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The beauty of indoor wedding photography is the element of control, especially when it comes to lighting. Sure, basking in the glow of magic hour is some kind of stunning, but when you’re getting married during the colder months or just prefer the great indoors, you’ve got to know how to use the light to your advantage - natural or artificial.
Your wedding photographer will be there to guide you every brilliant step of the way. But our expert tips will shed light on all the essentials:
The Lowdown on Lighting
Since you have more control over indoor lighting regardless of the weather outside, knowing the basic principles of good lighting will make all the difference in capturing magical wedding photos. First and foremost, window shots are ideal because they pour in soft, naturally diffused light - kind of like a subtle filter.
Low, white ceilings may not be as architecturally interesting as cathedral structures, but they do provide bounce for flash. Did you know that photographers will point the flash up at the ceiling to create more of a diffused, even light rather than pointing the flash directly at your face?
Keep in mind these two key points (windows for the win and low white ceilings), as you explore or select your wedding venue. The more natural light in the venue, the better. Scope out the naturally bright locations within the venue, too. They’re picture-perfect for capturing all the wedding prep in the bridal suite.
Seasons are also something to consider, especially if you’re dreaming of a winter or fall wedding. The sun starts to set earlier in the day during these months, so plan to take your indoor photos earlier in the day. Otherwise, your wedding photographer should be prepared with artificial light.
Wedding Day Highlights
Rise, shine and prep early in the morning while the sun is still low. Also, be mindful of the space your talent team will need to set up lighting equipment and tripods. Indoor photography requires extra equipment!
Some venues don't allow flash, especially historic locations. However, you can talk to your venue before your wedding to see if they can make an exception. Another thing to consider is that some ceremony venues might not have windows, which means you’ll be relying entirely on artificial light sources.
Because it's typically dark outside by the time the reception hits, photographers tend to use flash for indoor shots. Don’t let those meticulous table settings go undocumented! If you want detail shots of the reception hall, have your photographer shoot them earlier in the day so there’s natural light flowing through the room. You can also get creative with decorative elements that happen to double as lighting. String lights throughout the room or ignite the space with candles for an enchanting vibe. Be sure to speak with someone at the venue to see if candles are permitted.
Trust your photographer
At the end of the day, your wedding photographer wants to capture magical, perfectly-lit moments as much as you do. Trust their suggestions and placements for beautiful and balanced shots. After all, great wedding photography comes down to mastering light. And your glow only adds to the gorgeousness.