San Diego, California Photographer
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How to Get Great Wedding Reception Lighting For Your Wedding Photos
Wedding reception lighting is an important consideration for couples that are getting married at an indoor venue, at night, or both! Lighting is an important factor for setting the atmosphere and expectation for your guests of the great party that lays ahead. Once of the most unflattering light is overhead fluorescent lighting found in some venues. It’s worth spending the time to research if your venue, DJ, event rental company, or lighting specialist can provide lighting for your event.
Newer low powered LED uplighting is the way to go these days. Many LED uplights are able to synchronize with the DJ’s music like the ones found at night clubs or concerts. Unlike older incandescent uplighting, LED uplighting can be controlled to change color. So at different portions of the reception, you can transition the lighting to suit the mood. For example, your first dance could be a subdued cooler color, and then during open dancing on a packed dance floor the cooler could be warmer intense. Some venues, such as 7 Degrees in Laguna Beach, California, are equipped with modern stage lighting throughout the reception area and can be controlled much like you would see at a live concert.
Hey, I’m Didn’t Get Married in a Cave!
An experienced wedding photographer will be able to balance the ambient lighting of the venue with camera flash directed on to the subject. Bad reception photos will often look as if your reception took place in a dark cave and show none of hard work that went into designing the ambiance of the event. It’s important to review your photographer’s portfolio or ask he or she to show you reception photos to make sure they are experienced with taking well lit photos in low light.
Death by Laser
Lastly, another important consideration is find out if your DJ, band, or lighting specialist is using laser lighting. Nothing looks more distracting than seeing a green laser dot on the bride or groom’s face in their “First Dance” photos. These laser spots can often be fixed in Photoshop, but may take some time to fix (read: $$$). It’s best to check with your photographer. From personal experience, it can take an hour or more fixing unflattering green/red/blue laser spots on a couple’s faces for a first dance photo. Laser lights can be a great visual effect, but ask your DJ or lighting specialist to save that for later when the dance floor is packed.