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Lighting: DJ’s v. Full Lighting Specialists

// Author: MomentImagery // 0 Comments

So I have been wracking my brain on how to officially start our blog. Real posts with information, not just fluff. I am a photographer so words do not always come easily to me. However, like many, I tend to rant and ramble about pet peeves (and yes, this will get to a point). So one day my husband, and partner in crime, got sick of my ranting and said something along the lines ‘Why don’t you write about this? You seem really passionate about it.’ With that out there, I really couldn’t argue that I wasn’t. I told him he was right (yes it was difficult for me, but that is because of the rarity). My husband’s response was ‘I have my moments.’ How I am ever grateful for his moments.

I am a fan of natural light. It can be a challenge, but once you figure it out, it’s like riding a bike. Indoor lighting, outside of a studio setting (i.e.: indoor wedding receptions), have their own challenges.

Light doesn’t mix like paint. Dark colors are near impossible because, your medium is light. Lighting can set a mood, enhance, and even flatter when done correctly.

Up lighting can add nice touches and romance to your ceremony and reception. Decorating with light can be a blessing or curse to your photographer. I get nervous until I know who is doing the lighting and are able to talk to them. I know some get worked right into a tizzy. And few think to include their photographer in discussions.

Wether it is a DJ or Lighting Specialist you want to make sure a few things happen.

  1. That they have experience doing lighting (Beyond putting batteries in a lighting fixture and placing it).
  2. What alternative power sources they have – sometimes venues may not be able to accommodate the output.
  3. This is the most important (in my opinion). Make sure your photographer and whomever is doing the lighting is able to contact each other and discuss the plans, timing, and any extras one other the other may feel necessary.

When done incorrectly you get ghastly features, long editing times, and some disappointing reception pictures. It can be random colors going across your face to it being under lit and having ghost images. Yes your photographer should have an external flash (something that doesn’t automatically flip-up) and know how to use it. But this only helps so much. Your photographer may need to use it with specialists too, depending on colors and times, however it would be less likely. This flash will also be found annoying after a bit by you and your guests. Below is a picture of up lighting that was a pain in the butt. I will not give names as to who did the lighting/music here. (The music was great – just the lighting was aggravating).DSC_0535


When lighting is done correctly you have beautiful accents, photo opportunities, and flattering photos. Your edits will be done sooner, generally – unless the “mad scientist” photographer comes out with some really wild ideas. You’ll be happier at the reception for little to no after images from the flashes (and so will your guests). Below are images where Accent Lighting in Williamsport, PA did the lighting.DSC_7587DSC_8124

My dad always said, “If you’re going to do it. Do it right.” So if you are looking to have ambience, over head lighting, or even outdoor events, consider someone who can devote their full attention to it, even if it means shuffling the budgets some.

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