- On March 19, 2016
- 0 Comments
- lighting, philly weddings, wedding photography
As lighting professionals, we know how crucial good lighting is for ambiance and effect in a room. Wedding photographers are another profession who truly understand lighting’s importance in capturing the perfect moment.
We’ve reached out to four of the best wedding photographers in the Greater Philadelphia Area (Sarah DiCicco, Gabe Fredericks, Phil Kramer, & Marie Labbancz) for a discussion on how lighting affects their work, why good lighting makes a difference, and what lighting trends they’re currently seeing.
- Eventions Productions: On a scale of 1-10, how important is good lighting when you’re shooting at a wedding venue? Why?
SD: 10 – When the lighting is perfect, it allows me to cover more area, photograph more guests and capture images that would otherwise not be possible! Proper lighting changes the mood of the room.
GF: 10 – Lighting done right adds texture and dimensions to a photograph. Lighting done right has an effect on how a person feels when viewing a photograph. Great lighting + a great moment = an impactful image!
PK: 10 -Light is everything. It creates the three-dimensional look. You want to bring a texture and depth to the room, and create an ambiance. Good lighting brings an emotion feeling to the photo.
ML: Great lighting makes every wedding venue a 10, from a lovely tent in the country to a grand ballroom in the city. Great lighting enhances everything and sets the mood. I always say great lighting makes my photography look brilliant.
- Eventions Productions: Do you notice a difference when you’re shooting a wedding that has fantastic lighting?
SD: Good lighting for a photographer is different from what the designer or florist prefers & completely different than what a DJ or band is looking for. Fantastic lighting for photography only happens if you consult your photographer on lighting options prior to the wedding.
GF: Yes, we would love to have accent lighting but we can still create impactful amazing images with using our own photography off camera lighting.
PK: Definitely. Good lighting at a wedding makes me excited to shoot the event. A lot of people have misconceptions of how to create “fantastic” lighting. Some companies think lighting is a couple of uprights around the room, when in reality, there is so much more to light up: the DJ/band, the dance floor.
ML: When I walk into a venue with fabulous, well thought out lighting I hear angles sing. I know my images are going to be brilliant!
- Eventions Productions: How does bad lighting affect your actions when you’re shooting a wedding?
SD: Photographers are drawn to light and we get excited when we walk into a room and it is lit properly. It is always a surprise when the venue turns the lights all the way down to add “ambiance”. When this happens, I become very limited in the candid moments I am able to capture. On the flip side, over-lighting with strobes and textures can make people look like zebras or smurfs.
GF: If the lighting added to a space isn’t done right you can get worse results then if you added no additional lighting. The placement of lights, the quality of the lighting fixture, the color of the lights and the amount of lighting used all comes into play when doing it right. I have seen too many people attempt to setup lighting and not do it right where it has worked against us trying to create great photographs.
PK: It makes it difficult, but it is what it is. I have to create my own lighting in a dark room. I use an off-camera flash, but it can only go so far. It is still artificial.
ML: When a venue is poorly lit I focus on close up details of the venue rather than overall room. I can light a table or two but as a photographer I can’t light an entire room as an expert lighting designer can.
- Eventions Productions: How does lighting enhance the final pictures for the lucky couple?
SD: Quite simply, having beautiful light available to a photographer allow us to capture the emotion and candidness of the couple and their guests. If you have a very cherished grandmother who walks up to you and grabs your hand and whispers something in your ear, making you cry, that moment will be captured one of two ways… 1) good light and a good photographer will capture that moment softly from the side allowing the moment to continue without interference OR 2) bad light will make a photographer use a flash more frequently and as the moment is unfolding, you become more aware of the photographer and could distract from the moment.
GF: Just like the right music at the right moment changes how a person feels, lighting does the exact same thing. Lighting helps to create texture and brings dimension to a photograph and will have an impact on how one feels when looking at an image. Lighting has an impact on the mood of a photograph. Depending on the moment, fun, emotional, intimate etc. the quality and style of lighting will enhance the moment and bring it out or not.
PK: Lighting enhances it by creating a texture and feeling to the images
ML: I see lighting as the icing on the cake. You have your decor and flowers. Great lighting makes it all pop. When done perfectly it makes me look brilliant. Whenever I have a fabulous room shot of a wedding that everyone is talking about, I know I couldn’t have done it without great lighting. As a photographer, I am there to photograph the light that is there.
- Eventions Productions: What’s the most memorable picture you’ve taken that uses good wedding lighting in the shot (can we see it?)
SD: There are many reasons why this image has always been one of my favorites! The couple, lit with a white spotlight allows the eye to see them as the center of the image, the warm pink lighting adds dimension to the room and allows the faces of the guest to be seen, the back columns are uplight adding warmth and showcasing the grandness of the space, the pin lights on the flowers add to the details and overall story of the image. Because I did not have to use a flash in this image it allows the viewer to share in the emotion that the couple and all of their guests were experiencing.
PK: This is just one of them. The light placed a beautiful spotlight on them in their first dance, and it really shines and looks natural to the eye.
ML: My favorite was the blue lit balls on the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
- Eventions Productions: What trends are you seeing in wedding lighting these days? How has it effected your job?
SD: The newest trend is concert lighting. This constantly changing light almost makes it impossible for a photographer to capture candid images. Guests faces are changing colors too frequently to adjust for and the use of flash becomes a necessity. I then have to bump up the power of my flash to compete with the powerful and ever changing strobes.
PK: A lot of people do not understand the complexity of lighting. Uprights around the room, as I’ve explained previously, is like bringing a flashlight to the event, and the bride and groom usually don’t understand that. 90% of what happens, happens on the dance floor, and there is never enough lighting on it: they give the speech in the dark, she dances with her father in the dark, they cut the cake in the dark. If you’re going to invest any lighting, please invest it onto the dance floor.
ML: As some couples are getting more budget conscious I do see their lighting budgets getting cut at some weddings. It’s a shame, as I can see how much the couple put into decor for the wedding and without lighting.