Lighting for Wedding Photographers
Wedding photography is great, but it has its challenges, and one of the most important ones is to get the lighting right for every shot, in all weather conditions!
The lighting is important because natural, ambient light varies so much, and as a photographer, you know how much difference it makes when you can create the right kind of light. There’s nearly always enough light but we need to create the right kind of light, so what matters is the quality of the light, not the quantity.
The biggest challenges – and the most demanding solutions– arise when we need to overpower bright sunlight with flash. It can be done when we need to create “sunlight” on a dull day but needs very powerful lighting when we’re shooting in bright sunlight, so isn’t really practicable for most of us, most of the time.
What we can do though is to add our own light to fill in the harsh shadows caused by bright sunlight, and we can also turn a dull day into a bright, sunny one! In this example, by Photographer Michael Sewell, one flash was used each side of the couple, to add that vital “sunlight” to a dull, overcast day.
When we create light to fill in ugly shadows caused by harsh sunlight, we can sometimes manage with a powerful flashgun, fitted to the camera, but only when we’re really close to the subject, so although flashguns are perfect for many of the indoor shots, we need more power for most of our outdoor shots. The perfect solution for most of us is the Godox AD200 or AD200Pro, which have about twice the power of even the best flashguns or, stepping up in terms of both cost and physical size, the Godox AD300 or AD300Pro, which have 50% more power than the AD200. The ideal solution is one of each model, both of which are controlled by the same remote control/radio trigger. All models are fitted with long-lasting rechargeable Lithium batteries, so you won’t run out of power.
These flashes are used off-camera, fitted to a sturdy lighting stand such as the Lencarta Pneumatic 265cm Light stand, our patented, award-winning stand, adjustable in height from 120 – 265cm. Fitted to a stand, the flash can be positioned to create the perfect light direction and can be left in the same place for every shot taken of the scene, which produces 100% consistent results, even when you need to change your position for different shots.
Modifying the light
In the high-speed, pressurised world of wedding photography, we need to keep things simple, and the simplest way of creating soft light is to use one of our folding softboxes.
This Lencarta Folding Octa Softbox is large enough to create soft light and small enough to be handy and convenient, so it’s a great solution for the wedding photographer! This product opens just like an ordinary umbrella, so it's set up and ready to go in seconds! There are D-rings fitted around the front edge so that in a strong wind you can secure your equipment by tying it to a heavy object, providing stability and security. It also comes with a carry bag which the softbox fits inside when collapsed, making carrying and transporting this kit easy.
Without a carry bag on location, photographers will find themselves juggling multiple products on whatever limbs they happen to have free, making accidents and damage a real risk! A good-quality, well-padded bag is essential to protect your equipment from yourself, those around you, and the environment!
Our own personal recommendation for this branch of photography would be the Lencarta Pneumatic 265cm Light stand or the Hakutatz 2.1m Light Weight Portable Light Stand. Both stands are durable and finished in black to prevent any unwanted reflections within your frame. This product is able to hold a variety of equipment, from softboxes, studio lights, portable lights, LED panels and so on, meaning that this stand can be used both in and out of the studio. The Hakutatz 2.1m stand collapses to 71cm when folded (lencarta 265cm 100cm), making it an easily transported product, and the aluminum frame makes the stand lightweight whilst retaining its durability! The stand can be transported on its own, or can be carried using our Lencarta Stand Hold All to make transportation just that bit easier.
Without a carry bag on location, the photographer will find themselves juggling multiple products on whatever limbs they happen to have free, making accidents and damage a real risk! A good-quality, well-padded bag is essential to protect your equipment from yourself, those around you, and the environment!
ur recommendation for this need is the Godox CB-17 Portable Backpack/ Roller Case. For a profession so focussed on transport and movement, this bag is a perfect fit! The ability to use this bag as both a backpack or roller case makes transport an easy task wherever you may find yourself! The bag is equipped to safely store all lighting equipment, such as portable flash heads, batteries or any accessories, yet also has two exterior straps to carry tripods or light stands. Filled with internal padding and made using a thick Nylon, this product will keep your equipment perfectly safe before, during, and after your shoot.
A kit like this will solve all of your lighting needs whilst on location at your wedding shoots! To view any of the products recommended in this article either follow the links or look through the featured products at the bottom of the page!