The Importance of Light ~ Portable Studio Lighting for Weddings

If you’re interested in how we create great images like this on sunny days click “continue reading” below to have a read of this mini article!


At its core, photography’s all about capturing light. Of course you have to set up the image you want to capture, choose the background, pose people, making sure everyone’s happy and comfortable, etc, but in the end to create the image you have to capture the light and record it with your camera.

All light isn’t created equal: it varies in color, intensity, and direction, all of which the photographer has to work with or control. There are usually many light sources as well, which throughout a typical wedding day can include the sun, multiple flashes, street lights, ceiling lights, fairy lights, lights from the band, etc. All of these have to be considered and balanced, and as with most things on a wedding day you don’t have a lot of time to stop and think!

Recently we started using portable studio lighting at weddings, which gives us a huge amount of light, and lets us control the color, intensity, and direction very easily. We’re one of the few photographers in Wellington using this type of equipment, and it’s made a big difference to our photos on sunny days. It’s a big improvement over our regular speedlites, which are great for many things, but are far less powerful than the bigger lights.

We’ve put together a few photos from Jenna and Marks wedding to show the difference portable studio lighting makes. The first image was taken with no flash on a very sunny day, so we exposed for the light falling on the wedding party. This means the background is ‘blown out’, plus the colors are muted and contrast isn’t great.


Group photo without adding light


In the next image, with out studio light turned on, you can see the people and background are both bright, you can see the lovely blue sky complete with a white fluffy cloud, and the colors and contrast are great.


The lighting gives us a lot more options for sunny days, but even studio lighting can’t completely beat the sun, or match the brightness of the sun shining directly through clouds. We can still make great images in those situations, as you can see in the next two images.




Studio lighting does take a little longer to set up, but it’s only a few minutes, and we think the results are really worth the time and effort!


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