I'm Hannah Bryerton, wedding & portrait photographer based in New York State. I am a lover of details and story telling- both visually & through writing. Here you will find glimpses of my life as a photographer, wife, dog-lover & Chick fil-A obsessed creative!
If you ask any photographer, they will tell you that light is EVERYTHING when it comes to creating beautiful photographs. Personally, for my style of photography, I will take pretty light over a dramatic backdrop any day of the week! But when you’re an engaged couple rather than a photographer why should YOU care about light? How will light impact your wedding day? Well, here are four aspects of your wedding day photography that will be GREATLY affected by the light:
When you’re deciding where to get ready for your wedding, the light in the space will make all the difference. A room with large windows and plenty of natural light will make your photos SO much better! Your photos will be more flattering, the colors will be richer and truer to life, and the image quality will be exponentially better. If it’s not possible to get ready in a space with natural light, ask to see if there is an outdoor area that you can use for your finishing touches. (Buttoning your gown, putting on your earrings/shoes/veil, etc!)
Take a moment to through my blog posts and portfolio. Go ahead, I’ll wait — haha! 😉 You’ll see portraits of a variety of couples in many different settings. What is the main thing that these portraits have in common? Beautiful, natural light. In my opinion, natural light is vital for the very best portraits. It provides a softness and an airy beauty that flash simply cannot replicate! It is FAR more flattering than any light from lamps and light fixtures. If you’re attracted to the style of portraits you see on my website, that probably means that you prefer natural light portraits. If this is the case, you will want to arrange your wedding day timeline so that you have plenty of time for portraits while there is abundant natural light. Your photographer and your wedding planner will both help you make sure this happens!
Light will affect the type and style of photography during your ceremony as well. Many churches, for example, have dim interior lighting, and also have restrictions against the photographer adding lights or using flash. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a church wedding! But it DOES mean that you should know what to expect. This holds true for all ceremony settings — from harsh mid-day sun to the fading light at sunset. Ask your photographer (or potential photographers) to see examples of their work under the lighting conditions that you expect to experience during your OWN ceremony. That way your expectations of the lighting for those photographs will be in line with your final images!
There are two important ways that lighting affects your reception photographs. First, it impacts the images that your photographer is able to capture of your reception details, like the flowers, linens, cake, and place cards … all of those special little touches that you chose so carefully. If your reception will be taking place at or after sunset, make sure that your photographer will have time and opportunity to photograph your reception area — fully set and prepared, and empty of guests — before the light fades.
The second way that light affects your reception photos is during the reception itself. Talk to your wedding planner or lighting vendor to ensure that the aspects of your decor that matter most to you are visible and highlighted. For example, you might choose to have a pin spotlight on your cake. For the dancing and celebration, I love to use off-camera flash in conjunction with the flash on my camera. This allows me to capture the energy and fun of the dancing, even in a dimly lit ballroom. There is no single right way to light your reception, but you should look at a full gallery of your photographer’s work to see how they handle reception lighting conditions so you know what you can expect WELL in advance!
Getting ready, portraits, ceremony, and reception … light impacts EVERY part of your wedding photography! I hope this post helps you feel more informed, and that the tips and suggestions above help you and your wedding team to achieve the kind of beautiful images that you’ve been dreaming of!
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