CLASSROOM: How to Shoot Portraits in Dappled Light
I’ve been photographing weddings for 10 years now, so I’ve seen and dealt with nearly every lighting scenario possible, from a dark church with no windows, to a wedding ceremony at high noon with not a cloud in sight. But one thing most photographers don’t know is how to photograph in dappled light!
As a professional, you don’t have can’t excuse yourself for bad photos because you were given bad lighting situations. There is ALWAYS a way to make it work. Some scenarios might be more complicated than others, but I will always believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way.
And it’s important for your clients to know that they’re in capable hands when you’re documenting their day. There are no re-shoots for wedding days.
So, dappled light. This is probably one of the worst types of light that a photographer can come across. And yes, in general, I would say that you should avoid it at all costs in most situations. (Note, I would absolutely avoid this kind of lighting with big groups.) However, if you’re working with a couple, it is workable.
First things first: your camera settings and equipment. This kind of lighting can leave “hot spots” on the couple, which may or may not work for you. If you can find a way to make it artistic, absolutely go for it. If not, here’s what I recommend.
Image credit: Angie Candell