West Virginia Wedding

Lighting + Experience

March 20, 2019


The Importance of an Experienced Photographer on your Wedding Day.

I come across this question at almost every wedding consultation. My Couples want to know what lighting situations I am experienced in. What will happen if there isn’t much at the reception? What if the ONLY time we can find time for portraits is mid-day? I am going to answer all these questions for you. So even if I am not the perfect match for you, I can help you find the perfect match for you 🙂

Situation 1: RAIN
Rain is one of the biggest downers for wedding days. If at all possible I always suggest and will always suggest doing as many photos outdoors as possible. Why? If you plan to hang a photo on the wall you want beautiful images that will captivate anyone! Draw their attention! You want anyone viewing your photos to feel the emotions. Not only is the positioning of the couple important the background is also important! It will help reel you in and set the tone for the image. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for all weddings. You need an experienced photographer that has a plan B. The wedding below is an example of my plan B. With rain all day and humidity it was muggy and wet outside, unfortunately, we were stuck inside. I arrived early to find the perfect plan B location. There were some absolutely gorgeous windows at the front of the church. Lighting was not ideal but with a few in-camera tricks I was able to capture this beautiful image below. Not only did it turn out beautiful it was one of the Bride favorite photos.

Situation 2: No Natural Light

I am a natural light photographer. I love love love sunshine and natural light. As you can guess that isn’t always doable with wedding receptions. This is where you need someone experienced in flash photography. For years I avoided the flash at all cost. I was not a fan! I honestly didn’t take the time to learn what a help it can be. Thankfully, in recent years, my flash and I have made friends. In this photo below there is no natural light. We had some dim lighting and then the DJ also had his uplighting. Needless to say crazy colored light is a hard situation to overcome but a flash can work some wonders when done correctly. If your wedding reception is going to be dark or late at night take a peek below at this reception photo.

Situation 3 Harsh Lighting

Harsh light is very difficult to tackle and most photographers least favorite lighting condition. You want bright beautiful images but you don’t want harsh overpowering light. It will wash out the images, take away the captivating details, and avoiding this is key. Timeline prep, location scouting, and sticking to shade is what we try to find. However, if that is unavailable and you have NO other options you need to have a photographer that is experienced enough to tackle this scenario. Stationing the couple is as important as the camera settings. So if you plan to have a mid-day wedding be sure to ask your photographer if they have experience with mid-day sun.

Situation 4 Overcast

I know a lot of photographers panic at the sight of overcast. It can cause bland heavy photos. Some struggle with keeping the photos from being too dark. However, I do not mind at all. I actually enjoy it. I feel like it gives me more control of my images. I can outweigh the heaviness with proper lighting. Not having the struggle of sunspots and heavy hazes make my heart happy. Below you can see what I am talking about. The tones are dreamy and the color just pops! This is one of my favorite images of the year.

Golden Hour

If I can give you any advice at all please plan the portrait session of your wedding around the sun. I have had weddings where the Brides plan to have their portrait session right at Golden Hour. Boy, is it magical! The light, the color, the romance, it is stunning! I have so many Brides to ask how these Brides get such magical images, or how they look perfect in every way? It is a simple answer. Timeline prep, plan the portrait session of your wedding as close to the golden hour as you can. Below I will show you some final images of weddings that planned their weddings at the perfect time. & do not worry, I help ALL my Brides with timeline prep so you can also have some magazine-worthy images.


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ABOUT Melissa

Ever-focused on beauty and the thrilling art of creation; found in the moments that leave me breathless and in awe. 

Melissa has the gift to truly connect with her couples. Through laughs, tears, and tons of joy, she provides a relaxed, enjoyable experience. She is love-driven, with both warmth and professionalism. Melissa's unique in her approach, She makes sure her clients feel comfortable and heard.
In the off-season, she is fueled by travel and time spent with family. Constantly celebrating love on film; She never can get enough of the heaven-like tones or the ones she loves.






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