On a nice bright summer day, with the sun streaming in through big windows while the bride is getting ready in the morning, you can capture some beautiful photos of the hair and makeup being done, bridesmaids looking on with champagne flowing and a sense of giddy excitement in the air. Situations like this rarely call for any extra lighting, least of all an annoying flash going off every few seconds.
Now fast forward a few hours and the speeches are about to begin. The couple have chosen a lovely venue, with the reception rooms complete with old oak panelling and lots of low light and candles. It’s got a great atmosphere, but its dark and the light outside is now fading. Without some extra light you either run the risk of having photos look pretty inconsistent to the ones from the morning, or suffer a decrease in image quality by making the camera extra sensitive to the low light levels. That doesn’t mean the photographer has to ruin the aesthetic of the venue, but flash can give enough of a sparkle to add a little drama to the room and light up people’s faces. You can even add extra dimension by having the flash come from a specific direction, a look you can sometimes only achieve by having the flash separate to the camera.
In this situation you are still incorporating the candles and the rest of the ambient light, you simply compliment it with your own light. Flash doesn’t have to be harsh and destructive, and sometimes all you need is that little extra kick to go from an average photo to a great photo.
Natural light can great, and you certainly need to know how to best use it, and it can give beautiful results, but it can be limiting at times too, and shouldn’t be relied on completely as this can limit your options sometimes. Knowing when and how to bring in your own light that you can control to compliment the natural light gives you so many more possibilities during a wedding day, so make sure your photographer is comfortable using flash, especially if it’s an early spring/late autumn or winter wedding.
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