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Truth be told, lighting is key in photography. I live for gorgeous natural light. I don’t want to create the lighting on the wedding day; the goal is to capture a wedding’s warmth; how it feels. There are a few times where a little preparation can make for more flattering photos. Since lighting is too often overlooked on the wedding day, I wanted to bring this topic into the limelight (haaaaa… I’ll stop).

As a wedding photographer, I never want to help with the timeline of the wedding day to ensure you have the best light at all times! I’d love to share a few tips to help you plan for lighting at different times during your wedding day that will make your photos extra gorgeous.



The best conditions for lighting would be a room with large windows and enough light coming in through the windows to light the room evenly with the lights off. An ideal getting ready area would be an interestingly decorated space with windows and light walls for lots of reflective light.
This is why I recommend looking at renting out homes on AirBNB or getting ready at cozy bed and breakfasts instead of stuffy hotel rooms (which unfortunately are usually full of no-smoking signs, sprinklers, and questionable chairs and carpet choices).
Lighting to avoid: anything with mixed light (example: a little bit of daylight coming in through the window + orange tungsten bulbs, tungsten + fluorescents lights, daylight + florescent light, etc).
It’s hard to see with the naked eye, but in photos, it can lead to odd skin colors. Venues often provide rooms to get ready in, but it’s generally a good idea to look at the space before deciding to get ready there, if you have the option. Often, the bride’s or groom’s chambers end up being classrooms with bright colored walls and florescent lighting. If you take anything away from this, just know that florescent lighting is not the most flattering in general (it’s a bit blue-green – and no one wants green skin!), so if there are other options that are just as easy.



An honest majority of the weddings I photograph include a first look and I love them. First looks are a break from tradition and can be a wonderful way to get a moment together before you stand in front of 100 of your closest family and friends, but even if you want to set one up, it might not be the ideal scenario to plan to do all the bride and groom portraits at the same time if the first look will happen too early in the day.

Lighting between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. is pretty harsh sunlight (which can lead to shadow-under eye circles, nose-shadow mustaches, and squinting eyes), so in that case, you’d want to look for an interesting backdrop that can be used to shade yourselves and family/friends in group photos, or plan to do these photos at a later time of day.



Let me save you from a crucial mistake. Once a ceremony is set, printed and mailed off to all your nearest and dearest on your invites, that’s it. There’s no going back. Picture this – a 4PM ceremony in July (when the sun sets at 9pm) Both of you in your finest, sweating like animals at the front of a blazing hot aisle while one of you squints at the other. Not only are you uncomfortable and sweating in unmentionable places, buy one of you has your back to the sun and the other is facing right into it. Not only can I see every drop of sweat but your photographic result will be less than ideal because your partner’s face is totally shaded while you are as bright as the sun you’re under. No matter the best photographer in the world, we can only fix things so much!
Things to keep in mind:
– Time of day
– Time of Year
– Location of Ceremony in relation to the sun and surrounding area (directional, trees, etc.)
This will also depend on geographical location. Certain parts of the world are known for their overcast skies. Things like mountains, trees, and especially bodies of water will also have an impact on light. Don’t worry though! I am here to help you figure it out!


If you are opting for an indoor ceremony, beware of artificial lighting. We realize there are some spaces that might not have any windows, and that’s ok! Just make sure the lighting added isn’t florescent colors or shining right on someone’s face. If there are windows, your photographer may ask the venue to turn off all the lights — don’t be scared! Trust them. Creative tip: Go all-out and embrace dim lighting with candles or string lights. Just make sure your photog is aware so they can prepare accordingly!



If you hired your photographer because want those glowing dusk photos or portraits in a field or other open area, you’ll need to make time for portraits at sunset. If you’ve allowed yourself some time for portraits during the first look earlier in the day and sunset isn’t until 7:30, consider taking 20-30 minutes out of the reception to go out and take some beautiful portraits during the golden hour (the last hour and a half or so before the sun goes down).



There are so many variables here and lighting varies stylistically from person to person and venue to venue, but my vote is always natural looking, warm light. Italian string lights are a beautiful way to add pretty bokeh (the out of focus orbs in the background of photos) to backdrops. They’re ideal for outdoor yards, to make a borders around dance floors and eating areas, and they help to light the perimeter of the reception in a beautiful way.

