What is the best wedding lighting to get good photos? We have covered more than 550 weddings since 2009 and we have seen well-lit weddings and badly lit ones. Hiring a good wedding photographer and a videographer is crucial for beautiful lasting memories. However, no matter how good your photographer or videographer is, if the lighting in your venue is bad, your photos will end up badly too.
Day time weddings do not face so much of this issue except when the sun is shining right into the couple’s face that will cause them to squint in all the photos. If you are having a daytime wedding, check the direction of the sun rays and plan accordingly. You also do not want harsh shadows on your faces. Do an ocular visit to the location at the exact time you want to celebrate the wedding.
Night weddings can be tricky if you do not have proper lighting. We are not technical lighting experts and we do not know the technical terms but we know that you should consider these:
1 – The place is well lit
Candlelit reception can be very elegant and romantic. However, if that is the only lighting you are thinking to have, it will be a bit too dark. Yes, photographers have flash or lighting, however, it cannot lit an area properly. We can take guest photos but their backgrounds will be dark already. A well-lit wedding reception is when the photographers and videographers will use minimal flash or lights and yet capture the moments and the ambiance you planned for.
2 – Color wash lighting
I have shot weddings with lighting which was pink and blue. We can correct the white balance in editing however, some facial features and actual colors will already be lost. Wash lighting can add a theme or mood to a wedding. If you want to add colors using color wash lighting, do not focus them on tables, stage and on the dance floor. Or you can balance them with white fill lighting for guest and couple photos
3 – Spotlight on eye level
The bride would be entering and a spotlight is ready. Guests would rise from their seats and bam! They cover the spotlight! So your bride will be brightly lit on times (overexposed) and underexposed at times. If you want to use spotlights, position them high enough so it will not be obstructed by guests passing in front of it
4 – Flashing lights
Flashing lights like lightning can be fun for party moments. We had a wedding with flashing lights used during cake cutting and half of our photos are either underexposed or overexposed. The video also seemed as if there were sudden black cuts. Avoid party lights on crucial reception moments like first dance and cake cutting
5 – Add bokeh with string lights
Have you seen those tiny lights like stars and they appear like small round lights in photos? A lot of people like those photos and when correctly and evenly placed in a venue, it gives enough lighting and creates beautiful bokeh when added to backdrops and walls.
“But aren’t you supposed to bring extra lights?”
Yes, we do but knowing how hectic weddings are, we want to be agile to be able to capture moments. If we carry extra lights wherever we go, we will miss out on some moments because we will not be able to move fast. We have flashes and fill lights for video but ambient lighting tells a better story.
So how do you avoid bad lighting at your wedding?
Discuss the best wedding lighting carefully with your tech guys. Ask them for sample photos or videos of the setup. Tell them openly that they will need to cooperate with the photographers and videographers. As your wedding photographers and videographers, we make sure to check what is the condition of the lighting before guests arrive while we take photos and videos. We also do not want surprises in lighting.
I hope this blog helped you choose the best wedding lighting for your wedding.