Photography LIghting Tips
Photography Lighting Tips
As a wedding photographer, knowing how to properly light your subject, regardless of the situation you are in, can be challenging at times. From determining if you should use your reflector, to figuring out your flash settings, to the proper placement of your subject in relation to the light, there are a lot of variables to think about. Add in the chaos of the wedding timeline and you can be left feeling pretty overwhelmed! So, to help put you at ease, here are our top wedding photography lighting tips.
Identify Available Light
When you are on location, the most important things to do is identify the available light. If you’re indoors, what type of light is available? If you’re outside, what time of day is it? During the day ask yourself: Am I working with harsh or soft lighting? For night shots, is there available street lights or any lighting coming from the sky? As soon as you determine your available light in your location, then you can decide if you can work with it or if you need assistance.
Bring a Reflector
Often times the available or natural light isn’t always enough to help you create the photographs you want. To enhance the available light and elevate its quality, bring your reflector along. A reflector helps to bounce light onto your subject, especially when the lighting isn’t in your favor in your location. When shooting indoors, you can work with window light or other available light to bounce light onto the couple. It’s important to remember that a reflector isn’t always ideal in capturing fast moments. Your reflector is best used when you have more time for things like couple or bridal portraits.
Use Speedlights for Dark Locations
When the sun goes down, most of your available light disappears, so you can now shoot at a higher ISO. Instead of using your Speedlight as a flash, you can adjust the settings and use it as an autofocus device. If you want to capture the mood and don’t want to turn your flash on just yet, you can still use its infrared beam to help you focus in the dark.
Practice Lighting Techniques
There are always new techniques for you to use during your shoots. Usually, it takes time to adjust to these new skills. Instead of practicing your skills during the day of the wedding, schedule time to practice outside of a professional shoot. Get to know your camera better and its capabilities. Test out the ISO settings by shooting at each ISO until you get to the maximum of your camera. Then, go back and look at the photos you shot and decide what ISO works best for your camera. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be to shoot in difficult lighting scenarios.