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  • Writer's picturerachel leintz

how to plan on lighting

During my conversations with wedding planners recently, I’ve learned that booking a wedding photographer is one of the first items on bridal checklists. Many soon-to-be-brides actually book their wedding photographers before their venues, or even before finding their dress! That’s terrific because it means that photography is important to them. The ideal client : )

But once you’ve found the artist for you, the one you want to capture all those amazing moments, here is something that is a must for all brides to think about:

What about the lighting?

Most brides see a gorgeous venue and thing “Ah Ha! Perfect! This background will look amazing in the photos.” And it’s true. Most wedding photographers worth their salt can make beautiful images anywhere. But here are a few things you should go over with your wedding planner, to make sure you get the images you envision:

1. When will the ceremony be held?

If you are planning a sunset ceremony, with the sun dipping behind you during your first kiss as man and wife, awesome! But does that leave enough time for formals and family shots in the setting you had planned? Are you adding additional lighting?

2. Is the ceremony outdoors? If so, and you are planning a ceremony in the early afternoon, is there shade?

In Arizona, the midday sun can be harsh! Not just for your guest, sitting in the direct lighting, but for your skin. Harsh midday sun from above, casting hard shadows on your face isn’t ideal for anyone, no matter your age.

Lots of venues keep this in mind and plan for ceremonies to be held in the beautiful soft shade of large trees or other landscaping. If your venue is wide open, consider a ceremony closer to the “golden hour.” About an hour or so before sunset.

If you’re planning on getting married on a beach, see if there’s a way for the venue to add a canopy to your ceremony site to allow for some complexion-pleasing open shade.

3. Is the reception outdoors? If so, what kind of additional light will be added to the space?

Lots of brides don’t mind electronic flash during the reception. (It’s kind of to be expected). But keep in mind that if your reception is outside and it’s pitch black on the dance for, your photographer won’t have a choice but to hit you dead-on with that little electronic burst. That’s fine for most brides, but if you are looking for a more “professional” looking reception shoot, consider moving it indoors, where your photographer has to walls to work with for bounce-flash.

All in all, your professional wedding photographer will make do with any lighting situation you put them into, but these are just a few things to keep in mind. Chat about lighting during the planning phase. It can help the day of wedding go a lot smoother and can also ensure that the images you have in your mind, end up in your wedding album.

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