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Outdoor Wedding Photography - Important Considerations Necessary For Great Pictures

Christine O'Kelly
Sep 14, 2008
Even the best wedding photographers can't eliminate all of the effects light, winds, clouds, and other natural elements can have on your wedding photography. The outdoors with its fresh air, pleasant sunlight, and beautiful backdrops can create the ultimate romantic location, but things are never the same from moment to moment. Here are a few things to consider when selecting the perfect location for your outdoor wedding portraits and pictures.

Selecting Background Scenes

Outdoor wedding photography needs to have a background that adds something positive to the picture. One good example of this is having mountains and clouds as the background for the photos. Unlike pictures taken indoors, outside locations have an increased possibility of having objects that decrease the appeal of a photo. A telephone pole or vehicle in the background is an example of things you don't want in your wedding pictures. You aren't necessarily doomed if this does happen. Often times, wedding photographers can blur out the background with different lenses and settings, or they can sometimes shoot from a different angle.

Another great option for a wedding photography location outside is to select a smaller setting. Some couples like this type of location better because wedding photographers can capture a more intense feeling of intimacy. To choose a smaller background, look for areas that are rich in texture, such as shrubs, greenery, walkways, or even fountains.

Working With Sunlight

One of the biggest differences between artificial light and strong sunlight is the depth of the shadows. Natural, direct sunlight creates a stark contrast between the bright and dark areas of the photography. This type of lighting can create very dramatic images. Wedding photographers can use different techniques to work with the light, but you will have more photo options with soft lighting. Soft outdoor lighting can be achieved by selecting a location in the shade or having a cloudy day. Natural light can also take on a warm, honeyed hue about an hour before sunset or at dawn. This adds a nice romantic touch to the light and might be something to consider.

Eliminating Color From The Photographs

Many outdoor locations are ideal for black and white wedding photography because of their rich texture. The background is often enhanced just enough by the lack of color to add a nice touch to the portraits and images of your wedding. Also, transferring the images to black and white helps deal with the contrast caused by strong sunlight.

Possible Problems With Outdoor Pictures

Working with an outdoor location means you and the wedding photographers will need to prepare for the unexpected occurrences that happen naturally. One good example is clouds of dust or swarms of little flies that show up on the images as little marks. Extreme elements such as temperature and wind can easily show up in people's faces. Precipitation like snow and rain can be a good and bad thing. It looks nice in the background particularly if you are in a covered location, but it can also leave ugly marks on your pictures depending on the direction of the wind and the position of the camera. Regardless of what the weather forecast says, it is important to have alternative indoor plans in place in case you need it.

The unpredictability of nature comes into play whether you are getting married in the tropics or downtown Chicago. Wedding photography taken outside creates a unique and romantic record of your special day, but be sure to consider the possibilities when selecting your location. The background, the time of day, and pre-planning all have a huge impact on the images wedding photographers capture with their cameras.
About the Author
Christine O'Kelly writes for Essence, an award winning company of Chicago wedding photographers and videographers. They provide Chicago wedding photography at indoor and outdoor locations throughout the city and surrounding area.
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