A wedding photographer has many roles, but a big one is knowing how to choose the perfect light that will give the results you love. Or better said, results that are consistent with your style. Our favorite light is one that wraps around our couples so there is a glow behind their heads while the light in front cleanly reflects into their faces. Would you believe that short green grass on a sunny day can reflect green/yellow hues into a person’s face? It’s true! We’ve witnessed it ourselves, and I never had a clue about it before we got into photography. Placing a couple strategically can have incredible results straight out of camera, which eliminates a lot of tedious, post-processing editing.
So why am I sharing this? Because, as wedding photographers, we want our couples to trust us completely. We want them to have complete confidence that we can provide them with high quality photos that are consistent with our style. We would never want a couple to choose us based on our previous work and feel they didn’t get the same style of photos. This style is largely due to how and where we place our couples. The clean light reflecting in a couple’s faces can mean a quicker editing time which could result in shorter turn-around time.
Ready to see what I’m talking about?? Let me introduce you to an amazing couple, Andrew & Emily. They are just a few months shy of their 1 year anniversary and were so incredible to work with! Seriously, two of the sweetest people! They trusted us completely with their photos and choosing a location for portraits. The coordinator wanted us to know that the walnut grove is an incredible spot for portraits and wanted to make sure we got a few shots there. It truly was a gorgeous location, but the thick canopy of trees limited that clean light that we love from reflecting into their faces.
The above picture is straight out of the camera, and has not been edited at all. While this image is a little dark, you’ll notice that pretty much everywhere has a green tint to it. Especially on the tree trunks and Emily’s white dress. Thankfully, in this situation, the trees blocked enough of that harsh light so as to not create as much of a green tint on their actual skin tones. Keep scrolling to see the final edited image!
You’ll see that the tree trunks still have a little green tint going on, but her dress and their skin tones look good! We took just a few photos here before moving Andrew and Emily to a new location. While this spot was pretty, it was a lot harder to achieve the desired look and took more extreme editing than I normally do. In the moment, I had told Andrew and Emily that I didn’t think the lighting was as good here and they wholeheartedly trusted us as we changed locations. Despite this being a more difficult spot with lighting, I was still able to deliver a photo that was consistent to our style. For example, for most photos I can edit in under 2 minutes, but this one took closer to 5 to achieve the same look. So, when you scroll below you’ll see another straight-out-of-camera shot without any editing at a much better location…
Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t their skin tone look brighter and clearer?? This spot wasn’t that far from the other, but behind me there were no trees, giving Andrew & Emily direct access to the clear sky.
So what do you think?? It’s crazy how much of a difference can be made in a photo simply by changing locations and ensuring you have good light! This took me roughly a minute to edit. The next time you’re outside taking photos with your camera or iPhone, try this out and see if you notice a difference in your photos. Hint: concrete and gravel are excellent, clean reflectors on a sunny day. Much better than grass or dirt. But, if you have to photograph in those spots, just ensure your couple can see the sky and you’ll be amazed at the difference! 🙂
We hope you enjoyed this blog post and learning about how we, as wedding photographers, find that perfect light so we can create consistent results for our couples while also giving them a short turnaround time to receive their photos!
Also, if you wish to see more from this wedding, check out their wedding day blog post: Andrew & Emily