What do we mean when we say we're "natural light photographers" and how does it effect you?

In our opinion, lighting is the biggest 'make it or break it' when it comes to photos. We, like many other photographers around the globe, consider ourselves natural light photographers. This means that we shoot using the light that is naturally available to us! We do not cart lighting setups around with us and we very rarely use flash (we will use flash if needed but we avoid it as much as possible!). We understand that planning your day is stressful enough and lighting is probably not even on your radar but we are here to explain why it is something that you should consider when planning your event!

Darker Venue, Darker Photos

While this may sound relatively obvious, it's still worth a mention. If the lighting in your venue is dim, expect to receive some dimmer photos. This may also mean you'll receive photos with more noise/grain than if the venue were brightly lit!

Noisy photos aren't for everyone and we totally get that. We aren't fans of flash (it just isn't our style and we hate subjecting everyone to flashing lights while we're working!) so if you are looking for clean bright images from a dim or poorly lit venue we probably aren't for you. And that's totally okay! We just like to be transparent about the end results so that our couples aren't wondering why their photos have grain or are darker than they expected.

Keep this in mind for video as well! We shoot very run and gun and don't set up lighting which means that if you opt for a dim and romantic environment for your day, your video will reflect that dim environment.

a bride and groom share their first dance in a dimly lit barn
a bride and groom gaze into each other's eyes in the sun
a bride and groom pose for a photo on a shaded path through the woods
a bride and groom gaze at each other in front of an ivy covered tower as the veil cascades in front of them
a wedding ceremony with guests looking on under umbrellas during a rainy outdoor wedding at Whispering Springs

Sun vs. Shade vs. Overcast vs. Gloom

If you haven't already gathered from viewing our work, we thrive in overcast weather. Although this may not be the ideal weather that you picture while envisioning your wedding, it is most certainly the most ideal weather when it comes to images. Unfortunately, we haven't learned how to control the weather yet! But we can work around whatever weather is thrown at us and we can try to help you plan accordingly for whatever the sky has planned for you!

We recommend planning your day as though you know for a fact that it will be sunny that day. If you're getting married outdoors and you're able to, we recommend that you do not plan your ceremony during peak daylight times (in the summer this is approximately 10am - 6pm!). Not only will we not be able to really capture your shots in our signature style that you chose us for, but you and your guests will likely be pretty uncomfortable as well. Bare in mind that when the sun is high in the sky, you will experience lots of heavy shadows on your face and plenty of squinting. We can move you around to a better position for your family and couples formals but we can't direct you during your ceremony so try to plan accordingly and aim for an evening or shaded ceremony.

Okay, it's super sunny, now what?! Like we said, we can't direct your ceremony but we can direct your family and couples formals. We will always try to position you and your crew in the most flattering way possible. If your venue has no shade available or a location that you really want to use is in full sun, we will simply turn you as away from the sun as we can. We always try to backlight our subjects if there is no escape from the sun to avoid unflattering shadowing/squinting/general cornea destruction of you and your guests. Our best option if it is sunny is to simply find a shadowed area that will fit your group. Once we wrap up the family photos and it's just the 4 of us, we will drag you to the best locations that are free of direct sun.

Overcast skies are our friend! While a grey sky may not be what you've always dreamed of, it will certainly make your photos look stunning. Think of the clouds as one giant softbox. It evenly distributes and softens the sunlight which makes really anywhere a "picture perfect" spot. You and your guests won't have watery eyes from the sun burning them, and you don't have to worry about harsh shadows. Overcast skies also allow us to really get into our moody aesthetic so if it's overcast you're getting us at our absolute best!

Uh oh, it's raining and we have a really dark location. Obviously this isn't ideal for anyone involved, but it doesn't mean the day is a wash. If you end up with a rainy or super dark day, you just have to embrace it! Make sure your guests bring umbrellas that are all a similar colour scheme. - Trust us when we say it's okay to be a slight 'bridezilla' and request that everyone bring a black umbrella (or whatever colour you want!). Different colour umbrellas in your photos/videos will probably drive you up the wall when you look back on them later as they throw the entire colour scheme off. Either all colour or no colour is our recommendation! - Aside from the umbrellas, we will set our cameras to the most weather appropriate settings to ensure we can get you useable images! Modern cameras allow us to really work some magic in-camera and even more magic when editing. We ask you to understand that if it's gloomy and we're working in a naturally darker area, you will experience some noise on your images.

Why Don't You Use Flash?

We briefly covered this above but it really just boils down to our personal style preference. We don't love how our flash images look and we always want to be transparent with our prospective couples.

Flash will always enhance the clarity and quality of an image in a darker area and we completely understand that some couples may value an evenly lit scene for every image but it just isn't us! Not to mention, flash feels way more intrusive than we care to be. Does anyone actually enjoy when a flash is going off every 5 seconds?! We like to be as minimal as possible with equipment and we want to really capture the day as it was.

If you have your heart set on us but also have your heart set on flash images, please let us know at your consultation! We rarely pop a flash or other light source onto our cameras unless asked.

a motion blurred image of a bride descending a staircase for her family to see

Bonus: DJ Lighting

As a shock to probably no one, if you have DJ lighting at your reception (or at any point, we don't know your life!) you have to accept that these images will be hella colourful. This is definitely a fun vibe and with the last couple of years feeling like we're stuck in the town from Footloose there's a strong chance you will have or want to have this lighting at some point in your night.

Our only advice in regards to this lighting is to ensure that you are not using it for your first dance! Trust us, the colours will be all over the place, your skintones will be weird, the makeup you spent your hard earned money on will look different. Trust us. Natural light or natural tones only for the first dance. Trust. Us.

an image of wedding guests dancing in a barn lit with DJ lighting