Take Advantage of Natural Light


The Wedding Story: Capture Creative and Authentic Photos


Lesson Info

Take Advantage of Natural Light

Alright so let's move to a more technical topic. Definitely less abstract than mood. We're gonna talk a little bit about lighting. So as we've mentioned a few times we are pretty minimalist. We like to keep things simple. We don't like to overthink things and lighting is no exception. So our favorite kind of lighting is natural light. It's very easy it's there. You don't really have to do much. Yeah. It does come down to taking control though. Yes. And making sure that your subject is in the right place and maximizing your opportunity with natural light. Let's go back to Mexico four Sarah and Erin. So we made sure that she would get ready in this exact spot because she has good light and then we let everything else happen around it. So just from this one spot you'll see how different photos really come about. So here it's really playing with the multiple subjects. Bride getting her makeup done but also her friend getting makeup done in the foreground. Including people in the in...

ner circle and just try to do creative images out of that. Here the friend thinks that she's in the way so she ducks down and. And I'm like no don't move! Davina reminds her that it's not necessary. Final photo that comes out of that situation this one here. Then well yeah. Same. From the other side keep documenting and try to play with multiple subjects. You can see there's someone else getting ready in the bathroom in the bag there's another girl by the wedding dress. So do you see in this situation how many ways the story could be told? Like the story could be just about the girl doing her makeup with the dress next to it. It could be about the girl in the bathroom it could be just about the bride. There are so many different ways of doing it but it's a matter again of just like committing to the one story that you're trying to tell. So in this case I thought this is a good opportunity for me to use the layers a little bit. So you know focusing on the bride and then you can kind of see her bridesmaid there and the other elements that come together. Yeah. And then eventually the best photo from that whole setup happens. It's not the best angle just 'cause the GoPro ends up being a little bit higher. Here you can see the bride reflected in that piece of furniture with the two people in the foreground. So the final photo is this one here. This is an example of the curve going like peak and down. Because I think you probably notice the bridesmaid in the foreground here, she like gets out of the way almost immediately. Despite me telling her don't go anywhere! They think that they're ruining your shot and then they ruin it by leaving. That often happens. So the natural light is just so easy to work with. Yeah. Like there's good light on her. We know what the exposure looks like. We're not fiddling around with anything too technical. And it allows us to walk around the room and really play and you know come up with different photos all within the same situation. So you see how just like me moving changes the way the light looks on her too. You know can be very direct on her and can be from here a bit more rim light a little bit more abstract. So just by me moving to different sides of her I can just use the light in so many different ways. So I get variety just from that light. We like natural light also for mixing it with you know artificial light. Especially when the exposures are just right it allows you to go and get a lot of that color out of the you know most often tungsten lighting so bring out those warm tones get a lot of yellows into the image all while getting good color on the subject themselves. So here are the hands. Remember when I mentioned that I let the bride struggle? You know this is I felt really bad here because the guys were all on the outside of the door like okay let us know when her dress is on so I was the only one in there with her. She had no one helping her and I'm just, she's like trying to shimmy into her dress. I was like sorry! The photo's gonna be good though! Photographer first friend second. (laughing) And then for portraits what's important here is that the light on the bride is against a dark background. If you have that same highlight against another highlight behind her she doesn't stand out as much. That's just universal lighting. So this is our scouting photo. Davina you know a couple days before the actual photo was taken. We just look around for interesting light. Interesting architecture and make sure that we revisit it on another day with the bride and groom. So final photo. Light is so simple like it you know. It's the way that it reads against its foreground or background is really what makes it more interesting. Same idea. So taking control making sure that the groom is in front of the window light. Closing the shade so that you get a very narrow path of light and making sure that the highlight on his face is against a dark background. You do that same photo against a white background like a blown out window he doesn't read the same way at all. So light against dark is really the way to go. I really love this kind of light just because it could be anywhere. You know you could be in a messy living room, you could be in a ugly motel room. You could be in a beautiful space but you know you really get to simplify what you're working on and simplicity sometimes can be very helpful for refocusing which is something we are also gonna talk about. You know and when you can play with the shades you have so much control over your light. Is it gonna be very broad and obvious or are you gonna have you know that smaller little sliver and as Daniel mentioned taking control, we know this has to happen. He's gonna get his turban on. It's just a matter of saying this is where I want you to sit while this happens.

Class Description

Wedding Photography is a hard and sometimes exhausting business. Finding ways to stay creative while continuing to capture timeless and classic imagery is important. Drawing from their own life experiences, Davina and Daniel Kudish capture the subtle nuances of their client's life stories at every wedding. In this course, they’ll discuss techniques to personalize each individual wedding to capture the stories and moments that make each couple unique.

They’ll discuss the formula to capturing stories and teach:

  • Pre-Wedding Conversation techniques with clients to help build your shot list
  • Utilize what you know about each couple to help approach capturing the day
  • Research and location scouting techniques
  • Capture the details that matter most
  • How to work with various lighting situations
  • Preserve the mood and capture natural moments
  • Composition and Framing
  • Shooting with variety
  • Create personal and creative portraits
  • Edit a slideshow and how to create an album

Davina and Daniel are known for capturing creative portraits and important moments that tell every unique love story. Join them to learn how to implement their formula to find and capture the creative story with every client.


1Class Introduction
2What Are "Epic" Images?
3The Slideshow Formula
4First Client Meeting
5Establish Client Relationship
6Expectation vs Preparation
7Pre-Wedding Checklist
8Gear for Photographing Weddings
9Capture The Subtleties
10Show The Connection
11Importance of Capturing Transitions
12Sidelines & Story Telling Details
13Anticipation & Patience
14Let The Scene Develop
15Sequencing in Numbers
16Successful "Anticipatience"
17Examples of Poor Reaction Time
18HTCG in 10
19Giving Direction
20Have Variety With Light & Composition
21Capture The Mood
22Take Advantage of Natural Light
23Be Creative With Video Light
24On-camera Flash For The Dance Floor
25Find Flattering Ambient Light
26Don't be Afraid of Tough Light
27Composition & Framing
28Lens Choice
29Keep it Simple
30Purpose of the Creative Portrait
31Scouting for the Creative Portrait
32Maximize a Location
33Unique Posing for a Creative Portrait
34Experiment with Your Photography
35Make The Image Personal
36Post Production Overview
37Stay Organized in Post Production
38Full Gallery Edits
39Lightroom Workflow Overview
40Bring Out Detail in Lightroom
41Black & White in Lightroom
42Landscape Images in Lightroom
43Bold Images in Lightroom
44Slideshow Edits
45Importance of The Slideshow
46Selecting Slideshow Images For a Large Wedding
47Culling Slideshow Images for a Large Wedding
48Complete Slideshow Example for a Large Wedding
49Slideshow Images for a Small Wedding
50Complete Slideshow Example for a Small Wedding
51Build a Business Around Storytelling
52Portfolio for Clients
53Importance of The Inquiry Reply
54Price List Best Practices
55How to Price Your Work
56Final Thoughts