Wedding reception venues are not the same every time. You may have to take photographs in a location where not enough light is available. Whether you are shooting in an open garden or inside a large hall, lack of lights can be a big headache. For example, if it's an outdoor wedding reception and there is not enough light in the garden, it can cause difficulty for you. Similarly, indoor locations are often dimly lit, especially the dance floor, to create a romantic mood. While a dimly lit place may set a romantic mood for the guests, as a professional wedding photographer, you have to face the trouble. The couple will always expect clear and bright shots from you and if you tell them that “there was not enough light and that is why the photos are looking dull”, they will simply think you are giving an excuse.
Therefore, you must learn the techniques to take perfect wedding photographs when the lighting is not good enough. Here are a few tips that will help you handle low light issues during the wedding reception.
# Zoom in: Generally, cameramen use the zoom lens to zoom in and take close shots to capture the precious moments, but when you don't have enough lights, the camera zooms may not reveal much detail. Therefore, it's better to walk and be close to your subject so that the lens gets all the details without any camera zoom function. For closer shots, use smaller lens like 35mm or 50mm. Take photos from different angles to make sure even if a few shots are not good, you get at least one great shot. Just make sure you are not close enough to create any discomfort.
# Use flash intelligently: Flash is the best friend for a wedding photographer, but as we are talking about low light conditions, flash needs to be used carefully. The problem with flash is that it lights up the subject in front of the lens, but not the background. As a result, the person looks very bright but red eye issues occur. Therefore, it's important to use a diffuser to evenly distribute the light produced by the flash. In case you don't have a diffuser, there is a small trick that can help you. If the ceiling is colored white, target the flash towards the ceiling and hit the shutter. The flash will light up the ceiling and as the reflected light showers upon the people on the floor, you will able to capture a natural photo with enough light.
# Utilize the “slow” flash feature: It's a common feature that can be accessed under flash settings. What it basically does is that it slows the shutter speed. So, when you set this function and shoot, the flash captures the action in front of the lens immediately, but as the shutter speed is slow, it stays open for a few extra seconds and captures the light in the background. This leads to an even balance of light.
# Use black and white: Photoshop is one tool that should be credited for artistic wedding photography. It lets you correct errors, add effects, correct colors, brightness and a lot more. In short, Photoshop can make any picture look perfect. So, when you start editing the wedding photographs, find out the photos that look ugly in color and transform them into black and white to get rid of lighting issues. Increase the level of brightness to make sure the photos look high quality and crystal clear.
# Edit the dark background: Suppose, you had taken a photo of the couple in the evening at the garden of the venue and there was not enough light. So, even if the subjects look bright (thanks to flash), the background still looks dark as the diffuser couldn't help much in a large, open area. In that case, you can simply change the background in Photoshop. If you had taken a photo of the garden in the morning, use it as the background. The morning photo will help you maintain the twilight look, yet there will be enough natural light to make the photo perfect.
Wedding photography is an enjoyable job and as you now know the tricks for low light photography, I hope you won't face any trouble making your clients happy.
Dax Vyas is associated with Adayofbliss. Adayofbliss is a one of the leading wedding photography company in USA. They provide a variety of destination wedding photography services designed to capture the events of your special occasion. You can also connect him at Face book and twitter.