I absolutely adore shooting weddings outside. There is just nothing like it. Having said that, the light will have a direct impact on the quality of your photos….and your guests comfort. I have photographed many weddings where guests are squinting and holding programs over their heads to block the sun. Many squinty brides and grooms have been witnessed as well. Not to mention, you will get harsh light in your photos-there are some examples below. I adore getting some sunny, bright photos that show the sun rays and flare but if this is the case through the entire ceremony there will be very little variety. Bright, sun flare photos are awesome but you wouldn’t want all your photos to be like that.
So, you ask…what can I do to get the best photos and ensure my guests are comfy? It’s really simple-just plan your wedding at the right time of day. If you are investing time and money into an amazing event you want to make sure all the details are planned out perfect…such as the ceremony time. If you are not certain when you should have your ceremony check with your photographer. You can also find sunset times by doing a google search or my favorite site to use is HERE. The sweetest light is just before sunset (about an hour). Now, you will also want to consider whether you are doing photos after the ceremony as well because that will effect whether you need light or not.
Of course, there are times when this is just not possible. Maybe you are planning a noon wedding to save on expenses. I have photographed several weddings in the middle of the day and it can be done. You would just want to be aware of what you will be getting photography wise because the majority of amazing photos you see are taken in soft light when the sun is lower in the sky. That is not saying you can’t get good photos at noon but evening weddings are much preferred.
These are examples of photos with sun flare. It is a neat effect but not cool for all photos.
The photo on the LEFT is optimal light. It was taken about an hour after the one on the RIGHT. Notice how even everything looks. There are no harsh shadows.
These are both examples to show you how the bride and groom’s skin looks in full sun how bright the backgrounds are.
A close up taken in optimal light-this is about an hour after the ceremony photos. How cool would it have been to have THIS light in all the ceremony photos? Guests wouldn’t be squinting either 🙂
All weddings are beautiful and I can promise to capture it as it happens. This is just to arm you with the knowledge so that you can make the best decisions possible.