I'm Krystal Moore, a wedding and lifestyles photographer based in Moose Jaw, SK.
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September 21, 2020
When are you planning to have your ceremony? Mid day? Later afternoon? Early evening? Choosing your ceremony start time will dictate when everything else will occur:
How does ceremony time affect lighting? In terms of photography, it all depends on if you’re having an indoor v.s. an outdoor ceremony and what type of images you are expecting from your photographer. Did you fall in love with the bright, natural-light images in their portfolio? Or did you gravitate towards a photographer that is a bit more dark/dramatic that uses lots of artificial light (aka, flash)?
I want to show you some examples with what I mean…so here we go! (Keep in mind, I LOVE natural light and thrive on natural light! So I may not have as many darker images.)
The blog post profile photo shows the same couple on the same day, with different lighting. The left photo was taken mid day (blown out skys, harsher shadows, etc), the middle one was at golden hour (more even lighting, softer shadows – my fav lighting) and the right photo was taken in blue hour (right after when the sun goes down). It’s amazing how lighting affects the photo eh?
The photo above is another example of what I mean by golden hour light and mid day light. Now don’t get me wrong, I have photographed most of my weddings in the mid day light and they have been beautiful photos. I wanted to show you the difference between the two types of light for ceremony time for this blog post. And we as professional photographers do know how to work in different lighting situations and will do our best to make whatever the lighting look amazing in photos.
Outdoor Ceremony Information
Here is an example of an outdoor ceremony that was in the mid afternoon.
Now here is an example of a ceremony in the evening. The first set is right at golden hour with trees blocking the sun. The second set is at golden hour with the sun off to the side behind their heads. Beautiful eh? (Us natural photographers LOVE outdoor weddings no matter the time of day!! We can help you pick the perfect location to get the best photos – just ask!)
Side note, the sun in these images were behind the couple or off the side behind the couple creating a nice glow on their heads creating a beautiful image for this natural light photographer. 🙂 No squinty faces because of the sun here. Ask your photographer for where is the best place for your outdoor ceremony for the best lighting!
Most importantly, if you want to have your photos done before your ceremony, a later afternoon, early evening ceremony would be perfect for you! If you want to have your photos after the ceremony, then an earlier ceremony time would be better for you. Just know that the time of day will affect the coloring of your photos like you saw above.
Indoor Ceremony Information
Here is an example of a very dark church (left) verses a a bight church with lots of windows and light colored walls. What a difference eh?
Side note: You don’t want to hire a photographer that specializes in bright natural light images and then have your ceremony in a dark church or hall. You’ll end up with very dark images and will be unhappy with the result.
Having an indoor location for your ceremony can allow for more flexibility with the time of day. It’s a chance to get out of the heat (or rain) during a summer wedding, no harsh shadows from mid day lighting and no one has to squint into the light. And you can get away with almost any time of the day for the start time.
If you have a church or another indoor location that is darker, just be aware that us photographers will most likely have to use flash. We will ask the Pastor or officiant if we can use flash (some churches) request no flash. Flash may be distracting if it is dark – so be aware of that when picking a location and your photographer.
Wall color can also affect lighting. Darker color walls will give the illusion of a darker style of photography, while lighter walls will give the illusion of a light and airy style. Also, if you have walls with color to it – like yellow or orange for example and use flash, the flash will bounce off of the colored walls and cast that color on your skin. (It’s especially gross if it is a neon green wall – nobody wants green colored skin!)
As a natural light photographer, I try to get away without using flash if I can. If the venue has enough natural light that is very helpful. These next images I was able to photograph them without flash but I had to make some major adjustments in camera to compensate for it. But during these ceremonies, I do know I did have to use flash when i was down the isle for a few shots.
And you should not have to make this decision on your own! Your photographer will guide you through times, locations and all this info when you talk about ceremony information. We as photographers have been to many weddings and have a lot of knowledge and expertise in this area! We are an open book – ask away! 🙂
If you want a sample of a wedding day time line, send me a note and mention this post!
Well, there you have it—another big wedding planning/photography-centered topic covered! I hope this was helpful in planning your day! Any other questions with this? Let me know in the comments below or sent me an email at email@example.com
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All images © 2021 Krystal Moore Photography