When you plan an event, it is likely that you don’t spend much time thinking about the light. It will be daylight or nighttime, indoor or outdoor (or a combination). You are instead concentrating on colors, food, number of people invited, and what you are going to wear.
It’s when you get to the photography that light comes into play. You still don’t have to concern yourself – your photographer will do that.
George Eastman, the man who brought photography to everyday
people with the Kodak camera, said “Light
makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know
light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.”
Whether you want to capture scenes on a
sunny beach or inside a dark banquet hall, the photos have to shine. How the
photographer handles the light will go a long way to determining the quality of
On the beach under a bright sun, the photographer’s job is to deal with the harsh glare. Strong light is great for providing sharp
details. It can also create dark shadows and contrast, which in the right hands
results in drama. In the wrong hands, everything is washed out.
The banquet hall is likely to be dark. Subjects will need to
be illuminated with stationary lights or portable flash, or both. Your
photographer will look for options to provide light from the front and sides to
create different looks and moods.
A lineup of any kind – bridal entourage or dignitaries
gathering for a meeting – requires straightforward lighting. The bigger concern
is making sure everyone has their eyes open and is smiling. As the photographer
is stalking the hall looking for intimate moments, however, shadows play a role
in isolating a single face or creating a special moment between a couple.
This is where the reality of photographic experience meets
fantasy. All of us have snapped a memorable shot or two of the new baby, a
flower bloom, or the dog sleeping on the couch. We got lucky. A professional
photographer is tasked with taking hundreds of shots at a big event and
although each one may not work out, enough do.
That is because a professional photographer has the
experience, knowledge and equipment to not only spot the best shot but also
create the correct lighting, so that the just-right moment is not too dark to
see or ruined by red-eye.
Yes, the cameras on the newest phones can do a lot,
including adjust to varying levels of light. But if you really want to capture
the essence of an event, rely on someone who knows light and how to use it.