I shot my first wedding in the summer of 2013 and right from the beginning I have mainly used natural light. I find it interesting what you can create in a studio setting but I prefer to do things naturally, and the idea of lugging around a portable lighting kit at a wedding is not one that appeals to me at all! At first I found shooting with just natural light quite difficult and soon realised there are times when it’s just not possible. This is when I invested in a small flashgun and since then I have managed perfectly! I use natural light throughout the wedding day but if light sources are a little on the dim side I just pop my flash gun on to brighten things up a bit. Sorted! There are still the odd occasions where I struggle (for example church ceremonies where flash isn’t allowed) but I’m quickly learning different techniques to get around this, and portable lighting probably wouldn’t help anyway as I doubt it would be allowed if a small flash gun isn’t!
Now that the end of uni is creeping closer and I’m beginning to think about life after education (scary!) I’m looking into building up my wedding photography business as it’s proved to be a great way to earn money and I actually find it very enjoyable. Another bonus is that by basing my business in a place as stunning as the Lake District it means I can incorporate some of my landscape photography as beautiful backdrops to the bride and groom.
Thinking ahead to working as a full or part time wedding photographer I know there are still areas I need to improve on. I am constantly looking for inspiration and advice on how to overcome problems on the day and how to quickly work out what settings you need for varying locations/weather conditions etc.
One wedding photographer who I stumbled upon whilst searching for natural light wedding photographers in the UK is Sarah-Jane Ethan. Her style of photography is beautiful and natural, capturing the emotions and personalities of everyone involved. She also uses only natural light – apart from in the evening when she uses a flash gun. This is the style of photography that I aspire to produce! Clean, crisp, bright images that feel fresh and classy. Here are some examples of Sarah-Jane’s work:
For more of her work please visit sarahjaneethan.co.uk
To help me reach this level of skill I plan to upgrade some of my equipment over the next few years to include lenses with wider apertures (to let in more beautiful light) and also look at installing some sort of noise reduction software on my laptop for those cases when flash isn’t allowed and there’s just not enough light to escape a bit of grain in the images.
I have 3 weddings booked so far for this year, with a few more still waiting for confirmation, so hopefully this will give me a chance to test out some new techniques and begin to refine my own style of wedding photography.
Look out for posts over the the Easter period when my first weddings of the year are taking place! For now, here’s an image from my last wedding of 2015 using only natural light…