Available light in Wedding Photography?

Well sometimes it’s yes and sometimes it’s YES! Often light is not where you’d think it is. Like in a bright field of flowers, which, while pretty, causes squinting and dark shadows. And camera flashes? I shudder every time someone fires off a flash when there is great light all around them. They have their place but not when they kill the beauty of what’s already there, especially in wedding photography.

For example, here’s a bride getting ready in her hotel room. The window had such sweet soft light as she was lost in thought. Or light reflecting off the door of her white limo? It adds a wonderful glow.

I had never been to the couple’s reception venue, even though it’s only a couple miles away from my studio. It’s a very traditional New England hall and that day it owned the setting sun. Somebody very perceptive put the wedding cake right where the sun would catch it, or maybe that was just luck. It wasn’t luck to see & photograph it.

And when the couple did their ‘first dance’ it was just perfect. No flash, no directing them on where to stand, just waiting a moment for it to happen. In the light. Twenty minutes later, we got a repeat of the same great light in the father-daughter dance.

Available light? No, fabulous light, you just have to see it.

So the thought here is, when looking for a photographer, look for how they see available light. Those kind of pictures are special, natural and, well, available.


About the Author:

Dan Derby, Wedding Photographer

The spirit of a wedding day lives in fleeting events, unfolding without direction. Wedding photojournalism is how the story of a wedding day can be captured artfully. Trained as a designer (BA & MFA) and skilled in visual story telling, Dan Derby works quietly throughout your wedding day making sure this happens. He is based in New England but travels where ever he’s needed.

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