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(How To) Wedding Photography Lighting (Part 1- Natural Light Photography)| Adelaide Wedding Photographer
Wedding Photography Lighting (Part 1 - Natural Light Photography)
I am a Professional Wedding Photographer in Adelaide, SA. The purpose of this post is to answer our Facebook friend Wang Brooks's question: "I wish that if you can share information about light and visual angle." Part 1 and 2 will focus on the Light aspect of the question. Part 3 work on the Angle on how I see things. wedding photography lighting
Personal Disclaimer: These blog posts are what I do and how I feel about Wedding Photography Lighting. It is subjective and there is no right and wrong way of doing it.
Part 1 - Natural Light Photography
Part 2 - Wedding Photography Lighting (Using Flash)
Part 3 - Working with Angle (TBA)
Photographing in a wedding is not all about MY PHOTOGRAPHY that takes priority over everything. I do not centre myself as "Scott is the photographer and he wants this and that". I have to meet schedule, live to my expectation (to perform), to ensure that I am able to produce the best with what is going on (in terms of wedding photography lighting).
Wedding Photography Lighting can be as simple as Natural light to complicating multiple Flash lights. I use a combination of natural and flash lighting in different situations.
Natural Light Photography
Why natural light? It's easy, less equipment (flash) to buy and carry quick. Often a photojournalistic way of capturing moments without being discovered.
When is natural light not suitable? Here's some reasons I can think of.
- Ambient lights is brighter than subject, this means that you have a darker subject in a well exposed photo.
- Some dark wedding venues when you can't even see clearly.
- When you want to use artificial light to create a more dramatic photo.
- Save you some $ by not buying more lights.
- Fill flash to clean shadows - portrait. Especially in afternoon sun.
- You need to freeze fast subject in motion.
Below is an example of using natural light during pretty dim wedding reception venue in Windy Point, South Australia. Light source is the heater light just above the bride.
1:Gears: Often not a must, but this helps a lot in low light condition wedding reception venue. You might just have to use a camera body with good high ISO capability paired with a "fast" lens. Lens that can go wide like f/1.4 such as a prime lens. Here is a link to my gear list. Here's an article on what lens should you use for wedding photography. I will try to update my gear list to include my wedding photography lighting gears use.
2: The first light source and often the main light is the Sun. Most photographers will begin their journey as a natural light photographer who don't supplement additional lights in a wedding. I am one. Know where the sun is coming from.
3: Observe the Shadows. This is the key. Apply to indoor and outdoor. When there is light, there will be shadow. Watch the shadow on the face. In an outdoor portrait for example, your couple might be under the tree, watch how the tree branches are creating shadows on their face. If so, move them around or use fill flash. When I start at my groom or bride's place for their prep, I like to walk around the house and observe the lights. Is there direct sun light coming in from the window/sliding door?
4: Make use of Any Available Light such as the videographer's video light. This can be a good substitute for off camera flash light. Some photographers dislike to work with videographers video light but i love it. Likewise, in a reception. I love to use the DJ lights as well. This creates a really good ambient lights even if it's bright green light on someone's face. It's the mood. Lights from bedside lamp, torches etc can be useful too. Just look around.
Image below: Videographer is standing on my right. I am borrowing his light in this portrait. Way too easy! wedding photography lighting
5: Mobile phone light, YES! Use it! You do have a light source with you everywhere you go. I use my iPhone light to lit up the details when i need them.
6: Should I overexpose or underexpose? In general, I expose for the skin of my bride and groom. Take the photos in RAW format and this save you lots of overexpose or underexpose of the skin. wedding photography lighting
7: Avoid Afternoon Sun. As a natural light photographer, if you are not using any flash for fill, try to avoid afternoon sun as it will cause harsh shadow just below the eyes.
8: Do not to place people facing the sun. Pretty self explanatory.
Image below: I took the photo of the bridal party facing the sun. Why? The wind from the sea will not mess up their hair when they are facing the sea & sun. I did turn around and take another photos of them back-face the sun/sea. Their eyes are better as they are not looking at the harsh sun but their hairs are flying in front of their face.
Thank you for reading our article on wedding photography lighting and hope you will find these wedding photography lighting tips useful as a natural light photographer.
