If you have been following T2 Photography on Instagram, you know that we’ve been posting lots of wedding day tips lately. We’ve been using the hashtag #unsolicitedtipsfromaweddingphotographer. If you’re not following us yet, and you’re planning a wedding, we recommend doing that now! Several of those tips have been about lighting, so I decided to consolidate that info and share it here on the blog too!
When selecting where you and your bridesmaids will be getting ready on wedding day, we always recommend choosing a place with lots of natural light. Not only will your makeup artist thank you, but it gives us a perfect setting to get beautiful photos of you getting ready for your big day!
If you’re having an outdoor ceremony, make sure you consider where the sun will be at the time of your ceremony. Being thoughtful about ceremony time will ensure that your guests are as comfortable as possible and also set the stage for beautiful photos. We are always happy to help our brides and grooms figure out what is the best time for the ceremony based on their venue!
If you’re planning a church ceremony, we want to remind you that we are never going to be intrusive. We realize that it is a holy ceremony, and it’s not about us, so we want to be respectful of that. (This is true of any wedding ceremony, but we want to pay particularly close attention to this when we’re in a church.) I usually shoot from the front during the procession, while Thomas shoots from the back, and as you’re walking down the aisle (after I have gotten some photos of you walking in and all the guests are turned to look at you) I sneak to the back of the sanctuary or up to the balcony. Remember that lots of times churches have rules about where we can shoot from during the ceremony, and we’ll always be respectful of that. This is another time when it’s important to consider lighting. Although brides often want the lights dim during the ceremony, we recommend not going too dim, because we will be some distance from you, and we will not be using a flash or off-camera lighting during this time, as to not be a distraction during the service. This is important to remember for your procession and recession as well, so although stage lighting will light you up while you’re at the front, it’s a good idea to keep the main sanctuary lights up enough for your entrance and exit too. Our cameras can definitely compensate for low light better than the average camera (that’s what they’re designed to do,) but it’s still a good thing to think about beforehand. We are always happy to speak to the lighting person at your church before ceremony time to find a good level that works for everyone!
When it’s time to take portraits of the bride and groom and the wedding party, it’s entirely likely that we may ask you to do a little bit of walking. Possibly to a woodsy area. We ask that you trust us, and just go for it! This is probably because we have found some creamy, natural, filtered light that’s too pretty to pass up! We want to keep you out of direct sun if possible, or put the sun to your back, so we can get the natural light images that you’ve seen in our portfolio. (We recommend preparing yourself and your wedding party for this. And you may want to make sure to have some extra shoes, if your wedding day shoes aren’t comfortable enough.) You only get this day once, but your photographs will last forever!
Now that we’ve talked about light while you’re getting ready, during your ceremony, and during your portraits, it’s time to talk about the party – the reception! This is another time that we find that brides often want the lights dim to “set the mood” for the reception, but this is another time to point out the importance of light! Light is what makes cameras work, and in the complete absence of it, they simply don’t. So if your reception venue is dark, we’re going to create some light of our own! Sometimes we do that with off-camera lighting, and sometimes we do that with a flash. But our goal, beyond the moodiness of your reception, is to make sure we photograph it well! Lots of times Thomas will use a flash and shoot the wide party shots that everyone loves, while I sometimes shoot without a flash, taking advantage of the ambient light in your venue or using off-camera lighting, capturing more of the moody images that I love! SO make sure to think about reception lighting too. Whether it’s twinkly lights, tent lighting or your venue’s lights. And remember if your band or deejay has crazy pink and green polka dot lights, we’re down with that! But those crazy pink and green lights will definitely be visible in your party pics! (So we’re likely to ask them to skip the crazy for your first dance.) Just know that at your reception, we’re going to light you up, one way or another!
And while all of these lighting tips are good to think about, the most important thing to remember when you choose us as your wedding photographers, is that with nine years and over a hundred weddings under our belts, we have got you covered. We know how to find good light, we know how to make good light, and we are going to make sure to provide you with beautiful images from your wedding day that you will treasure forever!