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Light vs Dark Wedding Venues

Christian
Christian Oth

Wedding venues come in all shapes, sizes and lighting conditions. One of the biggest determining factors as far as photography is concerned are the “dark” venues. New York has a lot of them versus, say, venues in California or any other sunny place.

Early on in wedding planning, you might still be deciding whether you’ll have a ballroom wedding, a beach wedding or you might tie the knot in the middle of a cornfield. When it comes to weddings in ballrooms, particularly the ones we find in New York such as the University Club or if we have to shoot at the Oak Room at the Plaza, there are different skills involved in order to make everything look great.

I’ll always prefer window light. It’s even better when I’m in a room with tall windows so there is more light that has this soft quality. Conversely, a dark room might look good for more contrasty photos but it takes a bit more skill to get the light right on the subjects’ faces. Often I bring an extra light or bounce light or I might re-position the subject so that the light is better on the face.

So, as a general rule of thumb: It is quite a bit easier to shoot in a well-lit venue. Should you have any part of your wedding day in say, a dark panelled oak room, then I may have to bring in some lights and have my assistant do setup.

One thing to look out for when choosing a photographer is to see whether they have shot in a similar venue. It doesn’t have to be the exact one, but see if they have the skill to make interior spaces look great.

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