If you’ve ever worked with us, you’ve probably heard me say (once or twice … ) that it’s all about the light. As natural light photographers, LIGHT is our driving force and the number one factor in (almost) every decision we make location-wise for our clients photos. We chase great light. Of course, there are always exceptions, but many times, even if you have the most beautiful location but the lighting is far from ideal, the photo will not turn out as you expect or want it to! Because of this, we are always trying to educate our clients about lighting during their session and help them see and understand why we choose the locations we do for their portraits! We know that our brains work differently than many of our clients when it comes to seeing and understanding light.
On a wedding day, a lot of times, you cannot control the light. The ceremony is at X location and the reception is in Y location and nothing’s going to change that! When these locations — many of them indoor — don’t provide ideal lighting for our client’s portfolios and our editing style, we use flash or other tools to create the lighting and look to our photos that we want to the best of our abilities! However, there ARE many opportunities to choose where we want to shoot on a wedding (bridal party shots, bride and groom portraits, etc.) and during these portions of the day, we chase that great light!
One location you might not think about but definitely have control over is your getting ready location! During this portion of the day, we cannot encourage you enough to choose a location that is FILLED with natural light — aka has LOTS of windows!! These windows give us pure light flooding in from outside rather than colored or tinted light coming from fluorescent or tungsten bulbs indoors. This natural light replicates the light you will have in the majority of your photos taken outdoors and helps create a more cohesive wedding gallery!
To give an example: many times, church basements have few-to-no windows whereas a home or Airbnb can have rooms with lots of windows! The church basement will provide a setting for photos that can be dark and have unflattering light (both in color of light and direction of light). Brides, we want the photos of you getting ready and into your dress to be captivating, romantic, bright, and happy! Lighting can really affect this (and same for you, grooms!).
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In addition to lighting you while getting ready, rooms with lots of natural light allow us to capture your details (dress, shoes, flowers, jewelry, invites, ties, cufflinks) more quickly and efficiently as we can do them right in the room! Bright, naturally-lit detail shots can only be done in a space that has lots of natural light.
Lastly, in regards to the getting ready location, we always encourage our couples to think about spaces that are clean, simple, tasteful, and charming. By avoiding messy/distracting backgrounds, the focus of these images is instead on the people in them : )
As you’re planning your day, we encourage you to get creative and think outside the box. Where could you get ready that would provide a beautiful backdrop, lots of natural light, and help us create for you the most beautiful images we possibly can? Maybe it’s your home, somewhere that has character and special meaning to you. Or maybe a light-filled Airbnb near the ceremony location that you can rent for you and your bridal parties the night before and morning of the wedding!! Or, if at the church, talk with the wedding coordinator to see if you can have access to a room with all of the elements we’ve discussed in this post : ) Happy planning!!
For more wedding planning tips, click here!