I’m always blown away to hear from blog readers across the pond! That’s just so cool!! I received an email from Peter, a reader from England, and he was asking about lighting. So instead of typing all of this out in a long email, I thought it would be nice to just do a blog post!
So Peter from England asked: “I absolutely love your pictures from all the way over here in England but wanted to ask about your lighting techniques if I can? How do you get so much light flooding into the pictures really lighting up the lovely couple? Its an area I’m trying desperately to improve. Thanks!”
Great question! We receive a lot of comments about our lighting. We use all natural light (we use flash for our reception lighting only). This shocks some people because they can’t understand how the faces of our clients can be so well-lit while they are backlit or don’t have a fill flash. Well, I may be able to help break down this mystery just a little bit! :)
Here are a few things that contribute to having glowy images with light flooding in!
I’m sure there are other ways to achieve the “glow”, but these are the main things that I do on a regular basis that have helped me achieve my “look”! If you’re new to shooting primes and you have never shot below 3.2…. take it slow! Shooting wide open is a different ball game! Now, I don’t shoot at 1.2 because my lenses seem to be more tack sharp at 1.6 or 1.8. However, we have some friends that shoot at 1.2 all the time and their work is magical! So, it’s all personal preference! I will say that shooting at 1.2 is only for those that have mastered shooting REALLY wide open. You have to shoot slow, controlled and in great light so that it’s easy for your camera to find its’ focus! 2.2 is a great aperture that is “safe” to learn on.
So! I hope this was helpful for those that were wondering where the “glow” comes from! I realize there is much more to it than this. Each one of those steps that I mentioned take practice. These are just the basics but they are so very important! I think it’s important to note that some photographers think that the way I shoot is technically incorrect… and it may be. However, I happen to like the way my images look and so do 30+ couples a year who make a large investment to have us be a part of their big day.
Some photographers think that you can’t shoot with backlighting unless you have a flash and that’s not true. You just have to have open, available light in front of the subject and the backlighting can’t be too strong and overpowering. It takes some practice but it works! So! To the man that stopped me during an engagement session this past weekend and told me to turn my couples around and shoot the opposite direction because the “light was better”…. I beg to differ. :) I think the light in these turned out JUST right!
** No reflectors used in these shots. I have nothing against reflectors, they’re a great tool! We just don’t use them very often. :) **Canon 5D Mark III 50mm 1.6 1/640 ISO 320 (left image) | 50mm 1.8 1/250 ISO 320 (right image) Canon 5D Mark III 50mm 2.5 1/500 ISO 320 Canon 5D Mark III 35mm 1.6 1/640 ISO 320 Here are some other recent favorites with glowy light flooding in! Canon 5D Mark III 50mm 2.5 1/1000 ISO 125 Canon 5D Mark III 50mm 1.6 1/1250 ISO 160 Canon 5D Mark III 85mm 2.0 1/2500 ISO 160
To view other Ask Anything posts, visit HERE!
I’m so excited to share this final 2020 Wedding with you all!! It’s a special one! We photographed this beautiful wedding day on our own 10 year anniversary! Ten years ago on this day, we were celebrating in my parent’s backyard under a massive white tent too! This was my brother-in-law’s baby sister’s wedding day and celebrating with the Malizia family was such a treat! They are a family MADE for weddings!
Well, I realize this isn’t normal for KJ! I don’t shoot portraits these days but this session was my first non-wedding shoot with my new Canon R6 and I’m obsessed with how these images turned out! It was the most perfect evening for this early fall shoot and the light was incredible!
I’m so excited to share another addition of Student Spotlights from our KJ Education community! It’s so funny to us, but quite often, we find that our friends who know us in everyday life but aren’t in our industry really have no clue what we do! They think we shoot 10 weddings a year and that’s the extent of our work these days but oh… that couldn’t be further from the truth!
When we first decide if we’re a good fit with our potential KJ Couples, we’re looking for a few things…. one of those things is that this couple keeps joyful! We’ve found over the years that couples what take themselves super seriously aren’t always the best fit for us! We love it when couples let their guard down and allow us to get to know them during their engagement session.
For some photographers, bridal details seem like a fun part of the wedding day… but for many others, it’s stressful. It’s the part of the day that throws them off, makes them wonder if they’re actually artistic and leaves them feeling flustered and panicked because they never get everything done in the time they have allotted for detail shooting. In my opinion, this is a REALLY tough way to start a wedding day.
Oh, this wedding day!! What a beautiful Texan dream! I met Melanie when she attended one of our workshops years ago in our home. She had the sweetest spirit and such a kindness about her. I remember loving how she made personal marketing her own and did headshots in a pile of Skinny Pop!! I loved her creativity and her ability to envision what she wanted in her brand.