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October 25, 2017

How to Photograph Winery Weddings

One of the most popular venues for a wedding right now are wineries. Most winery venues have a barn or wood structure that makes up the reception area. Sometimes the wood is in it’s natural state, with an orange pigmentation. These pigments can be picked up in images on guests faces, decor and table settings. When you have a very orange pigmented wood, it doesn’t always create the best ambiance! All-orange images don’t look so good in wedding albums or frames.

Color Temperatures

When photographing subjects in any setting and any light, pigments in the environment will be picked up in camera. For example, photographing a couple on a brick sidewalk will produce redder skin tones. The same goes for photographing couples in grassy areas. The green pigment will show up on their skin or the blue sky will show up in their clothing — especially with white wedding dresses! This is why finding natural reflectors is so important. But if you are unable to control the settings, such as a wood barn venue, there is a way to adjust the temperatures in-camera. It’s best to photograph in Kelvin because this allow you to adjust skin tones quickly and more efficiently. With wood venues, the tones will be more very warm. This can be offset by adjusting for cooler tones in Kelvin to get a closer color match in-camera.

Off Camera Lighting

The best way to conquer wood venues is to utilize off camera flash. OFC will diffuse some of the color and allow guests and objects to appear more true to color. Plus, it allows you to manipulate light in a more controlled manner so that you don’t have to rely on bouncing off of other surfaces. When you bounce on orange beams or woods, that same color will bounce back on your subject in camera.
There can be some challenges to barn venues with lower hanging beams. These beams can act as barriers to the light emitted from OFC, so the placement is important to avoid unsightly shadows. The challenge is finding the right balance so that the light stands are still high enough to reach the entire venue, spreading even light throughout. It’s best to visit any winery sites beforehand to know how to properly handle the space beforehand.

Golden Hour in the Vineyards

Chances are, the reason a winery venue is picked is because of the vineyards or the views. The best opportunity for a couple is to plan out portrait time one hour before the sunsets. Typically after the Ceremony is best. Once the sun begins to set, it allows the light be become more even and dreamy. You’ll end up getting those glowy images that will pop against the vines. For the most part, you’ll want the sun to face behind the couple. Once the sun dips low enough, you can have the last bit of light facing your couple to illuminate them a bit more. Your images will show up much warmer, so you may need to adjust in Kelvin.

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