GSS Tips From a Wedding Expert :: Lights, Camera, Action!

Part of putting on the best show of your life is using all of these elements.   A very big part of planning your wedding will be finding the best photographer to capture and document your wedding day.  Perfect lighting is what the photographer will be looking for among many other aspects to capture this lifetime event.  Help your photographer out by taking serious consideration when it comes to illuminating your wedding.

image courtesy of Liquid Djs

Where will your reception take place?  Ceiling height is the first places my eyes go when I walk into a ballroom, then chandeliers, then windows, then tables, then floor.  I think that this is the way most of our brains work when we are absorbing space with our eyes.

Candles are great and create ambient lighting for a warm, romantic feel.  These can only be considered as accents though.  Candlelight alone makes for beautiful silhouettes, but does not provide enough light to see an arrangement of dark reds, magenta, or other beautiful jewel-toned floral.  Choosing a dark palette of floral without adding special lighting is heart breaking to me.

So, my mission is to give good advice and encourage all couples to evaluate their venue and color choices carefully.  This will ensure that your pictures will be exactly what you remember.  Pictures so vivid, you will still taste the food, smell the flowers and hear the laughter.

Pin spot lighting is a focused beam of light that is projected onto the floral or decor so they can be seen after the lights go down for party time! This is an additional cost per table, but it can turn any wedding into a platinum affair.

image courtesy of Liquid DJs by Maloman Photographers

To back me up on this point, I asked a few Dallas Texas wedding photographers a simple question, and this is what they have to say:

“That all depends on how dark the room is.  If there is absolutely no ambient light then pin lighting is crucial.  In some venues where there is a good amount of ambient light it can actually hurt the photographs because we have two separate light sources that we are trying to expose for and both are completely out of our control.  In most cases the pin lighting is much brighter than the ambient light which means that if we tried to expose for the ambient light we would not pick up the detail in the flowers where the light is brightest.   There are ways around pin lighting I try to shot it from behind so I’ll go to the opposite side of the pin lighting and use it as a backlight still able to pick up the ambient lighting in the room.” Jennifer

“Any additional lighting (up lighting/spot/pin) gives the images depth and makes them more interesting, especially in a bland ball room.” Lynn

“Spot lighting on centerpieces in dark rooms is so incredibly important to us as photographers. Lighting gives such a beautiful dimension to flowers and decor that we think it’s almost NECESSARY unless the venue is well lit. (most are not) You’ve spent all of this money on amazing decor and you want it to shine in person as well as in the photos… which is all you will have after the wedding is done and over. ” Tanya

“Pin spots are extremely important for centerpieces in a reception; they draw your attention away from distracting walls and ceilings and spotlight the details on your tables.  This is a wonderful way to light a room.  Add in some accent up lights along the walls and columns and you have a beautiful scene for your guests to enjoy.  Your photographer will love you because it makes for a very beautiful photo! “ Jonathan



both images courtesy of Liquid DJs

Other ways to get around the additional lighting is to choose a lighter palette, enhanced with candle light.  One of my favorite suggestions is to go all white on your floral decorations and add accent up lighting or wall washes to bring your colors to the reception!  Keep in mind, always design your wedding to compliment the colors in your venue and you won’t go wrong!

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