bride and groom dance in silhouette
January 24, 2013

Light, Exposure and Beautiful Wedding Photography


I love light but I lust after the perfect exposure! To me, a wedding photo is never more beautiful than when light and exposure come together with moment.

Redline Gallery Denver Wedding

Photographing weddings in Colorado we are blessed with amazing and intense light. It can be pretty harsh and then dull then gorgeous all within a matter of minutes.

We’ve all watched a summer thunderstorm come racing in, changing a bright day to overcast. Knowing how to adjust for these extremes is important when shooting weddings because the harsh light can make a bride’s white dress nuke out or a heavy overcast can make a groom’s black tux turn into a black hole. In other words the bride and groom are on opposite ends of the exposure. It is essential that a photographer knows how to adjust and compensate for this and any number of the hundreds of other possible lighting situations.

Della Terra Wedding in Estes Park, Colorado.

Many photographers like to wax poetic about light, and for good reason. The art is dependent on it. Translated from Latin photography literally means drawing with light.

We seek out perfect light, magic hour, angular light, soft light, etc., photographers probably have as many words for light as the Inuit have for snow.

I have always believed that the test of a photographer — whether shooting weddings, wars, or their own children — is how they use the light they have.

Artificial or natural light, light bulb, flash or sun. Light behaves predictably and understanding its rules and behavior make for dynamic and beautiful photos.

In the coming days and weeks Stark Bellamy Photography will be blogging about the importance of light, exposure and moment in wedding photography. We hope that you, the bride and groom, can get a feel for what we do with light and moment.

Contact us through email, phone, Facebook or Twitter to discuss what you are looking for on your wedding day.

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.