The Role of Lighting
The Role of Lighting

Okay. Why is this an important topic? Because, we have had clients who have told us that we can start the outdoor photo shoot by 10am in the morning and go on till evening.

So, you see, there are many around, who do not appreciate the role of light in photography, whereas in fact, it is one of the most important.

The best emotions cannot be best captured if the light is bad. Even with the top class cameras, if the light is bad, then the image is bound to be of an inferior quality.

If you want beautiful photos of yourself, then you need beautiful light. Beautiful light does not mean too much light, but just the right amount of light.

Sunlight is the natural light. But, there is a limit to shooting in the Sun. For example, the harsh midday sunlight is not ideal for a photo shoot. On the other hand, a midday Sun with a cloud cover, would be great for a photo shoot.

Here, we will discuss lighting considerations under varying circumstances. This is for you to get an idea so that you can be considerate of the photographer, who is trying his best to show you in beautiful light in the photographs.

Outdoor beach wedding

If you are planning an outdoor beach wedding, plan your wedding that begins early and is over by 7am. If the wedding is in the evening, ensure that the wedding is over at least an hour before dusk, if you want the beach to figure in your photos and videos. What is the point in having a beach wedding, if the beach and the waves are not in your photos and videos?

The golden hour of light is 30 minutes before and after sunrise and sunset. If you can plan your wedding that your main rituals fall during this time that would be great for your photographs and video.

Outdoor shoot
Lighting is going to be hard and the photographs taken during this time will have strong contrast and hard shadows, not ideal for a photo shoot.

Softer light early in the morning or late evening are ideal for photo shoot, as they result in vibrant colours, soft shadows

When uninitiated, a lot of couples do not give much thought about light.

But, the fact remains that if you can be at the right place during the golden hour, the results can be magical.

Getting ready

Your photographer is an expert, no doubt. But, you need to support him, if you want the best photographs. For example, you can book a large room, maybe a cottage with large french windows that allow enough light through to brighten the room naturally, which can be moderated using the drapes.

Lights from outside creating soft shadows make for great photographs

Bridal portraits

If you can schedule at least 15 minutes of your portrait session to happen just before sunset, it will totally be worth it if the weather plays its part.
About 15 minutes into dusk, the soft, diffused light with a cool colour tone can result in good looking photos. Please follow the photographers instructions and make your movements faster, because it gets darker by the minute after this time.

If the sky is overcast, consider yourself lucky. As you can shoot all through the day, in this light without any fear, as the entire location is lit by soft, wrap around light.

Reception Lighting

For the reception and wedding indoors, natural, warm light is recommended. Mirchi lights or string lights can look great for the  backdrops though.

DJ Night, Sangeet

For the dance floor, avoid red and orange colours, if possible. When there are multiple colours falling on the guests in the DJ night, be warned of really colour full photos in the end.

Harsh multi-coloured LEDs in your Sangeet or dance evening is going to be unavoidable, but discuss with the lighting team to have breaks between numbers where normal lighting is restored for the photographers to have a go.

The photographer is in full control of his ISO, aperture and shutter speed; he can control the amount of light, direction, hardness and the temperature, but still, you may want to include them in your discussion with the lighting team.

This will mean better photos for you in the end.


As you very well know, a good photograph very much depends on lighting. There is natural lighting, artificial lighting and ambient lighting. These are based on the quality of available light in any situation.

Natural light

This refers to the light provided by the Sun. As you know, the Sun rises slowly from the horizon and moves to the zenith at about mid day, after which it gradually loses its sheen before settling down by dusk.

Even though the Sun is available all through the day, the best time for photography is early morning when the sun rises till about 9am; these may differ depending on which part of the world you are and also the time of the year. After this time, the light becomes harsh and is not suitable for photo, video. The message is this; too much sunlight is bad for photos.

Ambient light

This is the available light in an event space or hall that is provided by the hosting hotel, resort or private property. There is a possibility of discussing requirements with the decorator to provide additional lighting to improve ambient available light.

Artificial light

This refers to the light created by artificial sources like the built in flash, remotely controlled high powered lighting systems and the LED based lighting. These are suitable when there is dim lighting or insufficient lighting. Sometimes, the ambient light available in a venue is not sufficient for the camera output to be of a required quality. In this case, artificial lighting is required.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Need Help