Worried About Bad Angles In Wedding Photos
Worried About Bad Angles In Wedding Photos – Mastering lighting as a wedding photographer is super fun AF. When your work improves and you can create images that you are very proud of and offer to your clients, it is satisfying to say the least.
One way you can consistently create that feeling is to prepare yourself for the awkward/difficult lighting situations you will encounter. Plan ahead how you will handle less-than-ideal lighting scenarios throughout the ceremony so you don’t end up with poor lighting and panic mode when the day comes 😬
Worried About Bad Angles In Wedding Photos
The last thing you need when shooting a wedding is panic mode, so let’s talk about some of the most common harsh lighting scenarios and the tips I have for overcoming each one.
Tough Ceremony Lighting Scenarios And How To Handle Them • Katherinemarchand.com
Couples like to get married under a tree. To be honest, I totally understand why. You can get some amazing views from these ceremonies. However, they usually deal with difficult lighting situations. Here are some of my recommendations for navigating them!
You really have to educate your peers on what this can look like. Show them verbatim examples and talk to them about the ideas of time. Communicating with couples and setting expectations is always a good way to put them at ease.
During the ceremony, expose the brightest area of the stage, because it is always much easier to bring out the shadows than to recreate the highlights. Also, be prepared to use an 85mm or larger zoom lens to eliminate a lot of low light and add depth to your photos.
When it comes to editing, learn how to use the brush tool in Lightroom to compensate for harsh shadows and highlights. In some cases, this will make a world of difference, so take some time to learn it if you’re not already confident in your skills with this tool.
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Wow, this can be tricky, I won’t lie! Ultimately, a solid understanding of the camera’s capabilities will help you the most in this situation. The difference between the photos you take when you’re not sure what your camera can do, and the photos you get when you’ve mastered your camera skills is very valuable.
The first question you should ask yourself is whether there will be more than one source of natural light. Think candles, windows, stage lighting, overhead lighting, and more. Most digital cameras will struggle to handle tones from multiple light sources in a room in low light, so do your research beforehand to see what your camera is capable of. No matter the situation, always be prepared with a flash and have at least one on hand.
Have flash bounce and OCF for first kiss and recession, whatever. Remember, you’re there to capture those moments for your couple, not necessarily to get artsy photos. Make sure you get those important story images first, and then worry about the artistic stuff.
Of course, shoot with whatever suits your style and do your own thing, but don’t let your personal preferences stop you from achieving the look you want, even if you can’t do it the way you would. like
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Some lighting situations (namely this one) are complicated and unavoidable due to placement, setup and time of day. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do to change them, so we just have to figure out how to work with them.
In this harsh lighting situation, you need to remove as many visual distractions as possible so that you can focus and capture the emotion throughout the ceremony. To do this, you must have an 85mm or larger lens in your kit. Here’s an example of 35mm and 85mm at the same wedding:
As you can see, the 35’s image is much flatter and less compressed because it’s wider. There are also a lot of distractions that we can’t get rid of (too many objects highlighted, etc.) With the 85, there’s a lot more depth to the photo, and your eyes go straight to the lost couple before the shot. It helps add depth with that harsh flattening light!
My other tip for situations like this is that you have to move fast in this scenario because you have to find the best angles and use them before you let those moments slip. In these types of scenes, your couple will often be cast into the shadows, so pay attention to that and shoot.
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Usually the best angles for this are from the side, and you’re looking for soft backlighting or harsh direct light for best results.
These are my options for working with less-than-ideal church lighting when you’re not allowed to use flash.
One of the advantages of church photography is that you usually have time. Use that time to strategically find the best angles and figure out where the light hits. Then stand up and take pictures from those places!
Church lighting can create tricky color situations in the final product, so make sure you know how to remove yellow and orange from your images. It’s not just about adjusting white balance, but also working with color profiles and split-tone images in post-production to make things look natural.
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Of course, you don’t want to saturate the image so much that it affects the skin – just lose some of the really annoying yellow lighting that we sometimes encounter in church ceremonies as wedding photographers!
Hot tip: If the church is really dark and you KNOW you have to do something to make it happen… just turn on the flash, take a picture and apologize later. At the end of the day, you need to focus on your clients and make sure you capture that *just married* moment.
One of the most complex lighting scenarios! Every wedding photographer will encounter this, often with the rhythms of water or industry. Here are some tips on how to prepare for and handle these difficult ceremony situations.
Always educate your clients beforehand about lighting scenarios and how important it is for them to get the Pinterest-like photos they envision! It’s so important to set expectations so couples understand what you’re working with and do your best to get the images they want. Whenever possible, show sample images before the wedding so they know what to expect and can see how you capture the space.
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When the ceremony will take place in front of a window or door, bring an off-camera flash and flash. You need to be fully prepared for a situation like this, so familiarize yourself with both if you haven’t already. This will allow you to handle everything in this situation like a champion and not be afraid of the lighting scenario.
You’ll usually shoot from the side for the best results when your couple is getting married in front of a window or door, as really low light needs to be avoided. Note: Backlighting completely reduces photo detail and can overload digital sensors.
Even when they’re walking down the aisle, you have to shoot them from the side or their newlywed moment will be overshadowed by the not-so-pretty backlighting.
If it’s after dark, just use an off-camera flash. Although this situation may seem limited, you can play with your OCF. Move the stands while everything is going on to get a variety of shots. The same setup you did at the front of the aisle won’t work during, say, a recession, so be prepared by planning what you’re going to do to get the best shots and capture the moments.
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In the end, you have to really know your camera to avoid bad lighting scenarios
With annoying lighting scenarios like these, you need to fully understand your camera’s capabilities to get the best possible images. It’s definitely worth taking the time to get super comfortable and familiar with what your camera can do in different scenarios 🔑
Really and truly: If you’ve been putting off getting to know your camera at this level, put it at the top of your to-do list because it’s what will take your work to the next level.
To dive deeper and master lighting as a wedding photographer once and for all, check out my course, The Source of Light, as it’s the resource you need if you’re struggling with this. It covers everything about how to use light at your wedding
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