Today’s weddings are not based on a “one-size-fits-all” approach. There will always be room for tradition, but today, brides are able to walk themselves down aisles, ceremonies can take place anywhere, and candy buffets can replace a triple-tiered cake. Your wedding photos are a part of our memory and should capture the joy of your special day. Burns offers some advice about how to make the most of the natural light, the elements, and the season.
Know your Seasons
Burns had been a landscape photographer for many years before he began capturing weddings. He is no stranger to capturing a stunning outdoor shot. Burns recommends that couples who are planning a wedding at a winery or other outdoor venue start their ceremony in the late afternoon, especially during summer. Burns says that the direction of light and time are important factors. “Golden hour” is generally 1.5 hours before sunset and 30 minutes after sunset. The same rule applies to any time of the year.
You and your partner can choose the season to get married. This will depend on your personal preferences, venue availability, and sentimental factors. Burns says that if you have the time, Spring and Autumn offer “good weather and stable light.” Summer weddings benefit from starting later, as the light is less flattering between 11:00 am and 2 pm. Winter weddings are beautiful, and they can be a great option. Every season is different. Burns says that while winter days are shorter, they have a nice light during the middle of the afternoon, as the sun is lower in the sky. Just remember to start earlier to compensate for the earlier sunset.
If it rains, start dancing.
You can’t really control the weather on your wedding day. When your weddings take place outside, you may want the sun to shine all day. Never fear if your wedding looks like it will be wet. Your wedding day and images will still be great with the help of an experienced photographer who has a large selection of marquees that can keep guests dry. We’re fortunate in Perth not to have too many all-day rain events. “Even on the rainiest of days, we can still sneak out and take some amazing photos,” the photographer says. If it rains all day, you can get really creative. “On the rare occasion [where] it doesn’t stop raining, we get creative. Hotel foyers, bars, and building entrances all work well. Burns assures couples that remote lighting is available today so they can make the event happen no matter the weather.
Burns has shot in many amazing locations throughout Australia, including the Whitsundays and Hayman Island. He also knows what makes for great photo opportunities. Burns says that the forest and bushland offer a lot of incredible photo opportunities, with beautiful, filtered lighting and some amazing views. Couples can do their own thing while still getting a good shot. I’ll often scout out the couple’s preferred locations before their wedding. I can work quickly by placing the couples in the perfect spot with the best lighting. Then I pull back and watch what happens.
If you’re thinking about your ideal wedding location, one place may come to mind. Burns advises couples that if the idyllic beach is what they’re after, “do the photographer a favor and start the shoot later in the day.” Avoid starting during the middle of the afternoon, when the light will be the least flattering. I’d recommend starting around 3:00-4.00pm in summer and around 2:00 pm during winter. If you don’t pay attention to the sun’s direction, your photos will be spotted and patchy. It can cause ‘hotspots’ in your photographs, which are almost impossible to remove – especially if you’re wearing a white dress!
It may seem a little gloomy, but your photographer will appreciate it. “Overcast weather can be a photographer’s friend!” Burns confirms that the light is usually even, with no hot spots or hard lines. Tell your photographer if a nighttime shoot in front of the stars with your new partner is your dream. Modern remote lighting setups are so portable that shooting at night allows us to be really creative. “It’s a whole new level of awesome.”
You can do it your way if you so choose. A little preparation can go a long way in reducing the stress of your wedding photos. Burns advises that, whenever possible, you should check the venue and photo locations at the same time as your wedding. This will help you to get a feel for the light and guide you with your setup.