How to have perfect wedding photographs – Let there be light

Beautiful lighting for your wedding is a must!

You’re going to invest a big portion of your wedding budget on your wedding photographs. So, how do you make sure they are everything you want them to be? How do you have your perfect wedding photos? With nearly 10 years of experience, photographing over 160 weddings and elopements, I’ve learned a few things that will make your wedding photography dreams come true.

This is part two of a seven-part series of encouraging tips for achieving your perfect wedding photos. You can read part one here. You can read all seven parts here: How to have your perfect wedding photographs!

It’s all about the light!

Light is crucial for photography. From the very beginning of the day through to the end, light can make or break photos. A beautiful moment can be that much more beautiful in a well lit room. So when you are choosing your venues make sure to evaluate the light sources and even plan to incorporate some beautiful ambient light as part of your decor.

Now I know what you might be thinking: “But Shannon-May, isn’t it kind of, part of your job as a professional photographer to worry about the lighting and to create light when there isn’t any?”

Short answer, “Abso-friken-lutely.”

Every professional wedding photographer should have the lighting gear they need to create light when the ambient light is low quality. I personally, will use flash or another lighting that matches my photographic style when it’s needed. Walking into spaces that already have great ambient light, however, means that the light I choose to create can be for more creative and dynamic purposes rather than primary light. Moreover, some venues like an art gallery or church may not allow flash photography so making lighting a part of your decor plan is always beneficial.

Some specific things you can look for when choosing spaces for your wedding or that you can plan for include:

  1. Choose a getting ready location with LOTS of windows. Window light is a photographer’s BFF. I especially love great window light for photographing details and candid getting ready photos.

  2. Light your head table. Considering hanging bistro lights or chandeliers evenly above and in front of your head table. (Why in front? Because when lights are hung directly above heads it makes for some really funky shadows on f