Lately I’ve noticed a new trend emerging in wedding photography. Many couples are opting to spend more time with their wedding guests by taking their wedding portraits at night after the reception or during the dinner hour.
If you have guests coming in from all over the world – or the country – you’ll want to spend as much time as possible with them. Taking a one or two hour break in the middle of the day to have portraits taken means less time with everyone. Often, if a wedding is in the middle of the afternoon the sun is too bright for flattering portraits (think squinting, sweating or the dreaded shadow in the eyes) so I’ve been particularly excited to hear couples actually request an after-reception, night-time portrait shoot.
Digital camera technology has improved so much that photographers can photograph very dark places with far less grain than we used to see in film days. Photographers are now able to achieve a more cinematic look with low levels of ambient light, even in dark settings.
This year alone I’ve had several couples decide to head out for 30 minutes or so after the reception is over and have their portraits taken around the city or the reception venue site. We still did the traditional wedding party and family formal photographs after the ceremony, but this never takes too long and you can catch everyone while they’re still at the event. Then, we saved the creative portraits of the couple for the end of the night. These particular couples weren’t big drinkers and they spent a few minutes freshening up before the photo shoot began.
Some couples have wanted to let loose and party during the reception, so for those cases we headed out between dinner courses for some quick post-sunset night shots, which are also just as dramatic.
Not all venue lighting is created equal, so if you’re interested in this kind of late night photography it always pays for your photographer to do a little bit of research to make sure it’s going to work (or that your photographer has the right equipment to light the scene in the dark).
Did you have a portrait session after the reception or during the dinner hour? Are you planning on doing it for your wedding? Leave your comments at the bottom of the page!
Check out the ISPWP Wedding Photographer Directory for photographers serving your area.