Using natural light in your photographs
One of the great benefits of having an outdoor wedding is being able to have lots of beautiful photographs using natural light.
We have been talking to Western Cape wedding photographer Leani Holmes about how wedding couples can use beautiful natural light to create some stunning wedding photographs.
“I try and educate my clients on the importance of the time of day to do their portrait photos. For example harsh sunlight will cast deep shadows under their eyes and will cause them to squint but if we shoot later in the day when the sun starts to set the light is very soft and you get beautiful golden tones in your photos.”
“I shoot with natural light which means I’m able to limit the use of flash as much as I can. I will always try and scout a location before I shoot there and I check on the internet what time the sun will set. You can have the most beautiful location/spot but sometimes the light just doesn’t work well and then it’s better to move along to a location that is better lit. For example you might want to shoot in front of a beautiful building but the sun might blow out a lot of detail on the walls — in this case I’ll rather stand with my back to the building using the walls as natural reflectors. If the background is boring or ugly it’s best to get closer to my subjects and eliminate the background or tilt the lens so that you get some lens flare into the shot. I will also always look for tree filled locations — it provides great shade for the couple and you get the most beautiful backlit photos with sun’s rays through the trees.”
“Brides should consider getting dressed in a room that allows lots of natural light with large windows or doors. I usually ask the bride to get dressed in front of the window or doorway so that the window light falls softly on her face as she’s getting ready as it makes for a beautiful wedding photograph. Below you will see some beautiful photographs using tree filled locations which is a great way to compensate for the sun being too sharp when it’s early in the afternoon. I choose to have the sun behind my couple but used the trees so that the sunlight is dappled, by tilting my lens I also got some lens flare to add to the prettiness.”
“I will also make sure to plan part of the couple shoot in the golden hour – this is just before the sun sets and you will see how soft the light is at this time of day. The trick is to shoot with the sun behind the couple so that you get that warm tones in your shots with the sun breaking through.”
“For group photographs and family portraits I choose shaded areas so that there’s no sun in the people’s faces or harsh shadows under their eyes. In this photo below the sun was set high in the afternoon but the shade compensated for the harsh light and gave a beautiful glow to the photo.”
Take a closer look at Leani Holmes’ wedding photography by visiting her website.
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