We’ve all seen it –– bridesmaids getting ready in the most beautiful room, and bridal portraits that make you look like an actual angel, newly-wed portraits that have the perfect amount of glow…
If you love light and bright wedding photos, there is a lot you need to know to make those types of photos happen! If you have a photographer that specializes in this style, most of the time they can make any space work…BUT if you want to make it a little easier on them and ensure that you’ll get the bright and airy photos that you love, you have to be intentional about the wedding venue that you choose.
I’ve had so many brides want to work with me because they love my style but then they have venues that aren’t exactly laid out for those types of photos.
So today I’m walking through some of the things you should look for when you’re picking out a wedding venue if you know you want that light and airy style of photography –– really this can apply to every type of photography because it all revolves around light and good skin tones!
The most important thing to make sure your venue has is a lot of LIGHT. Not just lights in the ceiling but NATURAL light coming in through windows and doors.
Let’s talk through each part of the day and what you should look for in your venue!
In the morning we’ll start in the bridal suite with all of the girls getting ready. It’s so important for this space to have plenty of windows and also windows that we can have open that don’t have people hanging out outside.
We’ll be taking “getting ready” photos in here along with you getting into your dress so we want to have plenty of light to give you even skin tones and see all of the details in your dress.
Sometimes the bridal suites don’t have windows that let in enough light OR they’re in a spot that’s not ideal, so I’ll use a door instead –– I just need some type of source of natural light!
Either way this is something to think about if the getting ready photos and bridal portraits are really important to you.
When it comes to the ceremony, if you’re getting married inside the same rule applies where we’ll want plenty of windows to get all of the natural light that we can.
This is a little technical but if we use light from the overhead lights it gives off a different color on your skin tone and just isn’t as nice as if it was all natural light. We’ll always opt for one source of light coming in and preferably it’s sunlight!
If you’re getting married in an outside space, then light shouldn’t be an issue! I know it’s hard to change the layout of most venues but if you have the option you should try to pick an area that is shaded but not completely out of the light –– think areas with a lot of trees that still let in light but won’t blind your guests!
Pro tip: Having the sun FACING your guests is ideal to have the best photos of your groom seeing you for the first time, you two at the alter, the first kiss, and you both walking down the aisle as newlyweds!
For portraits, which are probably my favorite part of the day, we’ll use the areas with the best light and location. If there are special areas of the venue that you know you want photos with, just keep in mind that there will need to be a good amount of light on them as well to get the glow that we all love.
By the time the reception rolls around, we won’t have natural light anymore but we’ll be using flash instead. The way that I use flash actually mimics the way I use sunlight because I like my reception photos to match the rest of your day. This is pretty much up to me to make this happen but if you have a venue with white ceilings or if you’re getting a big white tent, that makes things a LOT easier 😉
Barns and reception halls with dark walls definitely make achieving the light and bright style harder, so just keep that in mind when you’re choosing your space. The more WHITE, the better –– especially when it comes to ceilings!
Again, you’re hiring your photographer because they’re able to make beautiful images out of the venue you’ve chosen but I love for my brides to understand what makes a great space to be able to achieve the look they love.
LIGHT is the biggest factor of your photos so always look for it and ask questions to get your photographer’s opinion!
I’m Dakota, a Wilmington, NC-based photographer Helping engaged couples feel comfortable in front of the camera and creative businesses grow with purposeful brand imagery.
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