Wedding Day Lighting Guide

Today I'm talking about how to get the most out of natural light on your wedding day. Making minor adjustments to any timeline to account for lighting can help to make a big difference in the way your photos turn out! I prefer to leverage natural light as far as possible where I can, only using artificial light (such as flash) when required after dark. By planning to make the most of the best light available we’ll be able to capture beautiful (and flattering) photos throughout the day.

Here’s how:

1. Avoid Midday Light

Any events scheduled to happen outdoors on a sunny summers day between 10am-3pm should take place away from harsh, direct sunlight. Look for an open shade area (trees are ideal) and plan to schedule the majority of your photos later in the day. 

2. Plan for a Later Ceremony

A summer ceremony 2-3 hours before sunset can help to avoid the heat and prevent any squinting and harsh shadows due to strong sunlight. Both you and your guests will enjoy the ceremony much more as a result.

3. Don't Stress About Overcast Weather

Don't fret if the sun isn't shining. Cloudy wedding days make for gorgeous photos too! The light will be softer and won’t restrict where or when your ceremony or other events take place.

4. Schedule Your Couple Portraits at Sunset

On wedding days, I will suggest that we take your couple portraits during the golden hour - which happens in the hour or so before sunset. You can read more about the golden hour here. It may be a small window of time, but chasing this evening light often yields magical results! Photographing during these hours when the sun is low and the light is soft helps give a romantic and soft glow to your photos.

I cannot emphasise enough the importance of sunset on your wedding day. The majority of the couple portraits that you see from the weddings that I photograph are taken at sunset. Scheduling your portraits right around that time is essential. If you can’t allocate much time, I’d still suggest sneaking out after dinner for a few moments of relaxed photos in golden hour light.

5. Incorporate Other Light Sources

The more lights at your reception, the better! I’ll be able to document the true feeling and atmosphere of your evening celebrations if you help by adding enough light for me to do so. 

Most photographers (myself included) prefer not to reply on the use of flash too much if at all possible so please consider incorporating other light sources such as candles, hanging chandeliers, strung lights and neutral coloured up lighting to help achieve the best outcome for your photos (especially if your reception is taking place outdoors).

Sparklers can be a fun addition to your wedding photos but ensure that you buy the long ones if possible, that there are plenty to go around for all of your guests (the more the merrier!) and that you have an abundance of lighters (or even better, candles!) to light them quickly when the time comes.

6. If You Need Me, Call Me

If we'll be working together on your wedding day, don’t hesitate to reach out while you’re in the process of structuring a timeline for your wedding day or choosing locations for photos. I’m here to help you along the way so that can we can create lots of lovely photos that you’ll cherish forever and always! xo