Natural light in Wedding Photography

How to use natural light in order to have the best wedding photos

I've always been a lover of natural light in photography. Of course, with an excellent equipment of lights and modifiers (umbrellas, beauty dishes, softboxes, grids or other) it is possible to obtain the perfect light in any environment, but it ends up losing the naturalness and the spontaneity of certain situations. And all this, especially in wedding photo shoots, is of enormous importance.
Personally I like to be as discreet as possible avoiding to influence events: I don't like my clients being surrounded by assistants with bulky lights or other objects, also because it is possible to obtain excellent results even without resorting to them.
Furthermore, in wedding photography is essential to have maximum freedom of movement and seize the moment: continuously placing lights is certainly not compatible with this philosophy!

Natural light in Wedding Photography

A backlight that enhances the toast between bride and bridesmaids

Nowadays, creating photographs with the right exposure is relatively simple: technology helps us a lot and, in the same physical space as the old cameras, there are more power and artificial intelligence.
Yet there is still a difference between photographers because that difference, today as yesterday, is made not by the tool, but by who is behind the camera and can "read "the light in a certain way. Because "photography" still means painting with light (I know it's literally "writing" and not "painting", but pass it on) and we photographers have not yet been effectively replaced by robots.

Photographing many weddings always I find myself in different environments, right from the groom and bride getting ready: large or tiny rooms, sunny or not well-lit, bare or full of objects or people. Even the ceremonies can take place in very different places: outdoors, places of worship or in any case indoors. Of course, each reception is also a story in its own. And, even if more weddings happen in the same locations, the light would be different every time because it depends on the times, the day of the year and the weather conditions.
In short, fortunately I can always have fun and be inspired because every time I work in new conditions, that I have to see through new eyes!

Now I try to explain to you with some examples what means for me "painting with light" without using anything other than the available one.

Outdoors bride getting ready

Sometimes I'm so lucky I can photograph the bride getting ready outdoors. In this particular case the light filtered through the branches of the trees, it was summer and the sun was high and harsh.

Outdoors bride getting ready

Shadows and lights seem to caress Ylenia's face

Indoors bride getting ready

Even indoors and in small rooms it is possible to create a romantic atmosphere taking advantage of the light coming in through a window.

Indoors bride getting ready

The bride has just received her bouquet

Light is soft and enhances the colors and shapes of the bride, while the rest remains in the shade and you can guess it at a second glance: a lamp on a bedside table and a messy bed, where up to shortly before the bridesmaids celebrated with the bride-to-be.

Groom getting ready

Groom getting ready lasts a little, if compared the bride's one, and perhaps for this reason the groom does not have time to settle down. You, bride-to-be who are reading this article, won't believe it, but even the groom will get excited, almost more than you!
The getting ready will therefore also be faster than normal, the moments in which "steal" important instants will be increasingly concentrated. Knowing how to manage available light sources can make all the difference.

Groom getting ready

Andrea, helped by his best man in the dressing

Also in this case the light enhance the most important elements and tell them: Andrea's expression, the hand of the best man and behind, blurred, his focused face.

Outdoor Ceremony

A wedding in the woods could be difficult to photograph, you will think. Instead, choosing carefully the place and time of the ceremony, the result is a photography with a soft and homogeneous light.

ceremony into the woods

Tenderness during the ceremony

Indoor Ceremony

Churches are usually very dark, with a few rare exceptions. In this case the candle light helped to create a unique atmosphere, illuminating the faces of Elitsa and Zdravko

Ceremony in a church

The coronation, part of the rite of Orthodox marriage

Bride and groom portraits

Being much more free to move than all the other moments of the wedding, it is at this stage that we manage to obtain photographs in which, in addition to the bride and groom, also the light is the protagonist.

Bride and groom portrait at Campidoglio in Rome

The sun is still high in the sky, but it enhances the couple and the architecture that surrounds it

Bride and groom portraits

It's sunset, Simona abandons herself in Andrea's arms

Bride and groom portrait in the woods

The sunset is the best setting for the woods and the newlyweds


The shooting of the reception and the subsequent party always surprise our clients: they do not have the chance to watch what is happening everywhere nor they imagine how the living moments will be depicted in pictures (actually they don't even think about it at that moment!).

The groom at the Reception

A moment of relaxation after dinner

Wedding party

A couple of guests during the party

The first dance of bride and groom

The first dance

In summary

Knowing how to use light to his advantage allows the photographer to get deep images, never flat. The scene is alive and can be interpreted making it romantic, dramatic, ironic or even dreamlike.
Choose carefully the person through whose eyes you will look at one of the most important days of your life!

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