I am a wedding photographer in
Atlanta, Georgia with 25 years of
experience. I have been photographing
weddings Atlanta for over 10 years now.
I am the owner of Atlanta Artistic Weddings my website is www.atlantaartisticweddings.com.
I have been asked to talk about photographing weddings at night.
When I went to college I was a painter. So when I think of photography I think of
painting with light. I am obsessed with the light. I love the warm outdoor light to enjoying the
challenges of using indoor light. The
first thing I do when I book a bride is look at my Google calendar where I have
amended the sunrise and sunset calendar to it. That way I will know what the outdoor light
will be before and after the wedding. I will also know how to plan my shoots for the
best locations and times to take advantage of the sun.
photographer when I get to a facility I survey for light. I will walk around
the building and look for locations and then survey the interior. I look
for windows, and sources for artificial light.
I also look for places where the most dramatic light is located. To find good dramatic light involves looking
for what light I can adjust and areas that have the most contrast to the most
well lit areas against the dark areas of a facility.
In Atlanta there is a growing trend to use art galleries as
reception halls. It makes sense because
they are usually consist of a large spaces and are used to accommodating caters
at art receptions. They also the
advantage of having lots of adjustable lighting for the variety art shows they
Recently I had the opportunity to shoot a reception at an
art gallery. If you have ever observed
that gallery lights are usually on tracts and they use spot lights to accent the
art work on display. When I was surveying the area I saw that where they had a
spot light on a piece of art in the center of the room. When I looked at that I came up with an
idea. I thought since the wedding is
going to be at night we could cut off all the lights except the one accent light and move the sculpture and replace it
with the bride since she is a piece of art work also! My bride was so excited with the idea! When I arrived before any one got there we
cut off the lights and moved the sculpture and replaced it with the bride. The results were stunning! I use a Canon 5d
Mark II. I simply increased my ISO to
3200 and used my 2.8 zoom lens so I would not have to use a flash. It was such
a simple idea but came across with so much drama and power! It is one of my favorite photos.
There is also a trend to use sparklers at night for the
wedding exit. Like I said before I
think of painting with light. About 20
minutes before what I thought was the exit I grabbed a couple of groomsmen from
the wedding and asked them to help me with a shoot. I placed my camera on the rear of my car. I then
set the camera to shutter priority and lined up the groomsmen. I told each one of them to make a letter with
the lit sparkler and spell out “LOVE”. I
lit the sparklers and made a couple of exposures and boom! We have a great
photo with some dramatic fun lighting.
Just as I finished the “LOVE” shot they announced they moved up time for
exit. I grabbed my camera ran to the
bride and groom at the same time changing my settings to aperture priority and
cutting on my flash which is no easy task in the dark. I just enough time to catch the exit right
after the “LOVE” shot with no time to spare!
So wrap this up there is a certain amount of serendipity
when it comes to shooting weddings. But
the better you get at looking at light sources given to you and taking
advantage of them the better your photographs will become. I know you with lots of practice you will be
happy with the results!