Happy Wedding Wednesday everyone!

Today I want to address something that most brides don’t think about. And this is SO important, I want to SHOUT IT TO EVERYONE! But I can’t. :) So I will post about it here, and hope that it goes viral or something so that brides know and understand!

There are so many things to think about on your wedding day, but the lighting that you have available to you can either make or break your wedding photos! Now let’s be honest – a good photographer will take what they have and work with it. But if you, as a bride, are prepared and understand the lighting, you will make the photographer’s job SO much easier, and your photos will definitely show it! Let’s look at a few examples. Please note, these are not bad pictures, but the lighting is harsh and not flattering, that’s why I’m using them as examples. And these photographers have posted these photos as examples of poor lighting themselves, I’m not bashing anyone, they’re examples to learn from for brides and photographers!

Example one – good looking couple, decent location, close together, but the sun is HARSH! Brides, you don’t want shadows covering your eyes. I usually call those raccoon eyes – not flattering, no matter how gorgeous you are!

Photo from Lexi Glauser Photography

Example two – another beautiful couple, a nice location with the water behind, but the sun is not only harsh, but off to the right. This means that the groom’s shadow is covering part of the bride’s face. They’re both squinting because of the sun, and it’s just not a very flattering result.

Photo from Scarlett Rose Photography

Now again, the point of this is not to bash these photos and say they’re bad, because they’re not. But lighting is such an important piece of your day, and paying attention to that will definitely make your photos SO much better!

The reception is another difficult situation. How many wedding receptions have you been to that have amazing natural light? Usually they’re lit by candles, or torches, or another really, REALLY small light source. So how will your photographer be able to capture those important moments that happen during the reception? A professional will make sure they have the equipment to do so – and I don’t just mean a flash on their camera. Backlighting, off camera lighting, and other forms of lighting will make a HUGE difference in your reception photos. The word photography literally means to write with light, and when you choose your photographer, hiring a professional will ensure that you have someone familiar with how to capture things, even in difficult situations!

So what can YOU do to help for your own wedding? A few things are really important.

1. Be aware of the light at your venues, at the times of day that you will be taking photos. If you have time midday to take photos and the sun is harsh, look for shade. Know where you want to go because of the nice shade, the big wall, or the awesome reflections. Be prepared. Google has a calendar that you can look at to see sunrise and sunset times, and about an hour before sunset is the best time.

2. ASK! Communicate with your photographer. Communication can fix a myriad of issues when it comes to your wedding day. Make sure that your photographer is open and honest with you, and in return – you be open and honest with them! Ask them where the light would be best, they will tell you! And when they tell you, listen. :) Which leads us to number three…

3. Be flexible. If your photographer says that putting your gown on in another room would be best for lighting, be flexible in moving to that room. It doesn’t mean that EVERYTHING has to move to that room, but those shots will be best in that room. If your photographer suggests that you face a certain direction, they’re usually telling you that to make sure your photos are awesome, so listen to them! If your photographer wants to steal you away from your reception for 10 minutes because of that awesome pre-sunset light, go with them! When you hire a professional, they will know what they’re talking about and will be able to get you the gorgeous shots you see in magazines if you work with them, instead of against them.

I’m so fortunate to have brides that get this! Both of my brides in the past month put their gowns on in awkward rooms because they had better light. And their photos were so much better because they were flexible and worked with me on that!

Part of this blurb about lighting will take me back to something I say a LOT – please please PLEASE hire a professional photographer for your wedding, instead of relying on family members with cameras. A professional photographer not only has the gear (which let’s be honest, anyone can buy) but the KNOWLEDGE to work with difficult lighting situations that may arise.

I am currently booking weddings for July, August, and October… and have already had inquiries for next year. I can’t believe we’re talking about 2012 already, and Friday will be the start of July! Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to reserve your date. I promise you I will work with you on lighting to try to avoid raccoon eyes! ;)