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Natural Light Wedding Photography vs. Artificial Light Wedding Photography

Couture Bridal Photography: Fort Lauderdale Based South Florida and Destination Wedding Photography

Guide to understanding what "Natural Light" Photography sometimes really means!

Many couples planning weddings and searching for wedding photographers will say, they are looking for a natural light wedding photographer, but do they truly understand natural light photography for their wedding photography. 

Natural Light photography can be described as photography taken in the light available to a photographer at a given location at a given time. Natural light is wonderful if your truly understand light and truly know how to use it. Light in simpler terms is energy that travels in a straight line and has varying intensities based on its distance, size and how it is getting to the subject that is being photographed. 

Many photographers who aren't very skilled will advertise as natural light wedding photographers, but what they are truly saying is that they don't know or understand how light works. Many of these photographers will only photograph in open shade or places where there is indirect sunlight and rely on the ISO (Sensor or Film sensitivity) of a camera in order to try and deal with the lack of light.

Unfortunately, the couple seeking a wedding photographer and sometimes while on a budget will be attracted to someone advertising themselves as “Natural Light Wedding Photographers”. This can present serious issues if you or the photographer don't know the kind of lighting you will be dealing with during a reception at a venue at night with dim lighting or even an outdoor wedding with little or no ambient lighting. How does a “Natural Light” wedding photographer create images with little light? Light is everything for photography, without light images cannot be captured. Just like the human eye, we need light to see.

Many of us have had to look for keys, or a phone in a dark room at night and what do we typically do? We get a light source such as a flashlight or flip a switch. The same applies to wedding photography. The difference it the photographer has to understand and know how to use light properly to create an image, and as well should know what isn't seen can be as interesting as what is seen. 

The ability to work with various lighting proficiently and at any time of the day, whether in shade or in directed harsh sunlight is what differentiates, a professional photographer from someone that stays within a comfort zone of natural light, but requires it to be flat such as in open shade.

This will quickly become evident when you ask to schedule an engagement session and they only suggest early in the morning or late in the day when the sun is setting. This is the point where you should come to the realization that the photographer you may be working with isn't well educated and knowledgeable in light, which is the main component and most important in photography. 

As a professional wedding photographer, my studies and training involved more than just posing, composition, and proper exposure. The study of light, how it moves, how it falls on a subject, the different types of light and light sources is what took the most time and effort to learn. 

Understanding the larger the light source compared to the relative size of the subject, the softer shadows will be. Understanding that a subject lit by window light can be back lit by reflecting light using a reflector behind the subject will reduce a shadow or using a black flag which absorbs light energy will increase the shadow. These are all things many claiming to be a “Natural Light Wedding Photographer”, do not understand or can put into practical use during a wedding day.

I love natural light and I use it to create beautiful images all the time, but I use accessory lighting to help enhance natural light or I use tools to control and direct it to create an image with depth and interest or to highlight a part of a subject I want to stand out. This is what defines a true professional photographer, not capturing an image that is flat and boring and spending hours using photo shop or other image altering tools to create what wasn't there when the image was taken. 

Lighting during a dimly lit reception is also a challenge for a "Natural Light" wedding photographer as they will likely place a flash on their camera and attempt to bounce light on dark colored ceilings or ceilings that are to high to effectively bounce light. Additionally, shadows under the eyes are common or shadows on walls or other guests which isn't flattering in an image. These are the challenges that new photographers face, especially when they haven't had the opportunity or don't take the initiative to study light.

I am not only a professional South Florida and Destination wedding photographer that a couple hires to capture their wedding day with beautiful and artistic photographs. I am an advocate for my clients and potential clients so they receive the best wedding photography and manage their expectations accordingly. 

My role is also to educate and assist potential clients so they not only find the best wedding photography, but have the best wedding photography experience. The practice of educating and informing our clients is one of the many reasons Couture Bridal Photography, is known as South Florida's best Boutique Wedding Photography Studios. We provide the best wedding photography and make each client an important part of their wedding photography experience. 

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Couture Bridal Photography 

All Images & Content 2017© Alfredo Valentine - Couture Bridal Photography 954-399-0741