bride in elevator
March 5, 2013

Just a Light Bulb or a Bright Idea?


As I mentioned in my Beware the Flasher post some times the only light available is either on camera flash or a few weak little light bulbs. Here is another place where the light source separates the professional wedding photographer from Uncle Frank.

couple dances at reception

It is putting it politely to say that most wedding photographers are not fond of incandescent light (most light bulbs). It is generally dim and its color temperature is really orange. The latter can be compensated for or fixed in post production but low light is low light.

bride listens to vows

Despite the issues we have with them they can create some dramatic effects. In a dark room they leave little pools of light that when exposed for correctly can be awesome. Cans in the ceiling are like little spotlights, dressing room lights can create glowing orbs around a bride gazing into the mirror and a simple lamp can give the impression of a quiet moment. There are tons of options even with something as simple as white Christmas lights.

There a couple tricks to using that light. Firstly you must understand that the exposure is drastically different for that cone of light, and be prepared for that split second change. Secondly you must be patient and wait for the bride or groom to wander into it. This also ties into moment, you have to know when to push the button. It isn’t about large memory cards and motor drives! The key is to be a patient observer.

This is what we did when we worked as newspaper photojournalists. We watched and waited for the right light and the right moment. Whether it is window light, strobe, or a little splash of light from a light in the ceiling it is important to know exactly what that light is and be ready for it.

Let us find the light and moment that make your wedding unique and beautiful. Call Stark Bellamy Photography for a free consultation.

Eric Bellamy
Wedding Photojournalist at Stark Bellamy Photography
Eric Bellamy is an award-winning photojournalist whose work has appeared on the likes of ESPNHS, the New York Times, Denver Post and more. He now focuses on editorial-style wedding photography and portraiture. He lives with his wife and children, and enjoys climbing rock and ice as well as sampling good wine and food in Northern Colorado.