Zach and Jody Gray are sharing 3 keys to help you master the couple portraits every time.
1. Understand Lighting
The best time of day to shoot is 1 hour before sunset, and the first hour of the sun rising because the sun is going through more atmosphere which disperses it wider and makes the light softer. The one and only thing that makes light soft and pretty, is the size of the light source. You can diffuse light all you want from any light source, but if the light is not BIG, then it will still be harsh.
Here at ShootDotEdit, we know shooting the wedding day can include challenging situations, from shooting in unflattering locations to unfavorable lighting situations. Even though there may not always be the best lighting, you are responsible for capturing gorgeous photos for your clients. Today, Amy and Jordan Demos are sharing tips for how to photograph wedding reception uplighting to tell a better color story for your clients.
Uplighting is the additional lighting that’s brought in to the reception (typically by a band or DJ) to illuminate the walls and give them color, dimension, and texture, so they’re not black holes where light goes to die. Brides love uplighting because it’s prettier than black and continues the color story of their wedding. If, for example, their colors are blush and navy, pink or purple is a beautiful accent to compliment their choice, rather than orange, a more standard uplighting color. Uplighting is usually only a few hundred dollars more as an add-on with a bride’s band or DJ package, and, as far as photos are concerned, as least in our opinion, it’s one of the best values because it adds an extra pop to all of the reception images!
As a photographer, when you find yourself in a room with uplighting, especially if it’s a flattering color your client is excited about and you know you want to include as much of as possible in your reception photos, here are three quick tips to help you get the maximize every frame.
When you are shooting the bride and groom during their engagement session or wedding day, what lighting techniques are you comfortable using? Because there are always various lighting scenarios you may find yourself in throughout a shoot, understanding exactly how to deal with each situation assists you in becoming comfortable shooting through any light. Whether you consider yourself a natural light photographer or you enjoy using off-camera lighting, expanding your knowledge of lighting ensures you can work in any location, with any type of lighting.
When the sun is shining bright during the day, take the opportunity to look for sun flare. Sun flare occurs when the light scatters before it hits your camera, providing streaks of unique lighting for your photos. When you properly shoot for sun flare, you create an artistic look for your couple during their wedding shoots. So you can include sun flare on your next sunny day shoot, here are 3 essentials to capturing it for your images.
1. Use Backlighting Techniques
Because sun flare is available throughout the day, unless it is cloudy, position your couple in front of the light source. Placing the bride and groom between your camera and the sun flare uses similar techniques to backlighting. When the sun is behind your couple, it creates a flattering light for them and brightens the photo. Since sun flare is scattered light, it assists in developing a diverse look to highlight the details of your couple (and flatters their faces). In order to really get the light on your couples, you need to use a reflector. Because you are backlighting them, there is going to be more light in the background rather than on their faces.
When shooting during the wedding day, being comfortable with your couple and knowledgeable about how to capture the best images is key to a smooth shoot. Because your shoots may occur during any point of the day, it is necessary for you to understand how to use various lighting techniques. Though the wedding shoot happens quickly and you are constantly moving, you have an opportunity to test out your skills in lighting. For you to capture dynamic images for your couple, you must learn about tools which can help provide the perfect light.
A video light is a small and consistent light source which provides a harsh and direct light. Knowing how to use this light so it does not overpower your shoot is a must. Here are 9 simple tricks to help you use a video light in your next wedding shoot.
When shooting the bride and groom, create light to flatter your couple by positioning it correctly. A video light allows you to focus more easily on the light on one subject, rather than lighting everything in the background. Because of its harshness, height is crucial when using a video light. To create flattering shadows on your couple’s faces, hold the light above the center of their eyes so the shadow is just below their noses. Be sure to keep the light equal on their faces, especially when they are looking directly at the camera.
When you think about all of the different elements that compose a strong photo, what is one aspect you have the most trouble with? For many photographers, lighting can be challenging to master, especially when it comes to utilizing off camera lighting. The key to enhancing your wedding photography images is to understand how light works and how you can apply any type of lighting to your shoots.
As you begin to build a portfolio for your wedding photography business, it can be necessary to have a diversified collection of photos to show potential clients. Although some locations do not require you to bring along any additional lighting resources, there are many shooting situations that need extra equipment. In the past, we’ve shared how to shoot with speedlights, as well as how to diffuse light. Today, we’re going to share how you can use strobes during your wedding shoots to create the perfect light.
Strobes are off-camera lights you can position anywhere on location to help you shoot the images you desire. Unlike the flash built into your camera, strobes give you the flexibility to place the light in any position to capture the best shots. By having the ability to control the lighting in every image you take, you can create more consistency in your images before you send them to a photo editing company. Here are some simple tips to help you get started using strobes to capture dynamic images during your wedding shoots.
Develop a Mood
With every image, you want to tell a story or send a message that relates to the wedding day. Besides providing light for your shoot, strobes allow you to add in special effects to create a specific mood for the couples’ wedding photos. If you are lighting your couple from behind and also have a light source in the front, then you have the potential to evenly light the whole image while placing a rim light around your couple. This will help you create a lighter feel to your images, while showcasing your couple.