Some of the best wedding photography tips aim to make it easier for professionals to give clients the best outcome. When it comes to photo and video quality, light is essential. You already know that the availability of natural light changes through the day, which determines the best times for photo and video sessions.
So, when can you expect to capture the best (or the worst) wedding photos and videos?
The following guide will share some of the key information on the topic. While you’re limited to some extent by the time of the ceremony, there are still ways to work with the clients and give them splendid photos or video clips.
Wedding Photography Tips: How Time Affects Quality
As a photography or videography professional, you have certainly come across the term “golden hour.”
This term refers to approximately 60 minutes before the sun sets.
Since the sun is lower in the sky at that time of the day, the intensity is reduced. The colour temperature of the light also gives the pictures some warmth that is considered highly aesthetically pleasing.
The period immediately after the sun rises is characterised by similar conditions, resulting in beautiful, rich and warm photos.
Worst Time of the Day for Photos and Videos
Most professionals would agree that the worst time for a photo session would be midday.
The sunlight has the highest intensity and is sharpest at that time. In addition, the sun is positioned overhead, resulting in lots of shadows. There’s also a serious risk of the pictures being over-exposed (especially if the photographer isn’t that experienced yet).
Pictures and videos created at that time of the day lack the softness and the romantic feel that’s so typical for golden hour photographs.
There is one more negative effect to consider. While it isn’t related to the quality of the light, this effect can still ruin a photo or a video session. That effect is the heat.
Photo and video sessions necessitate some time to be completed. A midday session will get everyone sweaty and cranky. Both the bride and the groom will feel uncomfortable in their attire and that discomfort could show in the final photograph.
As a wedding photographer or videographer, you have to communicate these specifics and considerations with your clients. While changing the time of the wedding isn’t always possible, you could schedule a session at a desirable time (usually before the wedding ceremony itself starts).
Other Factors to Take in Consideration
The light is obviously the biggest consideration when planning a shoot but there are other elements to think about, as well.
Weather is one of those elements.
It can be unpredictable but you should try to prepare for the anticipated conditions.
Will the day be cloudy? Are there chances of rain? Are you anticipating intense and dry heat?
Most weddings feature some kind of outdoor component, especially when it comes to photo and video shoots. In such instances, the weather can really enhance the final outcome or ruin the session altogether.
Some days will have fickle weather – starting off great and becoming cloudy or rainy later on. If the weather forecast suggests such changes, you may have to be quick on your feet. Rescheduling a shoot may be the one thing that will save the outcome, giving your clients the album or video they’ve always dreamed of.
To sum it up, you should always have a contingency plan B. Even if the day is splendid and you’ve set up the shoot for the perfect moment, there’s still some risk of the elements working against you. Unless you’re prepared with an alternative approach, you will potentially disappoint the people who trusted you to capture their special day.
Wedding Photography Tips: Ensuring Optimal Quality at the Wrong Time of the Day
With all this being said, should you be prepared for the delivery of poor quality if the shoot isn’t scheduled for the right time of the day? Absolutely not!
Experienced videographers and photographers know how to make the most of every situation.
If you are prepared and you have a creative vision, unfavourable conditions can be turned around.
Photographic and videographic techniques can compensate for poor light or less than optimal conditions. Choosing the right location can also make your job a lot easier. When the photo session is scheduled for the middle of the day, for example, opt for a shady place. It will naturally dissipate some of the harshness you’ll have to correct in post-production otherwise.
To be prepared, do visit the wedding venue in advance.
Every wedding photographer and videographer should be acquainted with the landscape and the various nooks and crannies that could be utilised in a shoot. Going there will also help you test out the light so that you can bring additional equipment in case it’s insufficient.
Considering the Style of Photographs Will Also Be Important
So far, we’ve shared general wedding photography tips but you have to understand that the right approach depends on many things.
The style that the bride and the groom have chosen for their shoot will be determining for the selection of the right time.
While most couples will be happy with a golden hour session, there could be some clients out there seeking an alternative.
Will the photoshoot be whimsical and fairy-tale like? Does the couple want a more alternative, goth approach? Or maybe they’re looking for abstract pictures?
In such instances, you will need to work together as a team.
The more specialised the wishes of the couples is, the more difficult it will be to capture pictures in an optimal way.
It’s essential for clients to understand that photographers and videographers are not magicians.
They will work with everything available but sometimes, the time of the ceremony and the venue will not match the specific vibe required. Discussing this in advance and making sure clients are ok with some modification of the original concept will be imperative to ensure everyone’s happiness.
Indoor Photography and Videography Tips
The strategies and approaches mentioned so far refer predominantly to outdoor shoots.
What are the best and the worst times of the day for doing indoor shoots, however? Is there any difference?
Whether you’re shooting indoor or outdoor, having enough natural light will be determining for the quality of the pictures. In the middle of the day, light will be harsh regardless of where the photo shoot is taking place.
Thus, you will need to plan for optimal conditions once again.
The location can also help you make the most of natural light. Getting the bride close to a window so that you can create a soft wedding portray is obviously the way to go.
Adjusting the camera’s aperture is another well-known technique that can yield excellent outcomes. Aperture priority mode, for example, allows you to choose and modify the aperture. A wide open aperture allows you to capture as much natural light as possible.
Keep in mind, however, that wide aperture will result in a shallow depth of field. That means the main subject of the photograph will be in focus but the background will be somewhat blurred.
For a portrait, aperture of f/5 or f/6 will be optimal to ensure focus. For a best result, focus on the eyes.
An added benefit of doing an indoor shoot is the easy availability of artificial light. Hence, shooting in the evening and during the night will be easier at an indoor venue. You can easily position projectors and flashes strategically so that all of the essential spots are properly illuminated.
Planning Is Crucial!
The final verdict here is that you have to plan photo and video shoots in minute details.
Most of the time, things will not happen according to plan. There could be delays, the weather may shift entirely or the beautiful lawn at the wedding venue could be too muddy from the rain the night before.
As a videographer or photographer, you should be ready to guide your clients through such situations.
With experience, you’ll become a lot more capable of thinking on your feet and offering solutions to problems that haven’t been accounted for.
If you’re not that experienced, do your research and prepare for all possibilities in advance.
After all, you cannot excuse poor photo or video quality with the time of the day or the amount of available light. Clients wouldn’t care about such excuses. They will simply be disappointed because their memories from the special day are ruined.
Do plan for the best case scenario but know what it would take to deliver a good outcome in the worst. If you go through these preliminary steps, you will get to do your job with confidence and a ton of enjoyment.
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