Steve Barber Photography | Kent Wedding Photographer

The importance of light for your wedding photography

Steve is said to be one of the best wedding photographers in Kent.

The importance of light on your wedding day

Over the years as a wedding photographer I have seen plenty of stunning sunsets come and go. The golden hour as its known can be one of the best times to get out and nail some great portrait photos so its worth considering the light and its timings on your wedding day.

On a number of occassions some of these sunsets have passed while I have been photographing speeches or a 1st dance and its a bit of a shame that timings have not quiet fell into place on the day to take advantage of it. At your consultation we will discuss timings and try to plan the days events around the key light moments so we can get outside and photograph your portraits in the most beautiful golden light.

Light has a massive impact on how your wedding photographs will look.  Different light creates different moods in pictures, so It’s worth noting that we will be subject to the light and weather on the day. If you’re having a wedding later on in the year then I’ll be really happy to talk through what’s realistically achievable on your wedding day.

Here’s a little bit more about the different types of lighting conditions and how they’ll impact on your wedding photography.

Type of light:  Hard Light

Characteristics: Strong contrast, hard shadows

Timings are variable depending on the time of year but generaly from 10am - 6pm

Hard light is direct sunlight, when the sun is high in the sky and will generally create hard shows on a persons face.  Lots of us wish for blue sky's and sunshine all day but direct sunlight can be a bit of a bummer, unless you work with it creatively. 

Depending on the look, hard sun can be used to create great shots but they can have a strong look and might not be to everyones taste. i personally think its a good look if used in the right situation. With this being said it’s not ideal for family group shots, as you’ll have lots of people with harsh shadows on their faces. Because of this if we have a beautifully sunny day, I’ll usually move your group shots into open shade if we have the option to do so.

Summer wedding old kent barn

Type of light: Golden hour

Characteristics: Orange tones, sunset light, soft glow

Timings: 30 minutes before sunset and for a little while after

In my opinion this is the best light available to nail some stunning photographs! at our consultation we will aim to schedule in at least 15 minutes  before sunset to get out and make the most of this window. 

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Type of light: dusk light

Characteristics: balanced light with soft colours

Timings: 15 – 20 minutes after sunset

Dusk happens after the sun has dropped below the horizon and you get a real nice soft light with minimal shadowing. This time of day passes quickly as it gets darker from this point on.

I don’t shoot in this kind of light much, to be honest as I love colour, contrast and those bright vibrant tones that you get before the sun vanishes.  I do like the softness of images captured at this time of day though.

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Type of light: overcast light / rainy days

Characteristics: soft & balanced light and a great time to get creative for some dramatic shots.

Timings: any time

Probably your worst nightmare on your wedding day but fear not, overcast days and a bit of rain can be amazing for your photos. If it rains i would recommend being a little brave and coming out for some photos. We will still use the inside cover for some shots but with conditions like these you can end up with some staggering photos.

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Type of light: artificial light

Characteristics: various

Timings: any time

I love to use flash and sometimes the light that’s available to us just isnt enough.  In situations were this is the case i will look to setup and come grab you when i need to for some photos.

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I really hope this gives you a good idea on how lighting can alter and create various looks to your photography and how we will deal with these situations as and when they arrive.