How to Plan for Lighting on Your Wedding Day
It is well known that light is photography’s key element. Without light we couldn’t even do our job. That’s why we decided to write this article. It is not a way to dictate any rules on your wedding day, but to give you, guys, some tips that might help you to get the best memories of the most special day of your lives. A few expedients can really make the difference and help us to avoid the use of artificial light which will alter the wedding atmosphere. Of course, you don’t have to implement all of these tips. The wedding day is all about your love and your families, it is not a shooting set and it is our duty to catch your authentic emotions.
The article is divided in different phases which characterize the typical wedding day:
What’s better than some pictures of your preparation to start your wedding’s day story? These are the photographs in which you will find your emotions while waiting the big moment. Maybe you never thought about it, but a lot of important things are happening during the preparation, the first sight with your parents in your wedding dress/suit, warm hugs with brothers and sisters and the last retouches. It is fundamental to catch these moments with the right light and therefore we recommend you to choose a room with wide windows and good exposition so we don’t have to turn on the light bulbs. Also, you garden (if you have one) might be a possible solution, especially for the natural light, but be careful to weird detail like the water hose or invasive gates.
These advices are valid for any place in which you will decide to prepare, a hotel room, in the ceremony place, your house or an Airbnb. Try to avoid artificial light as much as you can because many times happens that it gives a weird unnatural color to your skin which is hard to correct in post-production.
Depending on where your ceremony will be you need to take in account different factors. If the ceremony will be in a church and you have the chance to choose among many, look for the brightest and for neutral colors. In this case the time of the wedding makes no difference because we are in an interior space and the light will be diffused indifferently. A church with hues of pink, orange or red, will reflect a colored light on your faces. Therefore, take in consideration different types of churches, usually the modern/contemporary ones are easier to photograph because they are very bright and mainly white.
On the contrary, if the ceremony will be in a villa, in a castle or at the beach, the timing will be the decisive factor. Try to avoid the central hours of the day during which you will be directly exposed to the sunlight (from 10 am to 15 pm). The sun’s vertical position will make you sweat and will create weird unwanted shadows on your faces like odd spots under our nose and eyes. That’s why most of the ceremony start around 3 hours before the sunset in order to have enough time to take some post-ceremony pictures.
Portraits are one of the few moments of intimacy you will have during the whole wedding day, so don’t be in a hurry and enjoy some time (almost) alone with your spouse before going back to your wild party. Plus, if you decided to hire two professional photographers it’s probably because you want some unforgettable memories, right? To get these unforgettable memories you will have to find the right time, 30 to 40 minutes will be more than enough. The right time, in our opinion, might be the famous “golden hour” that is around one hour before the complete sunset.
Most you at this point will be asking yourselves: but what happens if we get bad weather?
No fear! Nothing will be postponed, and we will do the best pictures ever in any case. From some point of view bad weather is even better because light is more diffused and there are less problems about timing because the light will be the same for most of the time.
It is very difficult to summarize this part of the wedding day because every wedding is different depending on the location, season, light and time. If your reception will be outdoors like in a villa’s garden (as it usually is) consider light bulbs strings (for the night), which in our opinion are the best artificial lights on the market. Consequently, try to avoid big floodlights which will make seem your wedding more like a stadium rather than a warm familiar place. Colored lights are also very difficult to manage, your faces will be green, blue or red in all the pictures and we can’t
do much to change it. Remember to ask to the location’s owner which kind of lights they already have and, if you think it’s necessary, bring your own lights to add or replace.
If your party/reception is indoors, the same rules of the church are still valid. Avoid locations with too many colors on the walls (from orange to red, but even green or blue), otherwise we will need to use the flash for most of the event. If the reception is during the day, you should make sure to choose a place with wide windows to let the light enter as much as possible.
We really hope this is useful for you and that our tips will help you making your wedding unforgivable.