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Essential Lighting Tips for Wedding Photography

Make the most of the light you have. 

It’s important to see light, understand its direction and intensity, and understand how it affects a scene’s shadows and highlights. If you are shooting wedding photography in Trivandrum at an outdoor location, always select a place that has more natural lighting. We use the term “available light” to refer to any light that is present at the location and contributes to the shot’s exposure, such as sunlight, room bulbs or tube lights, candles, LEDs, a bonfire, neon lights, etc. Remember that diffused directional lighting always produces the most pleasing results for human subjects, regardless of the type of light or its source. Additionally, achieving this exact effect with the available light presents a challenge at weddings.

Natural light has its drawbacks, despite the fact that many photographers praise its advantages. We would only shoot during the golden hour in an ideal world. However, the fact of the matter is that even when shooting in natural light, we are required to soften harsh sunlight, create shadows, and illuminate open areas that are shaded.

For a more pleasing result, turn the subject so that the light source falls at a 45-degree angle. The harshness of flat front facing or direct light can cause you to lose frame details. Therefore, try to make use of the location’s natural reflectors, such as large white windows or mirrors. To fill in the shadows, you can also carry portable, foldable reflectors. Or you can use the open shade technique to soften the subject’s light by placing them at the edge of a shaded area with their backs to the unshaded area.

Use available light to create drama. 

When working with available light at a wedding, look for any light source that can create drama, such as a window light, spot-like concealed ceiling lighting in a ballroom, landscape spot lighting focused on a tree or wall, or cut-work or filigree lamps as part of the decor. The simplest method is to photograph the subject directly above these light sources. After that, spot-meter the face and take your dramatic, high-contrast shot.

Static, constant LED panels 

LED panels are a great way to add light and get the exposure you need in wedding venues with low lighting. They are portable, chargeable panels powered by batteries, and they are simple to mount on light stands. Therefore, you can place them wherever additional lighting is required. However, to ensure that the light is directional and flattering, keep in mind to position them at 45 degrees in relation to the subject.

Another advantage of LED panels is that, unlike speedlights and flashes, they do not blind or startle people. However, they might ruin your mood. Installing an LED panel could detract from the atmosphere of an event that uses mood lighting and has dim lighting. Be careful how you use them, then. You don’t want to interfere with the couple’s vision. However, the good news is that most high-quality LED panels allow you to mix warm and cool light as well as adjust brightness levels. Therefore, you can easily adjust the light to achieve the required exposure without disrupting the atmosphere.

On-camera flash

 Despite the fact that most wedding photographers would rather use off-camera lighting, using on-camera flash is a good backup method for situations in which you do not have access to a radio trigger or assistant. As previously stated, it is preferable to miss a moment than to miss a shot that can be salvaged in post-processing. Therefore, if you must use an on-camera flash, we recommend taking manual control of the settings because doing so will help produce light that is softer and more flattering.

However, the harsh light and flash burn that it produces on the subject’s face is the drawback of using an on-camera flash, which is one of the things that discourages most photographers. However, bouncing the flash off a wall or ceiling can reduce that. Use light diffusers in the form of plastic domes to soften the light from the direct flash if you find that difficult due to high ceilings.

Off-camera flash lighting

 In wedding photography today, the most common lighting setup is off-camera flash lighting. Why? Because it is a movable source of light, it enables us to provide directional light and controls the intensity, harshness, and softness of the light. You can also create images that look like well-lit studio portraits or dramatic mood shots using off-camera lighting. However, the choice of modifier determines how off-camera lighting affects the image. Therefore, let’s talk about a few light modifiers that you can use in conjunction with your off-camera flash. 

Umbrella-equipped off-camera flash 

The fact that it is relatively simple to use is one of the biggest benefits of using it, as is the fact that it is readily accessible. Because they are so inexpensive, it is also not a problem if one gets damaged during a wedding. Additionally, an umbrella is very portable and simple to set up and take down. Another advantage is that it is a good starting point for beginners.

Additionally, it only produces one kind of light, which frequently spills and is dispersed too widely. And it illuminates the background as much as the subject, making dramatic images difficult. Another issue is that, because of the surface it covers, it could just as easily get into your teammate’s frame and get in the way of his shot. This could make it look bad at a wedding and be a real eyesore.

Softbox and off-camera flash 

The softbox is an excellent piece of lighting equipment that every photographer adores. It produces light that “falls off” very quickly as it gets further away from the source, making the background less affected, concealing skin imperfections, reducing contrast, and softening the edges of shadows.

Its ability to control and shape light is one of the reasons it is preferred to umbrellas. When using a softbox, the light doesn’t spill over a larger area like it does when using an umbrella. You can also add grids to the top to make the lighting narrower and more directional. In addition, they come in a variety of shapes, such as square or octagonal softboxes, which help create a round catchlight in the subject’s eyes, which is crucial for portrait and fashion photography.

However, it is less portable than umbrellas and requires more effort to assemble and disassemble. Additionally, a high-quality softbox costs at least ten times as much as an umbrella. However, despite the fact that it is a relatively costly investment, you will greatly benefit from it.

MagMod off-camera 

Flashes are currently in vogue in the wedding photography industry. Utilizing the MagGrid in particular makes them ideal for dramatic mood shots. They are suitable for dance floors during DJ performances, sangeet nights, and the creation of striking bridal/groom or couple portraits. Their primary purpose is to provide sharp shafts of directional light for creating dramatic images with high contrast. You could make use of a kit of coloured gels, which are useful for making dramatic shots and looking like coloured LED focus lights or backgrounds

However, in comparison to umbrellas and softboxes, the produced light is harsher. It casts harsh shadows, which is sometimes an artistic choice but not always a good idea in low-light situations. Don’t be afraid to experiment with artificial lighting; however, it can be costly. We are not claiming that it is simple, but neither is it impossible. We guarantee that your images will be quite extraordinary once you get the hang of it. Practice, preparation, and scouting are essential. In your spare time, practice shooting in odd lighting. Also, scout the location, talk to the wedding planner and the lighting crew, and be aware of what will happen when and where before a wedding. You should be good to go if you have enough practice, know what lighting conditions an event will take place in, and know what time of day it will take place.

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