Wedding Photographer Chronicles: Chapter 2, Analyzing the Church


When we arrived at the church for the rehearsal, I was very impressed. It's absolutely beautiful. And if we didn't have to actually photograph people in there, life would be terrific.

The problem is that all of the lighting is designed to show off the architecture. So, for example, when the wedding couple was standing at the altar during the rehearsal, the only lighting on them was coming straight down from the ceiling, nothing from an angle. This is what I call Halloween lighting: the forehead is bright, the eyes go hollow, and the nose radiates to the point where there's no detail.

Typically, the solution is to use fill light. Great! Except that the wedding coordinator doesn't like flash during the ceremony. So I had to negotiate "some flash" and the rest existing light shots. So I think our plan will be to make sure we have at least a couple shots via flash of every major activity during the ceremony, then go for existing light artistic for the rest.

We're shooting with Canon EOS 5D Mark II bodies, so we can push the ISO up to 1600 for the artistic stuff. I'll probably use ISO 400 for the flash photography to keep the intensity at a minimum and for faster recycling times.

In the next report, I'll let you know how this plan worked out.

Other Installments of the Wedding Photographer Chronicles

Wedding Photographer Chronicles: Chapter 1, the Rehearsal

Wedding Photographer Chronicles: Chapter 3, During the Ceremony

Wedding Photographer Chronicles: Chapter 4, Delivering the Goods

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1 Comment

Amazing location for the ceremony. I look forward to seeing how you resolved your lighting problems without destroying the existing ambiance. Shame they didn't have a spotlight for the couple in front of the alter...