Congratulations! You're engaged! For better or worse, now begins the process of planning your big day. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources online and in print to help with the mind-numbing number of details that go into making your special day the best it can possibly be. One of those details is the photography. We've put together a few things to keep in mind that can help make your photos turn out as well as they possibly can.
Gabby and I are predominately natural/available light photographers. That means we work with the light that's already there and use fancy photographer tricks to make it look amazing. We use flash when needed, but not all that often except for late night wedding receptions when the sun's gone to bed and there's no natural light to speak of.
Now, not all natural lighting situations are equal. Some situations are great for making amazing pictures, others require a little more work, and some are very difficult indeed. I think we've worked with just about whatever you can think of...
Many lighting factors are beyond human intervention, but there are a few things that you can control when planning your wedding that affect how the light turns out, and therefore play a big part in making your photos as good as they can be.
Picking your venue is one of the biggest planning steps in preparing for your wedding day. It's the backdrop for all your photos (topic for a different day), and plays a big part in setting the mood for your day and therefore your photos. When considering how your photos, you can consider a few things Is it an outdoor venue? Is it shaded or does the sun come streaming in unrestricted? If it's indoors, what kind of lighting do they have set up? Is there a lot of light coming in from the windows? Does the venue have mixed lighting? I know, that's a lot of questions! Fortunately, your photographer should be able to help answer those with you so you don't have to worry with all the technical stuff.
Our favorite light to work with is called "golden hour," the light in the last hour before sunset or the first hour after sunrise. It's a magical, warm, glowing light that bathes everything in amazing contrast and colors. Basically, it's pretty light and makes for great photos. The way to get golden hour light for your ceremony is to have your wedding during or just before that hour window. Alternatively, having your couple's photos during golden hour makes for magnificent portraits that you will cherish for many many years. And, of course, for golden hour light, outdoors is best. Even if your ceremony is indoors, having a few minutes to get outside for your couple's portraits will be a very worth while investment of your time.
If you don't want to have your ceremony later in the day, a good second is to shoot for (pun somewhat intended) backlighting. That's as simple as it sounds: keep the light to your back. You don't have to worry too much about your couple's photos, but during your ceremony, planning to have the sun somewhat behind you will help make for beautiful images with lots of "pop."
What if you can't get outside you may ask? In that case, big pretty windows are your friend. They make for the same pretty colors and soft shadows you get from outdoor lighting without letting in the cold...or rain...or bugs...
The hardest light to make look pretty is high noon light with no cover. It's possible, just much more challenging. Keeping your ceremony out of direct, mid-day sunlight will help a lot in many ways. The easiest solution is to plan your ceremony later in the day when the light will be gentler.
Every wedding is unique and special, so your photos will come out differently than someone else's, but these are just some quick tips to help you give your photos the best chance before your photographer even shows up.
Have you heard any good planning tricks to make the most of your photos? Let us know in the comments or get in touch directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Boyd & Gabby