Natural light makes me giddy. I live for the golden light that makes everything feel like a movie, or the nostalgic feel of soft blue light at dusk.
As your photographer, my goal is not to recreate the lighting of the situation, but to capture the feeling of your day. I want you to look back on the photos and remember the warmth of the sun, or the smell of the rain right before it began (hello Seattle!)
Here are a few tips to help schedule for throughout your day. Keep in mind this is in no way something you must follow, merely a guide if your day has flexibility and you want to enhance the feel of your photos.
This is one of my favorites parts of the day! The mood is high and good lighting can help capture this even more beautifully.
The ideal lighting situation would be a room with big windows that allow lots of natural light to come through. Clean and interesting decor is helpful, but as long as there is some window light, I can make any space work.
I love outdoor ceremonies! If you decide to have one in direct sunlight, I recommend avoiding mid-day hours (10am to 3pm) as this provides harsh shadows. In summer months, the best time for the ceremony would be several hours before the sun goes down.
If you do have a mid-day ceremony, I suggest setting things up so the sun is behind the alter, and the guests are facing the sun. If the ceremony is in the morning, have the guests face towards the sunrise (East,) and if your ceremony is in late afternoon evening, have your guests face towards the sunset (West.)
Less is more when it comes to the backdrop for family photos. I know... I know, you've chosen a gorgeous location to get married at and you want to highlight this! But keep in mind, a clean background is ideal for consistency and simplicity in group photos.
The reception style has a lot of flexibility based on your style and what you want your space to feel like. With artificial lighting, I lean towards warm light and love the aesthetic of Italian string lights! They look great near the dining, dancing, and seating areas- especially when the sun goes down! Check out the beautiful Bokeh they provide in the background of the photos below!
Bride and Groom Portraits
If there is time, I always suggest doing some portraits at golden hour. This is the last hour before the sun goes below the horizon, and allows for some dreamy and surreal looking photos! These photos can be done in 20 or 30 minutes, and are a fun chance for the bride and groom to get some alone time after the ceremony (when the stress is gone!)
Obviously you can't predict what the weather on your day will actually be like. I always suggest planning for harsh direct sunlight, but if it turns out to be a cloudy day, don't fret! Overcast weather is beautiful lighting that acts like a giants soft box. It looks beautiful on people and allows the timing of photos to be even more flexible.
If you have any questions, let me know! I'm excited to help.