Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with window light, part of Wedding Photography: Bridal Portraits.
(SOUND). Then, I'll trade spots with you, I'll have you stand over here, and I'll stand in the doorway. One of the great ways that you can capture compelling bridal portraits is by using window or door light. You know, window light and door light has been used for centuries. It's been used by photographers and before that, by painters. And the reason is, is because it has a really distinct, soft and flattering look. And so here, at this particular shoot, we started in a location where the bride had gotten ready.
And when I scouted the location beforehand, I noticed some beautiful windows and doors and knew that I wanted to take advantage of those. And as you do that, you really want to think about the quality of the window light. Sometimes, you have window light which is non-directional. In other words, the sun isn't shining right into the window. In those situations, you can really work with that. You can position the bride so that they're facing the window, so that the light is sort of coming from the front or you can have them off to the side, so the light's coming from one side.
You can also capture some other images. Like in this particular case, I asked the bride to sit down with her back to the window, so that it's back-lighting her. At one moment, I notice that the light was too harsh, it was too directional, so I asked my assistant, Shawn, to go outside and diffuse that. And this was the one time on this shoot that I modified the light, I just wanted to sort of soften that. So, I used a little diffusion panel to do that. Now, if you don't have a diffusion panel, you can also do something like use a piece of cardboard just to block the light, so it's not quite so harsh or directional.
Now, what about working with door light? Well, in a sense, a door is just like a window, but often, it's bigger. And when you have a bigger light source, like a door, you can usually step back a little bit and perhaps capture more of the subject, because you can include more of that light coming in. And with this type of light again, you can position the bride in different ways. Leaning against the door, so she's back lit or in other ways as well. So, as you seek to create compelling and really interesting bridal portraits, pay attention to those doors and windows. And pay attention to the light that's coming through those. Because one of the things that I have found is when I'm photographing a bride in all sorts of different scenarios, even if the location isn't scenic and beautiful, if you have a window, you can make beautiful photographs.
- Crafting a vision with the bride
- Choosing gear
- Scouting the location
- Photographing details
- Working with window light and open shade
- Refining the subject's poses, posture, and poise
- Knowing when to make eye contact
- Reviewing images from the shoot