April 27, 2011

[the value of] Fantastic Event Lighting

The other day I was talking to Becky over at Synergetic Sound + Lighting about my strong feelings towards additional lighting at weddings. I think it does more to a room than any other element. So she told me I should write up a post on it. So I did! Go check out Synergetic’s blog to catch that post and see what they can do with lighting…

Lighting is kind of a big deal for photographers. Scratch that, lighting is EVERYTHING. (Hello… the prefix “photo” means light.)

Not only can lighting make or break the feel of your wedding, it can do the same for your wedding photography. It’s something that can transform and personalize a venue and give you images unlike anyone else’s – even couples who were at the same place last week. Ambiance is more than turning down the chandelier.

lighting wedding photography Atrium Curtis Center
A few important things to note… Go with a company that knows what it’s doing. You want someone who will lead you in the right direction – matching tones and ideas with your venue, colors, and style. Lighting can take you anywhere from classy and subtle to more energetic and upscale lounge-y. A good company can also shift your lighting as the night progresses from ceremony to cocktail hour to your reception. It’s all about knowing the crowd and leading them into the party with the cohesion of light and sound.

lighting wedding photography Atrium Curtis Center
From my experience, uplighting can change a room from “oh, how pretty” to gasp-inducing “oh, holy cow” like nothing else. It makes the room yours. Period.

lighting wedding photography
Pin spotting is a great way to focus attention on those incredible centerpieces that you agonized over for 3 months straight or the cake that you fell in love with after your statewide hunt for the perfect confection. You can have the most expensive hand watered Tasmanian orchids in the world, but they’re not going to really impress until you highlight them properly.

lighting wedding photography pin spotting flower centerpieces
Washes are another gorgeous option. It’s like infusing texture into your lighting – they give off a rich depth and drama that you can’t recreate any other way.

lighting wedding photography
Another important piece of this is hiring the right photographer for the job (*cough* Lindsay Docherty Photography *cough*). A good photographer is able to capture the ambiance of any situation – from wine cave ceremony to jazzy reception. Photographers who only use room lights will blast away all of the other lighting in the room. You’ve seen this – you go to a wedding that has been given an incredible purple wash on the dancefloor or a romantic amber candlelit ceremony but the pictures don’t show any of this. All you have is crisp, stark lighting that does a great job of showcasing the venue, but has completely overpowered the subtleties of the room. Experience, creativity, and flexibility are key to handling the myriad of lighting situations on any given day.

lighting wedding photography Glen Foerd mansion Philadelphia
Can you have a wonderful and happy wedding without springing for additional lighting? Of course! Will supplementary lighting push your event over the edge to extraordinary? Definitely.

lighting wedding photography

I believe in the photographer’s magic — the ability to stir the soul with light and shape and colour. To create grand visual moments out of small and simple things, and to infuse big and complicated subjects with unpretentious elegance. He respects classic disciplines, while at the same time insists on being fast, modern and wild.
~ Amyn Nasser

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