Natural light photography

Updated: Jun 11

All to often I read couples looking for "Natural Light" photographers and this has led to hundreds of photographers targeting the words Natural Light in their SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) as they want to get your custom. Also couples think that natural light photographers are the better option, due to the abundant use of the word in SEO. But this can lead to some complications on the big day, lets take a closer look...

Now before I continue, this is by no means a bad method in attracting customers and I myself also use such phrases to attract my clients including words such as "Jammie Dodgers".

But first, let's have a look at the typical "natural light" photographs that are publicised to newly engaged wedding couples.

Nice right? lovely "natural light" images, up against a big window and out in the fresh air, creating some lovely depth to the images. But theres something you need to consider...

  1. Are you getting married in the UK?

If the answer is yes, then you should know that we unfortunately do not have the best weather in the world and typically have short days, with very little "Natural Light". See where I am going with this? if not, stay with me.

Typically weddings start in the early hours of the morning during the months of May-September. At the start and end of this season, there is minimal light for bridal/groom preps due to the sun rising a lot later than mid season. This can be challenging for a "Natural Light" photographer who is non-experienced in using OCF (Off/on Camera Flash) look at me with all the fancy terms!

From a technical standpoint this will leave a "natural light" photographer with limited options and they will typically resort to using higher ISO. Now to all those non-camera geeky guys ISO allows your camera sensor to become more sensitive to light and as a result will make the images brighter.

Eureka! problem solved right? well not exactly... you see ISO does increase the amount of light that the camera can read but as a consequence will lower the quality of the photograph. So you should immediately ask yourself "do I want lower resolution/quality photographs of my big day?"

"But all these images you've taken are natural light Oliver?" you're 100% right, I love natural light and will use it as much as I can throughout your big day. But let's say that these scenarios occurred and there wasn't much "Natural Light" available. Well for me it isn't a problem, with lots of lights and knowledge on how to use them effectively to capture your big day. Just look at Hannah's bridal prep, early hours of the morning and still pitch black outside. A natural light photographers worst nightmare! but with some OCF work it was an absolute breeze. I even had some breakfast courtesy of Hannah (It was stunning thank you)

But let's turn everything on its head and discuss the scenario of there being too much light! That's right, the mid day sun can be a real headache for natural light photographers. Photography is all about exposure, making the best balance of light to capture each and every moment. But this can be compromised in the mid day sun, with group and couple shots. A good photographer will never have the couple and/or family facing the sun due to harsh shadows and general squinting (not comfortable) photographs.

But when facing away from the sun the photographer has to expose for the couple and/or guests which will result in the background being blown out (totally white), which means you don't get to see the gorgeous venue you have spent so much money and time deciding on!

With us, we expose for the background (venue) meaning you guys are dark. Ok great but what about the people in the shot? well we use our knowledge of OCF to our advantage, to create a fill light on the subjects (couple and/or family) allowing for a well balanced and stunning image. (Dear me, what an awful face I am pulling in the third image)

But this is the end result of using OCF!

and here is a with and without image of how powerful OCF really is and why couples should always ask about a photographers ability to use lights.

I think the above comparison between with and without OCF highlights the absolute requirement for your photographer to know how to effectively use light on your big day. But more importantly, for all couples to not be scared of the word "Flash" as being a "natural light" photographer has so many limitations and we want all of our clients to have optimal coverage of their special day.

We hope you found this blog beneficial!

If you'd like to get to know us, please feel free to get in touch and see how we can become a part of your special day