Lighting techniques for indoor and outdoor weddings

Bride facing window allowing natural light to illuminate her

As an Edmonton wedding photographer, ‘lighting’ is one of the most crucial-factors in capturing the perfect shot. Whether shooting indoors or outdoors. The right lighting techniques can make all the difference in the final product. Here are some lighting techniques for indoor and outdoor weddings.

Indoor Wedding Lighting Techniques

When it comes to photography, lighting is everything. The right lighting can make your subjects look beautiful and natural. While the wrong lighting can create ‘harsh shadows’ and ‘unflattering effects’.
Use natural light: Natural light is often the most flattering light source for photography. Look for large windows or doors that can provide a soft and beautiful light source. If you’re shooting outside, try to shoot during golden hour, when the light is warm and golden.

Diffuse artificial light: If you’re working with artificial light, such as ceiling lights or lamps, it’s important to diffuse the light to create a softer effect. This can be done by using a ‘diffuser’ or ‘soft-box’. You can also bounce the light off a white wall or ceiling to create a softer effect.

Use off-camera flash: An off-camera flash can help you create directional light and eliminate harsh shadows. This technique can help you create a more ‘natural’ and ‘flattering effect’. Make sure to position the flash at an angle to your subject. Use a diffuser to soften the light.

Create a backlight: Backlighting can create a dramatic effect and add depth to your images. Place your subjects in front of a bright light source. For example, a window or door, and expose for their faces. This will create a beautiful backlight. It will make your subject stand out.

By following these tips, you can create ‘beautiful’ and ‘natural-looking’ photos. They will impress your viewers. Remember, lighting is everything in photography. Take the time to experiment and find the right lighting for your subjects.

Outdoor Wedding Lighting Techniques

When shooting outdoors, photographers have to work with natural light, which can be unpredictable. Here are some techniques to help you create stunning outdoor images.

Use the golden hour – The golden hour is the hour before sunset when the light is soft. It is warm and flattering. Shoot during this time to create stunning outdoor images.

Use a reflector – A reflector can help you bounce light back onto your subject and create a more flattering effect. This technique can help you eliminate harsh shadows and create a more even exposure.

Use a diffuser – A diffuser can help you create soft, even light in bright sunlight. This technique can help you avoid harsh shadows and create a more flattering effect.

Use off-camera flash – An off-camera flash can help you create directional light and eliminate harsh shadows. This technique can help you create a more natural and flattering effect.

Choosing the Right Lighting Technique

Selecting the most suitable lighting technique for a wedding can significantly influence the event’s ambience. This decision should be made thoughtfully, taking into account several factors.

Consider the Wedding’s Style: The wedding style plays a vital role in determining the appropriate lighting technique. Your choice of lighting can either accentuate or diminish the event’s overall theme.

For a romantic and intimate wedding, you might want to opt for soft, diffused lighting. This type of lighting creates a warm and cozy atmosphere that aligns with the tender nature of such weddings.

On the other hand, for a modern and dramatic wedding, harsher, directional lighting might be the better choice. This kind of lighting adds an element of drama and sophistication that matches well with contemporary wedding styles.

Take into Account the Wedding’s Location: The location of the wedding is another crucial factor to consider when selecting a lighting technique. Different locations, such as Edmonton’s outdoor and indoor wedding venues, may necessitate different approaches to lighting.

Outdoor venues, for instance, provide an opportunity to make good use of natural light. This can help create a soft and romantic atmosphere, perfect for weddings set amidst nature.

Indoor venues, however, may require artificial light. This can be manipulated to achieve a unique and dramatic effect. Indoor lighting allows for greater control over the illumination. This can be particularly beneficial in creating specific moods or highlighting certain areas.

Backgrounds and Lighting

When it comes to wedding photography, the background is important. Just as much as the lighting. A beautiful and interesting background can enhance the lighting. It can create a visually stunning image.

Use natural backdrops – For outdoor wedding venues in Edmonton, look for natural backdrops. Examples are trees or waterfalls. These can add depth and texture to your photos.

Use interesting architectural features – For indoor venues, look for interesting architectural features. Such as staircases or windows.

Incorporate the couple’s personality – When choosing a background, consider the couple’s personality and style. Incorporating elements of their hobbies or interests can help create a more personalized and meaningful image.
Use creative angles – Experiment with different angles to create a more ‘dynamic’ and ‘visually-interesting image’. Shooting from a low angle can create a sense of grandeur. While shooting from a high angle can create a more intimate and personal effect.


As an Edmonton wedding photographer, mastering lighting techniques is crucial. It creates stunning and memorable images. These images capture the essence of the couple and their special day.

Understand the challenges and opportunities of indoor and outdoor weddings: Indoor weddings can present challenges such as dim lighting, harsh shadows, and mixed light sources. Outdoor weddings, on the other hand, can offer beautiful natural light but also come with unpredictable weather conditions and harsh midday sun. By understanding the unique challenges and opportunities of each setting, photographers can choose the best techniques for each situation.

Choose the right lighting techniques for each wedding: There are a variety of lighting techniques that can be used to create beautiful wedding photos. Choose the right technique for each situation. This way photographers can create images that are both stunning and natural-looking.

Continually learn and adapt: The world of photography is constantly evolving, and it’s important for photographers to continually learn and adapt to new techniques and technologies.

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