Dim and Challenging Lighting Experience

Our philosophy in photographing any wedding ceremony and reception is to ‘document and beautify’. This means we will work diligently to get the images a bride and groom wish for on their wedding day and as often as possible we will work to enrich each image with the beauty of the memory they make.

If we’re honest, not all moments in a wedding day are glamorous, but we strive to recognize every little moment in as lovely a picture as is imaginable. Sometimes this means the moment arrives, the images are snapped, and then we must immediately move on to the next moment in the day. But with each moment we work hard to turn the camera into an enchanting storyteller no matter the appearance of the location.

Why Did We Make This Page?

One of the least-asked and most important questions for a wedding photographer is “How do your dark, indoor location pictures look?” If your wedding timeline has any indoor or after-dark moments on the agenda, it is crucial to learn your photographer’s experience in photographing these moments.

Outdoor images are often the stuff dreams are made of, yet indoor moments are often where intimate moments happen, away from the distractions of nature and prying eyes of guests.

Outdoor images are often the stuff dreams are made of, yet indoor moments are often where intimate moments happen, away from the distractions of nature and prying eyes of guests.

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The example images below begin with a wedding reception inside a white tent with clear plastic skylights built into the roof. The reception took place well after sundown. The red image below is how dark the tent was to the naked eye (and the camera’s eye) without artificial light or flashes. How does a photographer solve this problem while avoiding (if possible) the light being flashed directly into the eyes of the wedding party and guests?

The three following images show how we set the lights to shoot from any angle on the floor in order to ‘document and beautify’ this scene.

Tent reception in real life, no lighting added.

Tent reception in real life, no lighting added.

Tent reception with lighting spread evenly across the dance floor.

Tent reception with lighting spread evenly across the dance floor.

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These next three images are inside a venue where NO additional lighting is allowed and the only "bright" lights are the chandeliers with tiny light bulbs. Our camera equipment is capable of bringing the dim light to bright life in many such circumstances.

Tiny chandeliers are barely enough to make the available light work.

Tiny chandeliers are barely enough to make the available light work.

Our experience and capability with our equipment is what is needed to set the scene right!

Our experience and capability with our equipment is what is needed to set the scene right!

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This church location had harsh overhead aisle lighting. We set up two off-camera flashes at the back of the sanctuary for this down-the-aisle shot:

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This venue came equipped with gross overhead florescent light bulbs. We set up two off-camera flashes to fill the deep shadows created in the purples and blacks in the wedding outfits.

The gross fluorescent colors were no match for the mood of the bride and groom as well as our practiced color-balance techniques.

The gross fluorescent colors were no match for the mood of the bride and groom as well as our practiced color-balance techniques.

Even in places the flash could not reach our camera equipment is ready for the task.

Even in places the flash could not reach our camera equipment is ready for the task.

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This church had a rack of spotlights aimed across the stage (great for Sunday mornings, not for photos) and the deep shadows were rough, so we used creative placements for two off-camera flashes to fill in the deep shadows behind each person on stage. The flashes were moved after the ceremony for the bride and flower girls shot below:

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Barn weddings are some of our favorite to enjoy, but also among the most challenging to properly light. The wooden walls and high, dark ceiling are difficult on color and brightness of a standard flash. We work hard in finding the correct color balance and even lighting in every type of location!

Deep oranges and heavy shadows appear standard in barn wedding images.

Deep oranges and heavy shadows appear standard in barn wedding images.

Experience in where to place off-camera lights make images look more natural and less off-color.

Experience in where to place off-camera lights make images look more natural and less off-color.

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