And if you’re having a small wedding, consider booking a well designed cafe or restaurant that has lots of window lighting and light fixtures that you already love — unlike wedding venues that are a little more of a blank-canvas for you to build on, restaurants and cafes are branded and designed with lighting taken into consideration and might be an easy, more flattering venue if they can accommodate your party size.



Try to plan for harsh light but if you’re worried about it being overcast on your wedding day, don’t! It’s just like a giant soft box in the sky. Overcast light is light that you don’t have to worry about at all, it makes everyone look great and timing for portraits doesn’t have to be as crucial because it will be consistent for most of the day.

We’re photographers because we love light and we photograph weddings because we love weddings. If you have questions about your timeline, you just have to let us know! We’re happy to help.
Happy planning!



Kind Words

Can we give more than 5 stars?! Jessica is absolutely amazing and everything you deserve in a photographer on your big day. From start to finish, she was everything we dreamed and more. She has a magical personality and the ability to make every person feel comfortable in front of the camera. By the end of the night it felt like she had been in our friends group for years and captured every moment perfectly. Highly recommend!
- Tiffany + Brandon
Hands down, Jessica is the best photographer around!  I cannot tell you how happy I am that I chose her and how grateful I am that she was able to so beautifully capture the best day of my life. I was very particular when choosing a photographer and chose Jessica based on her talent and her creative ability to think outside the box. I completely trusted her vision so when she suggested we hike to a waterfall in freezing temperatures in January, I agreed and it paid off big time. I ended up with an indescribably gorgeous bridal portrait that looks like it belongs in a magazine. My wedding pictures turned out just as stunning. She made my husband and I feel at ease, which translated into pictures that are truly representative of the love and excitement we felt on our wedding day. A bonus is that Jessica has a great personality and offers a calming presence, which is priceless among the hustle and bustle of a hectic wedding day. I couldn’t be happier with my experience with Jessica and I will continue recommending her to my family and friends!
- Brittany + Michael
Where do I start?? Are you looking for someone who's fun, innovative, and creative? Look no further! Jessica is an absolute pleasure to work with! She shot our engagement, my bridal portraits, and wedding day. Working with her was a breeze! She makes you feel so comfortable during your photo sessions. I cannot stress enough how important a good photographer is. Thanks to Jessica we were able to capture the best memories from the BEST day ever!
- Elizabeth + Manny
If you want the heart of a memory or event remembered, Jessica is the right photographer for you. My wife and I were married 10/14/18, and the first person that popped into my head for a photographer was Jessica. I have worked with her numerous times for other photo shoots and she has the essence to capture beauty in every shot. Looking through her other photos that she posts to social media always sparks creativity and awe. I will continue to always recommend her and Jessica for any special moment to be captured.
- Whitney + Sarah
You should stop looking and book Jessica! Booking her for our wedding was the best decision we made. Her charismatic, fun, and down to earth personality made it easy for my husband and I to feel comfortable in front of the camera. On our wedding day, Jessica was extremely professional but also so personable I felt like she knew exactly what to do to capture the very best photos. Jessica is extremely talented and gets your photos back in a timely manner. I would recommend her to anyone. It was an amazing experience to have her a part of our day.
- Alyse + Spencer
Jessica was the second best thing to happen at my wedding... behind marrying my husband of course ;) I was so stressed because my venue flooded and it was raining all week but she not only agreed to switch locations, she made all the stress go away. I'm still obsessed with our photos! 1000000% worth it. I wish she lived in Texas because I want more photos!!
- Alicia + Jordan
Jessica is one of the best photographers I have ever met. Looking through our photos, there was not one single photo I'm not in love with. My husband and I can be pretty awkward but the way Jessica captured us was awe inspiring. Our wedding album brought tears to our eyes. There wasn't a single detail or emotion missed. Jessica has a talent like no other to capture a mood. While the photos are beautiful works of art, what I love most is that you can see the deep love shared is them. Choosing Jessica will be the best, easiest decision in your process.
- Courtney + Josh
My husband and I wanted a photographer who would help us feel comfortable in front of the camera, and we certainly found it with Jessica. Throughout our engagement shoot and post wedding shoot, she helped guide us so that all of our pictures look natural and match our personality. She has such an amazing ability to capture the beauty of the surroundings as well. Our photos are the talk of the town, and I can't even count how many people called her and used her after seeing our epic pictures. I can't say enough about her and her work. She is just absolutely incredible
- Alexis & Collin