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Winter Wedding Photography Tips - Laura Bailey from Limeleaf Wedding Photography gives us her top winter wedding tips.
If you are lucky enough to have full snow cover and a bright day you'll find that snow diffuses light beautifully in the right conditions but make sure to meter correctly for your scene so the snow is an appealing bright white rather than a dull muddy grey. You will find that your outdoor snow scenes may need an extra stop or two to get the highlights in their place.
Using ‘Fast’ lenses (generally f/2.8 and wider) is a great way to make the most of the available light as they are able to capture more of it. The downside is that these lenses are quite expensive and the thinner plane of focus when wide open can be hard to work with in some situations.
Weather can be unpredictable, but especially in winter when dull, dreary and wet days are all too common. Remember that whatever the weather is like it is something the couple will remember in many years to come so try to make the most of the conditions where possible. A portrait of the wedding couple snuggled up in the cold will be a cherished memory of the day; and umbrellas or wellies can be used to make the most of rain or wind.
One important tip to note is that if it is very cold outside and warm indoors, you will want to leave extra time going in to the warmth to allow your equipment to acclimatise avoiding condensation. One critical moment you may find this happens is as you go from the bride leaving her car in to the ceremony. You'll have a hard time trying to pass off that mistyness as an 80s style arty soft focus effect!
If it is really cold outside make sure to dress for the weather and wear lots of layers so you can keep warm; if you're shaking so will your camera and that's going to need a faster shutter speeds which you're probably not going to have available to you.
If you offer couple photography, when you take the newlyweds away for a little photoshoot, remember that whilst you're wrapped up and probably still cold; the bride is usually only in her wedding dress and possibly small shawl or bolero. Luckily most brides run on adrenaline and are close to impervious on their wedding day, being able to shun the cold for longer than you may expect, although try not to keep them outside too long for couple photos as you don't want to be blamed for them having a runny nose on their honeymoon! You on the other hand, need to be concentrating on taking the photos not thinking about how cold you are so thick socks, fingerless gloves and layers are highly advised.
Check the timings for the day and find out what time sunset will be to ensure you will have all the key areas covered before it gets dark. If it is a late wedding ceremony, make sure there is adequate space and light at the reception venue for couple of portraits and family formal photos.
If you are shooting JPEG, make sure you keep tabs on your white balance. Our eyes automatically adjust to conditions so the very cold blue light of a winter evening and the very warm orange light of tungsten indoors go unnoticed but to a camera have a huge shift. Where possible, use custom white balance or shoot in RAW and use auto white balance; this can then be changed in post processing afterwards making your job that much easier.
This article was written by Laura Bailey who is part of the award-winning husband and wife team who provide unobtrusive documentary wedding photography. Visit Limeleaf Wedding Photography - www.limeleafweddings.com