As a photographer, whether new or experienced, you will already be more than aware of the fact that light can make all the difference to a quality or poor shot. It literally can be the difference between the two.
When you are photographing a wedding, you need to get everything just so; you are capturing the most special day of a couple’s life, and if there is anything wrong with the photos you produce, literally anything, then you are possibly ruining the memories of their special day.
The choice between natural and artificial light is one that you need to make carefully, but most photographers do tend to go for natural light, to give the most natural appearance to the finished article.
The advantages of this? You don’t need to worry about flash technique, or how it changes appearances, and you don’t need to buy any other equipment – you have everything you need in front of you.
Having said that, most photographers do use a flash at some stage of a wedding shoot, e.g. as the light is beginning to dim, or at the evening reception. Much of the use of flash or not is down to confidence too, because a confident photographer will probably find they revert back to using a flash much less than when they started out.
If you’re about to do a wedding shoot, and you’re confused about using natural vs artificial light, here’s a few things to bear in mind.
Check out the light
A top quality photographer will spend much of their time checking out the light. Basically, when you see a moment you want to capture, the first question you need to ask yourself is where the light is. From there, you need to think about other side subjects, such as the temperature, the saturation of the light, the direction, the quantity, these are all items which will help you adjust your settings as need be. It may be that you decide to change the setting of the moment you’re trying to capture, to get the best light possible.
Know that sometimes chasing a good photo is best
Whilst you want to get everything as natural as possible, sometimes finding the ideal light and situation is best, and then taking the shot from there. Assessing the light before you actually take the photo is not necessarily ‘chasing the shot’, but it is about knowing whether the photograph you’re about to take is going to be any good or not. Again, this is something which experience will help you with, but checking out the light (see step 1) is something you should always do first.
The location is important
If you are in a room and you are trying to photograph guests in natural situations, again, check where the light is. If people are standing in a corner which is dark, and you have people also standing near the window, with natural light flooding in, creating an almost halo effect, always go for the light; this will give you fantastic photographs. On the other hand, using a flash on the people in the darker corner may give you a good outcome, but it could look a little forced also.
Sun is not always great, but accept it
Summer weddings can be a nightmare when it comes to bright sunlight. There is not a lot you can do about this, other than accept the conditions and do your best to work with them. Often, you can shoot with the sun behind the person, and this will give you a very attractive halo effect again, without squinting eyes.
Light is very rarely perfect, but as a photographer you need to work with what you are given. This is perhaps what makes the job of a photographer quite difficult, because nothing is ever perfect, especially when it comes to the pressure of a wedding shoot!
Our job is a collaborative effort. Philip Senior is in charge of the top scale path and perspective of Philip O’Neill Photography.
Florin is definitely a Digital Marketing expert and blogger who likes to research the modern trends in business, technology and marketing and writes about a range of stories.