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Stay Tuned in with the Latest from Mike Elford - The Windsor Wedding Photographer

Natual Light Photographer

Sunday I took part in the Satin & Savvy Wedding Show, where “expert”vendor’s were given the chance to instruct or coach the registered bride and grooms on how to or what to look for when booking that given vendor. So as the show’s Wedding Photographer, I was to give advice on what to look for and what questions to ask when searching for great wedding vendor’s. And I did ok. But I felt I didn’t coach, rather just talked about what makes me special.

If given the chance again, I’d love to share my thoughts about “Natural Light Photographer’s“. When you read wedding websites, or wedding magazines etc, often the advice is to find a photographer who excels in natural light photography. And I think that is some of the worst advice anyone could be given.

The concept is correct, natural light is soft, pleasant and appealing in a portrait. And it works great for maternity mom’s photographing babies. They can let the light pour in via the patio doors and all is well.

But a wedding doesn’t revolve around patio doors. In fact, as a wedding photographer, I don’t have the ability to choose time of day, or locations as to where to photograph. And please someone tell me where the natural light is during a reception? 

What brides should be looking for is a wedding photographer that excels and understands how to use flash. It doesn’t mean they have to flash, but they know how to flash when needed. I use flash outside in all my bridal portraits. All of them. Sometimes, it provides nothing but a little catch light in the eyes. Sometimes I rely on my flash to illuminate the foreground and balance the light coming from the background. And sometimes, it’s just to let someone know I’m actually taking a picture. Cause everyone can see it, they know I’m actively working. And as you’ll see in the image to the right, often during the first dances, I’ll use a flash to create some dramatic effects. As you can see I’m very confident of how, and when to use my flash.

What I find is normally the case, is that natural light photographers don’t know how to use flash. For those photographers that say they don’t like flash… again its because they haven’t mastered it. And thus they shouldn’t be a wedding photographer. Or at least not a good one. Flash is used in every portrait studio – everywhere. It’s only not used when people are afraid of it.

That’s not to say if you don’t flash, you aren’t doing it right. But to know when and how to use it is of the utmost importance. So brides… when looking for your wedding photographer ask them how they feel about flash….. and you’ll get an indication on how good they really are.