"Turn Your Lights Down Low"


The key to great photography is great lighting. But what happens when your location is dimly lit? This may stump some photographers but I have some insight on how to over come this challenge.

This is a very common challenge especially when it comes to weddings. Most of the time if the ceremony is in a church and / or the reception is in a hotel or some other banquet area the lighting is very dim with little to no windows. Even though low light can be challenging, it can also be thrilling to step outside the box and create beautiful images.


I try my best to first use any existing light in the room and really work it as best I can. For this wedding, I was photographing the rings and wanted to figure out an interesting way to show their theme, “Starry Night”, and also use the existing light in the reception room. Part of the decor were these interesting geometric shaped lit up stars and it hit me that this was going to be an awesome ring image!

I decided to just look around the room and find a way to use what was part of the venue and create something spectacular!


Now there are times that using existing light only won’t work to create the image just right. That’s why at every wedding I bring several speedlights. These flashes are very small and can tuck into corners of the venue but are also a pretty powerful light source.

In the image above, I noticed that the table they were having the cake cutting was in a small corner of the room with no light and a mirror in front of them. This scenario posed several problems but I planned ahead and created a fun shot.

Closest to the bride, I had a speedlight in the corner bouncing off the mirror in front of them. I used the mirror not only to reflect the light, but I actually shot through the mirror since I couldn’t catch their reactions facing away from me. Mirrors can be tricky but they can be super helpful in the right situation!

Low light is always tough but there are always creative options to make amazing images.

Gretchen Elaine Photography, LLC

717.799.7077 ~ gehphotos@gmail.com