To get a stunning indoor wedding photography in Melbourne, the light is king. The lighting of temperature and texture can be variable in different wedding location.
Most of our wedding photography took in indoor environment such as, bride and groom getting ready, ceremony (church or chapel) and most wedding reception venues. Different from outdoor shooting indoor wedding photography always depends on the light source, so understanding the indoor lighting is the corner stone of indoor shooting.
Natural light is the most accessible light sources for indoor wedding photography as every house has window. It is much bigger than most artificial light source is always the better light for indoor wedding photography.
Also, natural light diffuse from window can consider as single direction light which creates natural shadows to brings up texture of portrait and accessory photo. As ambient light like electric lights from different source that have varies colour and direction, it can affect skin tone and cause unnecessary shadow.
Furthermore, most ambient light flickers as they drive by AC power, this may not noticeable to human eyes but it can cause intermittent strip on photo. Turn off the light can be the easiest way to avoid these.
When light source is bigger than the object it can create soft light, it has it has fewer shadow with feathering edge of light and shadow. Soft light is always helping shades the blemishes on skin by showing soft and less shadows.
This is especially helpful in shoot a bride and grooms’ portrait in many ways. There are two ways to acquire soft light. First, light can be more soften by shutting the white sheer curtain if there is direct sunlight. Second the closer your object to the window the softer light you can get.
In another hand, lighting an object with a small source creates harsh shadow can be consider hard light. Sunlight through a window without diffuse is the most common hard light for indoor wedding photography.
Hard light can bring up the details of the skin and increases the contrast of your photo. We should avoid taking portrait under direct sunlight because deep shadow on skin can make photo feeling drama which is not most clients’ expectation.
Different light source has different character, colour temperature is the one affects the feel of your photo significantly.
Kelvin is the unit to measures the colour temperature of a light sources. You should always check the white balance setting of your camera. Natural light like sky light and sunlight thorough window; artificial light like fluorescent and led has varies colour temperatures.
Human brain can easily adapt the colour temperature in most situation, however, digital camera can be confused by different colour temperature from multi light sources. This is another reason to turn off the light when you are shooting a wedding indoor.
There is always some environment you cannot switch the light off like in a church, you can shift your camera white balance setting to have the accurate skin tone.
The angle of the lighting sources can change the way your photo looks dramatically. As mentioned before a window light is the main light sources of indoor wedding photography. It is impossible to move the window so we can change our client’s position or ourselves.
Front lighting: It means you standing with the light sources when you photographing your clients or objects. As the light coming from your side, there is no shadows on what you photographing. This is very common when we shooting group photo as everyone has equal light on them and shadow fall behind them instead of fall on the other people.
Side lighting: When placing the light sources at the side for clients and at the camera side. One side of the object has lit up and the other side has shadow. This makes the object more vivid by showing the depth and the texture; three-dimensional in another word.
This is the main light for portrait, accessory and small group photo. By adjusting the angle of your client or yourselves you can change the way the shadows fall to meet your type of photography.
Backlighting is when placing you object in between you and light sources like shooting against window. Most auto mode of a camera will struggle with backlighting, so switch to manual mode to have proper exposure.
Silhouette is the main reason I choose backlighting. When have a right exposure the background it creates a dark silhouette effect to photo which makes a portrait photo more pop out. When have the exposure on the object it makes halo effect by over expose the background.
Flash is a must have light sources for wedding photographer in Melbourne. Natural light is a good light sources and should be always consider as your first priority, however, it can be too dark for an early start wedding or impact by bad weather. Nevertheless, most of reception has boring ambient light. So, I always have two flashes in my photography camera bag.
For most bridal getting ready photography I’m looking for natural light. I will use flash when I need to create backlight to add a bit drama effect in the photo. Also, flash light bouncing from ceiling can provide fixed light for indoor family photo, that you don’t have to worry the inconsistent natural light due to the weather changed
In order to minimise the disruption to clients and guests, ambient light is the only light for me to photography an indoor wedding ceremony, especially in church. Wedding ceremony in Melbourne is the most important part on a wedding day. It is a long wait moment with special meaning to bridal and groom and their family and friends. Flash can easily pull them out from their moment. Use fast lens and don’t be afraid to bump up your camera ISO.
The majority of wedding reception happened indoor and after sunset. Flash is necessary during all the time for this part. Turn your on-camera flash behind you and towards the ceiling is a good way to create soft light fall on people.
Sometimes the ceiling painted with red or black colour that may preventing you have a correct white balance or exposure. Turn the flash facing towards the object and use a diffuser can be a better choice.
As a professional wedding photographer in Melbourne, you shall keep move on your learning curve and new experiment for using the different light source for indoor wedding photography shoot. If you have passion on wedding photography as your career. You could read my FREE wedding photography tutorial here.