​5 Tips Great Reception Lighting at your Vermont Wedding
Amy Bennett Photography
Amy Bennett Photography

The sun is going down on your wedding day, the DJ is starting his show, and the drinks are flowing.  At this time, your Vermont wedding photographer is gearing for the most challenging part of the evening.  

The lighting situation at receptions can be challenging.  

Most of the time, your Vermont photographer will be dealing with a low level of AMBIENT light. The reception site is going to be beautiful and unforgettable, but it is probably going to be pretty dark unless you bring in some lighting.  And, I am not talking about DJ lighting, which will consist of multicolored spot lights (blue, green, red and purple) that make your guests look like the blue man group, Kermit the Frog, Elmo or Barney.  Some times at the same time!  These lights will make for a good party, but they won't help the overall look of your reception photos.

So the question is, what should you do in the planning stage to make sure that your reception photos are the 'best that they can be" given the lighting situation.

How much is AMBIENT light in the area where photos will be taken during the reception?  The more ambient light, the better your photos will look.  This is a FACT. The human eye is complex enough to adjust and focus in low light situations, but even the best cameras and most expensive (fast) lenses will have a hard time focusing in the dark.  You need to have enough light for the photographer to focus the camera on fast moving targets (i.e.,. people who are dancing and partying).  

What colors is the DJ going to use for his "light show"...Just remember that multi-colored lights will cast color on the people at your reception.  This discoloring cannot be taken away.  This is one of the reasons that photographers will turn a lot of the reception photos into B&W or sepia tones.  It just looks better than having photos of your friends and family bathed in a lime green light.   Just have reasonable expectations going into your wedding day.  If you OK the multicolored lights for the dancing portion of your reception (especially the romantic first dance or heartfelt father-daughter dance) you will probably want the photos to be in B&W because the colors will distract from the timelessness of the moment.  This is something you should handle before the big day, during the planning session with your wedding coordinator and DJ.

Location: Burlington, Vermont.

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