Since it's the dead of winter and weddings and shoots have slowed down a bit, I wanted to talk to you brides about light. We photographers worship the light. It's the paint that makes our art, and we need it in one fashion or another to create the best possible images.
I have noticed in the last year or so that more brides are starting to visualize their weddings. Not just plan it, but visualize it. I am pretty sure this is because of Pinterest. Yes ladies, I love the site as much as you do, and I'm thrilled you are turning to photographs for brainstorming your big day. THRILLED. This is because you can now show me what you like (sometimes saying it out loud and finding the right words is tough -- I get that). The site helps us all brainstorm and visually communicate, and I think nothing but great things can come from it. Pin away, I tell you!
But I want you to notice something. I want you to look hard at all those images you're posting and look at where the light is coming from. Are there large windows? Is the couple outside? Are there lots of trees? Is it dark and lit mostly by candle? I want you to notice the light because it's like the "hidden" character in the picture.
Stay with me here. Did you ever watch Sex and the City? Yes? How many main characters were there? Many people would say four. Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha. But I would say five. I would add Manhattan. That city was like the character that made the show. It had good moments and bad moments and it had story arcs as well. And that's kinda what the light is in your photographs. It's not the subject, but it's still required.
OK, still with me? Now think about the light as you're pinning away on all of your favorite wedding photos and inspiration photos, and try to guess around what time the photos were taken. Nothing exact, but was it high noon? Are there shadows on the faces? Is everything bright and crisp? Or are things softer and warmer? Like late afternoon/early evening? This also should be considered. Taking images outside of all of your family and wedding party might be most practical at noon, but with the light directly above, there will be more shadows on the faces, so maybe you'll want to push it back a bit.
Now wait. I don't want to discourage you! We are, after all, a bunch of professionals who know tricks around such situations. We can totally make scenarios like the one above work. I'm talking about getting the best-possible situations here though, and I want to manage our brides' expectations.
So when you're trying to decide the timeline of your day or the location of your cocktail hour, the position of the sun or the number of windows might be something you want to factor in. And if you are overwhelmed enough without thinking about something as silly as light, then meet with your photographer beforehand. Show him or her the kind of photos you want and talk about your location and the two of you can create a game plan to get the kinds of images you want.
And don't worry if it's cloudy! I hear so many brides (and parents of brides) who worry that clouds will ruin their photos, but the clouds simply diffuse the light, making great light no matter the sun position (or timing), so clouds actually work in your favor.
And lastly! You should follow us over on Pinterest! It's where we post a lot of our inspiration, as well as some of our own work.