Wedding photography on location using only natural light

The look of love. Great lighting for wedding photography.
Lighting diagram showing the surroundings at the scene

A good photographer must understand the light. Even when you shoot in natural light with no lighting equipment what so ever, you still should not just point and shoot. A trained eye will quickly identify the lighting possibilities provided by the surrounding environment. In this photo by Erika Gerdemark the darker forest behind the photographer will block some light, while the ocean in the background will reflect some light. Erika is also playing with the light by using the models them self. By letting some light slip over the grooms shoulder and light up the eye of the bride, Erika adds that extra magic and makes this scene exceptionally beautiful.

Wedding photography in natural light

Bride in natural light
Lighting diagram of natural light wedding photo

Wedding photographer Erika Gerdemark is very skilled when it comes to natural light photography. She is here using two walls to shape the light. The first wall is particially used as a black flag to control the direct light, and the other wall is used to bounce light on the model.

Wedding photographer Erika Gerdemark

Wedding photographer Erika Gerdemark

Wedding photographer Erika Gerdemark is mainly shooting in natural light. She is sharing some good examples of best practice. See some more beautiful wedding photos at Erika Gerdemark’s blog

Lighting For Photo: How old are you?

Erika Gerdemark: – I’m 28 years old.

Lighting For Photo: Where are you from?

Erika Gerdemark: – I grew up on the countryside outside a small town called Tierp, about 40 kilometers south of Gävle. Today I live and work in Stockholm.

Lighting For Photo: How long have you been into photography?

Erika Gerdemark: – It’ all started when I was 16 years old. I knew I wanted to study something creative in high school but I didn’t have any photo experience. My two choices were hairdressing or photography. Since all the other girls wanted to work as hairdressers I wanted to be different and choose something else. I started to study photography when I just had a red plastic pocket camera that I got from my aunt when I was 12, but in just a few weeks in my new school it grew to something bigger. It became my dream to work as a professional photographer.

Lighting For Photo: What do you like best about wedding photography?

Erika Gerdemark: – The storytelling part. That I can be able to pose the bridal couple during the portrait session but also work more journalistic during the day. Together it combines a beautiful story when I can be able to express my artistic side.

Lighting For Photo: What is your favorite piece of photo equipment?

Erika Gerdemark: – Absolutely my 50 mm 1.2 lens.

Lighting For Photo: What other photograpers do you like?

Erika Gerdemark: – I find much inspiration in many fashion photographers. But if I have to mention a wedding photographer that I want to shoot my own wedding (if I ever get married) it will be the two Canadian photographers at Red Leaf Studios, Richard and Amy McDowell. There’s a tenderness and uniqueness in their work that they combined with nature, that I havn’t seen in other wedding photographers work.

Lighting For Photo: What are your three best tips for taking better wedding photos?

Erika Gerdemark: – One. Love what you do. If you don’t love to photograph weddings you will never become a good wedding photographer. Two. Use the natural light, because you don’t have the time to set up flashes all the time if you working with weddings in a documentary style. Three. Get well connected with the bridal couple and make sure that they have the same vision of their wedding photographs as you. You want to get hired for your style and to document their day with creative freedom.

Lighting For Photo: What is the most misconception about shooting weddings?

Erika Gerdemark: – That it’s old fashion. Many wedding photographers don’t shoot weddings in front of a mottled background in a studio. Another misconception is that you get easily earned money and that you can get rich on shooting weddings. People who thinks that don’t know how it is to run a business and how much time you have to spend on every single assignment.