How Lighting Effects Your Wedding | 5 Wedding Lighting Tips | Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer

I know it sounds silly but I can not stress enough how important lighting is. As I am sure you know by now, I am an OCD person. Not quite over the top, yet, but I like things to be perfect. Lighting is one of those things and since it’s so key in creating a photos, I take it super seriously. Over the next few weeks my weekly wedding tips to our Jackson Signature Photography brides will cover wedding lighting tips but I wanted to share a few with those that aren’t Jackson Signature Photography brides.

Tip #1: Soft lighting, the most flattering, is perfect for getting ready portraits. How do I best achieve this? Window light. By having just one simple window in your getting ready area, I am able to create beautiful photos. The lighting is quite flattering! So when you are looking for your getting ready location, look for a window/s.

Tip #2:  Your church location can be predetermined based on where you have attended since birth and/or been baptized but if you are looking to have an outdoor ceremony, lighting will play a huge factor here as well. While you don’t want your guests to starve with an 8:30 dinner because you were waiting for the sun to set in July, you won’t want to plan your outdoor ceremony to close to noon. Why you ask? Because the sun is not only at it’s hottest BUT it’s at it’s harshest too making light tricky with deep shadows and harsh conditions.

Tip #3: Uplighting. Now if you are a DJ reading this, please don’t shoot me. Uplighting can be grand but be sure to keep it in moderation. It’s fun because it adds a pop of your wedding color in the background of our photos but to much can lead to purple people eaters, blue Smurfs and green with envy looking guests if you know what I mean.

Tip #4: Portrait time lighting can be tricky because most of the time our couples end up doing their portraits right over the most harsh sunlight hours. So what do Aaron and I do? We look for open shade. We are constantly on the hunt for shade when the sun is crazy bright during portrait time. The shade forces the light into our couples eyes so we can catch their beaming looks and not squints from the harsh sun.

Tip #5: Backlighting at your head tables. This wedding lighting tip honestly comes from a place of frustration for Aaron and I. It can turn lovely reception photos into less than stellar ones quite quickly. So many venues place your heatable or sweetheart table right in front of a window. In theory it sounds grand but in photos it look horrible! The view out the windows might be great, but the light streaming in the windows makes it hard to see your faces and even harder to photograph.

Think about it like this, you’re out to dinner with a friend and their back is to the window. How much do you loathe looking at them because the sun is in your face. Or maybe it’s an overcast day so the sun isn’t an issue but their face is dark.


I hope these 5 wedding lighting tips have been a help to you. If you would like to have a weekly wedding tip in your email inbox each Monday at 11:30AM, considering being a Jackson Signature Photography bride.