Planning your big day :: Lighting

There's so much to consider when planning your wedding, and as your photographers we want to be there to help! We want to give you the best images possible, and working together during the planning stages can be extremely beneficial to both your photographers and your wedding day! Lighting, by far, is the most important element to photographs. Here are a few things to consider when planning your wedding for the best possible photographs:



  • If you are having an outdoor ceremony, consider the time of day. The harshest light is between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Especially if you have no overhead cover, or anything to shade you or your guests, you will risk having some pretty harsh shadows and light in your photographs. As professional wedding photographers, we can work with any kind of situation, but in terms of the best quality photographs, after 2 p.m. offers softer light that will warm up your images and create an even tone. If you find yourself having an outdoor ceremony midday, consider using some kind of an arbor for shade. Give your guests some parasols to shield their eyes from the sun. Also, consider where the sun is and arrange yourself in the best way possible to avoid squinting eyes, harsh shadows, or having the sun directly behind you.
  • If you are having the ceremony inside, take notice of any available lighting. Go to the ceremony site at the same time as your scheduled ceremony and test out the lights. Make note of how dark or light it is, and report this back to your photographer. Snapping some photos with your phone or a camera and sending them to your photographer can help as well. Doing this will help prepare your photographer for working with the available light.

Family photos and creative photos with bride and groom:

  • Family photos are best done in light that is even, and preferably outside for a pleasing background. If your ceremony and reception are both in the evening, consider rounding up your family earlier in the day when the light is still out. Not only does this mean you'll have wonderfully lit family photos, but you can also get them out of the way and let your family enjoy the cocktail hour/reception directly after the ceremony!
  • The same goes for wedding party photos. Often, it is easier for everyone to get the photos out of the way, which lessens the stress and rounding up of people after the ceremony.
  • When it comes to the bride and groom, our ideal time for photographs is about a half hour before sunset. The light just before the sun sets creates a lovely warm, soft glow. It's almost an instant timeless feel. We typically ask the bride and groom to reserve 30 minutes for photographs before or after the ceremony, and if you are unable to carve out a big chunk of time right around sunset, we still can quickly step out for just a few quick photographs.


  • Reception lighting is as unique as the location. We've run into all kinds of lighting situations, from just candles in the dark of night, to big globe lights, to strung light bulbs, to bright overhead name it, we've shot it. There are two things to keep in mind when deciding on lighting, photographically speaking...the less light there is, the more we will have to use a flash, or the more we will have to bump up the ISO (think film speed...the higher the ISO allows us to shoot in low light without a flash, but your images will have a grainy quality to them).
  • Think about the available light, and where it is placed. Make sure the bridal party table is well lit and the cake cutting table has plenty of light. When placing the bridal party table, think about any windows that might be directly behind you...they reflect light and objects, and can often create a harsh back lit situation. Try to place your table with any available light facing you.


Hopefully this will help both you and your photographers! If you have any questions, please e-mail us at We're happy to answer any questions you have. Cheers!