Kindly support us by giving our Facebook page a LIKE and Share this article. Let me know if you have any questions.
Scott Goh Photography
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wedding photography lighting
Washing Machine Baby | Concept Photography
Concept Photography is one of my favourite. It has no limitations, and it allows my imagination to go wild. Concept Photography has become even more creative since the introduction of digital cameras and Photoshop.
This series is inspired by my little boy's daily activity. I will share how did I get the idea of having him in the washing machine.
Same as all other little boys, the word messy is not uncommon in our house!
Not chocolate, but vegemite. "Please don't come near my camera" LOL.
Funny enough, he doesn't like being dirty too:)
Now, apart from being messy, we have a lot of 2) LAUNDRY to catch up! Especially, when I'm getting busier with photography. The other thing about him that inspired me to produce this photo is the fact that he is always 3) CURIOUS about the washing machine. He loves to see what's in it whether it was turned on or not. This has always been prohibited in this house as it can be dangerous. Therefore, I thought it will be a good idea to use my work to raise awareness among parents:)
Behind the scene Photos
For those who are curious about how this photo was produced, here are some behind the scene photos.
First of all, I need a photo of my washing machine on Baby Care mode without my own reflections in it- I did take 2 different images and combined them into 1 to remove my own reflections. To create a better image (I think), I have pilled all the laundry next to it.
Then I need a photo of him in it. I need a photo of him crying, because no one would still be laughing/smiling if they are in a washing machine, I imagine.
I tried to think how am I going to get a photo of him crying without deliberately making him cry. The photo below was taken while he was taking his bath/shower. Sometimes he does refuse to have showers and tries to escape. (Hence, I did not put him into the washing machine LOL)
So I use this photo of him having his shower. The shower screen is just perfect to mimic the glass of the washing machine door!
We are all clean and happy!
We are working on more of these Concept Photography images and will be posting them in the near future. So stay tuned....
If you have a concept or an idea that you would like us to help you with, please fell free to contact us at email@example.com for a quote. "Concept Photography"
Here's the link to the Facebook photo post.
A link to Solomon's 18 months photo shoot
A Detailed Wedding Photography Checklist - A Journalistic Approach
There are lots of Wedding Photography Checklist that photographers new into the wedding industry use. Our menthod adds a journalist approach to the photos taken.
I always ask my clients if there's any things that they want me to capture. Sometimes, they want me to photograph them with their pet.
- The Groom's place
- Prep Shots – Groom alone
- Prep Shots - Groom and Mum, Dad, Best man, Groomsmen
- Mum fixing boutonnière/button hole for Groom
- Groom and Family
- Groom and Bridal party
- The Bride's place
- The Dress – Hanging or Draped
- Bride with dress
- Prep Shot - Maid of Honor & Brides Mom – Zipping/Tidying Dress
- Prep Shot - Bride Applying Make Up / Hair
- Bride fixing boutonnière/button hole for Dad
- Church Wide Shot (with & without guests)
- Bride walking down aisle ( Side Profile & Front )
- Father giving away bride
- Groom over the shoulder shot of bride ( & Vis Versa)
- Holding hands – Bride and Groom
- Bride & Groom Kiss
- Bride & Groom Leaving Church ( Receiving Line)
- Bride & Groom – Inside Limo Shot
Bridal Portrait (Skipped as these are portrait shoots of bridal party)
- B&G (full body, half body)
- Bride alone
- Groom alone
- Full bridal party
- Bride & GM
- Bride & BM
- Groom & GM
- Groom & BM
Reception wedding photography checklist
- Reception/Banquet Hall Outside shot
- Food Shots (Cocktail Hour, Drinks, etc.)
- First Dance
- Bride & Father Dance
- Groom & Mother Dance
- Bouquet Toss
- Guarder Belt Toss
- Cake Cutting, Bride and Groom Feeding each other
- Misc. Guests Dancing
- Centerpieces & Flower/Decorations
- Guestbook Signatures
- Small Children Dancing with Bride & Groom
- Bride & Groom’s Parents Dancing (Plus Grandparents)
- Smiles and laughers
Here's a link to our other wedding tip blog post - tips for wedding second shooters