Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Importance of Lighting your Venue

Want to show off your wedding in the best light possible (pun totally intended)?

Brides of any budget, but especially limited ones, want to get the most out of the hard work, long hours, and creativity poured into the decorations of their wedding venue. One of the most powerful tools that can dramatically change the mood and elevate the look of your venue is not a craft you can find on pinterest - it's the lighting of your venue.

I am not talking about mood lighting with candles or using Christmas lights (although I am not bashing those either). I am suggesting hiring a professional company to bring in lights that match your wedding colors. These lights throw gorgeous colors up the walls of your venue and add drama, texture, and mood to your wedding. This simple and inexpensive service will diminish the imperfections of a venue you want to hide ( hoops...cough) while highlighting the decor you worked so hard to make.

One small note I will mention, however, is that while this can really make your wedding more sophisticated, it makes photographing your event harder as the lights are dim. Your need to invest in a high quality photographer is also elevated when you add lighting. When the lights are dimmed, any natural light only photographer will struggle greatly in the low light. A beginning photographer, or even a fairly seasoned outdoor photographer may not get the results you are hoping for unless they have extensive experience will off camera lighting. While you search for the best photographer and videographer to invest in the memories of your wedding, ensure that they have the knowledge and equipment to work with this type of dramatic low light. If you do, the results will be nothing short of stunning!

Side Note for Photographers: For this wedding in a Latter-day Saint church cultural hall in San Jose, California I triggered a flash off my camera through a soft box for the best results.

Before the lights were added, this reception was beautifully decorated with linens from Banquet Covers and fine china this budget bride rented online from Stuart Party Rentals. The bride made the centerpieces herself from a DIY pinterest post made out of spray painted tree branches. The crystals she hung from them looks amazing when I lit them for the photos! The amazing lighting was done by Bay Area Uplighting.

Here is the AMAZING difference with the professional lighting:



Can you believe the difference!? One reaction I got was "This doesn't even look like the same place!" What a change! I lit the main table I focused on with my off camera soft box to camera left exposed my camera meter to show off the amazing colors! 

Here are some other ways I used the lights to really elevate the photographs I took of the center pieces. Before the lighting I used the accordion door for texture and a consistent background to show off the centerpiece.

After the lighting, I was able to light the centerpiece with my softbox to really make it stand out against the purple textured walls behind it. This is so much more powerful of an image than before.

I also put the lights behind detail shots, which changed it up and made these shots unique. I had WAY too much fun photographing details with these lights behind! It's been a month since this wedding and I still am in awe over the difference professional venue lighting can make! 

Moral of the story - lighting is important!!! Invest in a photographer who has mastered off camera lighting and invest in the lighting of your venue to make your photographs the best they can be. A little light goes a long way in maximizing your budget!

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