If there’s one thing wedding photographers obsess about, it’s great light. Yeah, we’re geeky like that. Whether it’s a beautiful blue-sky afternoon, snatched moments of golden-hour gorgeousness or soft, fading twilight at the end of an amazing day, light makes such a big difference to the wedding photos you get. Big. Huge. Massive. So it’s worth a little pre-planning, right?
Ok, maybe you know just the kind of light you’d like for your photos – or maybe you haven’t got the foggiest. Either way, the best place to start is by finding some photos you love and talking to your photographer about them. What is it that gives you that tingly feeling – and what do you really want to steer clear of? I always ask my couples to look through my gallery and pick out some shots with light they love – it’s so much easier than trying to describe it in words!
That gives us a great starting point. Next up, we need to think about the time of day, and year, you’re getting married. There’s no point falling for photos full of summer sunshine if you’re getting married at 5pm in October. Unless you’re about to reschedule the whole thing – or book a summertime engagement shoot – it’s just not going to happen.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t throw some really beautiful light on your shots – I’ll catch the last sweet rays of lingering light outside, bring my own lighting along and work with the light in your venue to make sure you – and your guests – look amazing. Honestly. Just ask me to show you some shots taken at a similar time of day or year and you’ll see what I mean.
Sunshine filled, beautiful bright days
Ask most couples what they’re wishing for on their wedding day and great weather’s usually up there at the top (along with cake, dancing and the love of their life, obviously).
But to be honest, the kind of light you get from mid-morning till early evening on a gorgeous summer day can be harder than you’d think to work with. Bright light also brings along lots of contrast, shadow and squinting guests, so I’ll often plan your portraits and any group shots for later in the day as the sun starts to soften. Believe it or not, as the light starts to fade, the colours we can capture will be even more beautiful. Which brings me on to…
Golden hour. It’s a kind of magic.
Hands-down the best time of day for wedding photos, engagement photos or any other kind of photos, golden hour is just that – golden. It’s a little slice of time that starts about half an hour before the sun sets and lingers until just after. And if the weather’s right, it’s filled with the warmest, most amazing, flattering light, just perfect for your pictures. Can you tell I’m a fan?
Ok, the sunshine doesn’t always play ball ( hello moody UK!), and golden hour shifts with the seasons…If you see me twitching by the window as the sun sinks in the sky, you’ll know I’m on the lookout. And if I start tugging your elbow at about that time of day, go with it – I promise it’ll be gorgeous.
Dreamy, diffused dusk light.
Once golden hour slips away, dusk steps in for a final fling with the camera. We’ve got to move fast this late in the day, but if we can snatch a few beautiful shots before dark, you’ll be washed in soft, cool, diffused light. It’s pretty lovely. I wouldn’t recommend pinning all your photo hopes on this time of day, but it’s a great time for a few extra shots that are full of atmosphere.
Clouds can be your friends (even rainy ones).
Lots of couples worry what will happen if it rains on their wedding day. Fair enough. Nobody dreams about their amazing hair-do getting soggy, or their canapés on the lawn turning into canapés huddled in a hallway. I get it.
But if you’re worried a grey day – or a rainy one – will ruin your photos, stop. Cloudy days can be really flattering. Without bright sunlight and big shadows, the light is softer, gentler, kinder. And far from dampening people’s spirits, rain often brings out a whole lot of humour. If you’re game, it’s always fun to get the two of you (or all of you!) out in it briefly, armed with brollies. But if you’d rather stay dry, that’s ok too, and I’ve got lots of great ways to capture lovely light indoors…
Insider tricks, amazing shots.
Even crossing your fingers super tightly (which might make exchanging rings a bit tricky) can’t guarantee you the weather, especially here in the UK. So if it’s cold, wet or just time to carry on the party inside, I’m always ready to make the most of the light inside a venue.
Windows can work wonders, streaming lots of pretty light in, and these days most venues give a lot of thought to warm, flattering lighting. But, if it’s not enough, I’ll have my own lights and tricks of the trade ready to make sure we get plenty of beautiful, last-a-lifetime shots.
Take a look through my gallery, on Instagram, or wherever you get your inspiration and find those shots you love. If you fancy talking them through over a cuppa, and finding out more about working with me, just drop me a line. Can’t wait!