Natural light wedding photographers

Started Sep 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
f8BeThereToo
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,239
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Re: Your story and my sample of what you asked for.
In reply to Michael Thomas Mitchell, Oct 3, 2012

From what I have read in this thread I'd hire Michael to shoot my wedding.

I haven't shot a wedding for money since 1994 but my bread and butter is editorial and commercial location photography. Sometimes a location will have beautiful light that doesn't need a supplemental illumination. But most of the time I have to add light, ranging from just a touch to lighting the entire space. I use everything from AC strobes to tiny Morris flashes (which may be my favorites for their simplicity, tiny size and utility).

No matter how I light a subject, my ultimate goal is to create an image where the source of the light is indistinguishable from "natural" light to the average person. (Photo pros who know their stuff will usually realize that some effort went into getting that natural look...)

One thing that I'd like to suggest is to make a before and after image of subjects where supplemental lighting made all the difference between a dud and a keeper. Sometimes I will even pull back a bit and include the lights in the image as part of a three image Before/After/How It Was Done series.

I began doing this years ago when I was starting out and I'd get comments along the lines of "My cousin Billy has a camera and he is pretty good, so why should I pay for a pro?" Well, Cousin Billy can't transform your factory floor shooting in program mode with an on-camera flash but I can with the right gear and skills. And I have some images that illustrate the difference between an image made with the existing ambient light vs. supplemental lighting.

Even if potential clients aren't wondering about the wisdom of using a pro there can be a significant "Wow!" factor including such before and after pics in a portfolio. More than a few locations I have shot looked like dungeons before I lit them up. It's hard to believe that the "after" image was made in the same place.

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