I’ve seen it countless times, now. A couple books a beautiful, airy-light venue for their wedding day. They expect beautiful, airy-light photos of their wedding. And then… Rain. A hurricane or tornado warning. Or a cloudy day with a listless sunset.

      Or a couple who chooses their venue based on everything else besides the ceremony space — a cool museum, a beautiful cellar lit with lamps, a historic old building — and the photographer needs to figure out how to make it work.

      I’ve stepped into venues that would make a new photographer blanche and cry.

      Not me.

      I step into these venues  — dark, rainy spaces; spaces with black walls and ceilings and floors, which are immensely difficult for unseasoned photographers to light — and I see potential. I’ve been shooting weddings for nearly a decade and have seen it all. And I see how the ambient light can glow through my added lights to make you look three-dimensional and beautiful. I see your décor choices and use them to illuminate you and your style in your wedding photos.

      I make your venue look as it did, but better.

      For instance, this venue is usually gorgeous and makes photos like this:

      humorous wedding couples

      But what happens when the wedding day turns out rainy? So rainy, in fact, that roads washed out near the venue and the floods are called “historic”? You get married indoors.

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      And take portraits inside. You make the best of it.

      The bride from this wedding said:

      The weather was quite horrendous on the day of our wedding, so we weren’t able to have the outdoors ceremony as planned. [Elissa] kept me calm on my wedding day and she never once mentioned how ugly the weather outside… she focused on how to make things work indoors.  She took beautiful and artistic photos.

      That is what you need on a wedding day!

      Or this venue. Gorgeous outdoor rooftop ceremony, but difficult to light: it was held on a Saturday after the sabbath, with a chuppah covering the couple so any spotlights from above would be smothered.

      austin wedding photographer


      We lit them with flash. But we didn’t light them with enough flash that it drowned out the ambient light of the city behind them. See the glow of the candles at their feet and the street lamps behind them.

      It’s not just ceremonies and receptions that you should consider when hiring a wedding photographer! How about cool portraits using darkened rooms or fields?

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      None of these shots would be possible with someone who didn’t appreciate darkness and the versatility it brings.

      When it comes to photographers who can problem-solve for you, and work within all varieties of lightness and dark, choose someone who has been around for a while. Will your natural-light photographer go the extra mile and make amazing photos after the sun has set with you? Or are they only banking on the sun doing its best?




      I love this post – the way you edit and describe why you shoot the way you do. I’m not a fan of a high key edit. These images are amazing!