Low Light Wedding Photography
Winter and Low Light wedding Photography
I just love photographing Winter and Low Light weddings. Are they much harder to photography? Of course! Is it possible to get great wedding photos in low light? Absolutely. The trick, as a documentary wedding photographer, is to retain the atmosphere and ambiance of the scene, without using obtrusive methods like flash, tripods or just plain missing great moments. My experience as a news photographer at The Times for 20 years means I’m well versed in capturing great moments in extremely challenging situations. I use fast, prime lenses, with mirrorless cameras, which helps me get the kind of low light pictures you can see in some of these weddings. That ability all starts with an understanding and appreciation of light.
Understanding Light Quality
The first thing I do when entering a room at a wedding is assess the light sources. For me, it’s the most important of the three main drivers of what makes a great photograph – Light, Moment and Composition. As a wedding photojournalist, I don’t set up or stage photos at all during the day (except the groups and portrait photos) so I have to make use of the elements I can control. The first one is where I stand and where I point the camera. A lot of the time that’s decided by where the best light is. In low light situations, and especially later in the day at Winter weddings, the light source is extremely important in this decision. Window light is soft, but can be much colder than tungsten lighting, especially later in the day. LED lights can cause banding with some cameras, and care must be taken to get great photos. A low level of light from multiple sources is much more appealing than a brighter point source.
You Can Still Get Great Photos in Dark Venues
If you’re thinking about a venue that has low, atmospheric lighting, you need a photographer who understands how to get the best out of that venue. Some photographers will use artificial lighting, and there’s definitely a time to use flash (mostly on the dancefloor, when it’s less obtrusive). But you’re here because you love the documentary style of photography, and that means making the best use of the lighting that’s available.
Have a look through some of these low light weddings, and please get in touch if you’d like to discuss the photography at you own wedding.