Bride and grooms, it’s so important to hire a photographer who understands lighting. As a luxury wedding photographer, I pride myself on being able to get the shot… every time. No matter the lighting and circumstances, I create award-winning images that the brides and grooms treasure. This shot, which looks easy in my final image below, would actually be impossible for a photographer who doesn’t understand manual camera settings and off-camera lighting. Notice that the sign above them shows up, as do the candles on the table. Also, their skin tones look warm and not washed out. This, to me, is key in timeless wedding images.
I don’t shoot in automatic mode, but for this image below I switched my camera to fully auto to show you what happens. You’ll notice that you can’t even see the “that’s amore” sign hanging above the bride and groom’s heads. I knew that the sign was special to them and wanted it to show in the image. They even asked if I could get the sign in the shot as we were walking back to the staged seating area at the reception. Because Nick and Marie hired a photographer who understands lighting, we were able to get the shot. Here is what would happen if they hired a photographer who does not understand how to light scenes:
You can’t even see the sign! It’s blown out and bright and honestly just looks like a white spot on the wall. I honestly believe that the photographers who “don’t do shot lists” or don’t shoot shots that the bride and groom request (that’s totally a thing) aren’t confident in their skills as a photographer. They don’t want to look frazzled or incompetent so they just make a blanket statement that they don’t take requests. A luxury wedding photographer would do anything and everything to ensure their couples have the best photos and the best experience.
That of course is different than a photographer refusing to recreate an entire Pinterest board. We are, after all, creatives, and love to be so on the wedding day. You hire us for our eye and we love surprising you with the magic we create. However, getting the sign in the shot should be a simple request.
By adding an off-camera flash (which shouldn’t be scary for photographers) to balance the lighting ratio with the neon sign, I was able to capture this perfectly.
Make sure you understand and ask when interviewing photographers about how comfortable they feel with all lighting types. You never know what to expect on a wedding day. True story: I once shot a wedding at a well-known wedding resort and the entire resort lost power. Their images were beautiful because I was able to create timeless wedding photography even in the most difficult circumstances.
Okay… off my soapbox!
Talk to you soon,
Dale Benfield is a Luxury Northwest Arkansas Wedding Photography and has been named one of the best Luxury Wedding Photographer in the world while serving Fayetteville, Rogers, Bentonville, and Destination Weddings. Benfield Photography is a Fine Art Bespoke Wedding Photography Studio and is a staple in NW Arkansas and has photographed luxury weddings, Italy weddings, celebrity weddings, private estate weddings, Crystal Bridges weddings, Carnall Hall weddings, Weddings at Osage House, Bachelor Nation Weddings, and more.
He has photographed every style of wedding you can image: intimate weddings, Catholic cathedrals in Italy, church weddings, elopements, destination weddings on the beach in Mexico, and so on.
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