Planning an Okanagan Wedding? You’ve made a great choice! With its stunning landscapes and breathtaking views, scenic vineyards, orchards, mountains and lakes – its no wonder the Okanagan is one of the top Wedding Destinations in Canada!
So you’re having an Okanagan Wedding – you’ve chosen a stunning location – thats got to mean an equally stunning Okanagan wedding video, right?
Its not quite that simple!
Although an Okanagan vineyard wedding or ceremony overlooking the lake seems like all you would need, a beautiful location does not make stunning video by itself!
While location is the cornerstone for those epic and breathtaking shots you’ve seen in studios and in the movies, there is a second and equally (if not even more so) important factor in great wedding video:
The power of light.
Light is something we take for granted, and if you’re not a wedding videographer or photographer, probably don’t think about that often! But the truth is that the reason a sunset is more beautiful than the sun at noon is the quality of the light.
So what makes great light?
There have been entire books written about the subject of lighting. Its something that great photographers, painters, videographers and artists all obsess over. But the basics aren’t that complicated! There are 3 key ingredients that, if followed, will result in lighting that creates those dreamy and magical wedding video your heart desires.
Key Ingredient #1 – The amount of light.
Well duh! You say. Its no secret that without light, we’re left with… the dark! And while it seems incredibly obvious, its something very few couples consider when planning their wedding. Do you dream of a sunset ceremony? If you start the ceremony at sunset, chances are your guests will have a hard time seeing you by the time the big “I do” comes around. If you finish close to dark, that also means your photo shoot won’t have any of that pretty sunset lighting to work with – be prepared for lots of flash and dark backgrounds – not the ideal.
This same idea continues at the reception. Reception halls everywhere are infamous for dim and patchy lighting that “sets a mood” but makes it incredibly hard to capture great wedding video – remember, even top of the line professional cameras are still much less sensitive to light than the human eye! Make sure you’re choosing an Okanagan Wedding Venue with great light – and it will make EVERYTHING look better!
Key Ingredient #2 – The direction of light.
Another thing we don’t think about too often is the direction light is coming from. If light hits your face from the side, did you know the shadow on the other side of your face will make it look thinner? Shadows created by light are almost as important as the light itself – they can define shape, emphasizing great features, and minimizing distracting ones. Okanagan Wedding ceremonies held outdoors during the summer normally have the sun directly overhead – which creates infamous “racoon eyes” – harsh shadows under your eyes.
It also forces the camera to produce images that have “blown out” backgrounds -This means the background you wanted so badly in your video will be a big patch of white. The videographers camera is unable to take light that is so bright and harsh while still capturing your face now covered in shadow. If you’re planning an outdoor Okanagan wedding ceremony, the less overhead the sun, the better quality of the light, and the better images you’ll receive! Thats why the best time for photo sessions is always early in the morning when the sun is low in the sky, or at sunset. The same goes for lighting indoor locations. Okanagan Reception halls with multiple light sources from different directions and heights (chandeliers, sconces, candles etc) Will produce prettier and more dramatic, artistic lighting.
Key Ingredient #3 – the quality of the light
Believe it or not, the light from the sun changes throughout the day! During the early and late parts of the sun cycle, the light is softer – the wavelength of the suns rays is at its longest (also the slowest), and so the light that results is going to be the softest, warmest, and most “well rounded.” Shadows aren’t going to be harsh, and backgrounds will be at the same brightness as the foreground. If you’re holding an indoor ceremony, this still applies. Some types of lighting produce harsher, more direct light, and some produce washier, softer light. One is not necessarily worse than the other, it all comes down to the amount you have and where you’re positioned to the amount of light. Most often, indoor ceremonies suffer from either A) not enough light – the quality would be there if only there were more of it! Or B) Too much light! When everything is lit, there is no drama or emotion in your image. Most ceremony locations won’t offer you much flexibility in changing their lighting – so our advice is to choose a location with great light, or talk with your officiant ahead of time to ask if your wedding videographer would be allowed to add some very subtle supplemental lighting.
And those are the three key ingredients to great lighting. Keeping these in mind when planning your Okanagan wedding day will guarantee better wedding video to capture the experience! Try to learn how to spot great light. When you walk into a room that has great atmosphere, take some time to figure out what kind of lighting is being used. Soft? Hard? What direction is it coming from? How much light is in the room? The same can be done in a building that makes you feel uncomfortable or lacks atmosphere – chances are there is either too much light, light in the wrong places, or not enough of it!
If you have any questions about light while you’re planning your wedding, ask your videographers! We love great light and want to make sure you get the very best Okanagan Wedding Video possible.
So you’ve found a beautiful Okanagan wedding location and you’ve planned around getting the best possible wedding light. What else is there to guarantee great wedding video?
Tune in next week when we share our top tips on “looking great in your great looking wedding film.”
In short our “PEP talk” – Posing, Expression, Position!
Ryan Breitkreutz – Head Cinematographer at Tailored Fit Films