An explosion of smart phones and digital cameras has led to a happy snappy culture, but bad lighting and funny camera angles can produce less than flattering photos of you and your big white dress.
If you're thinking of saving some money and doing your own wedding photos, snapping your own engagement shots or taking pictures of your guests the trick is perfect lighting.
We've spoken to Beyond Certainty - the lighting experts - who argue that ambient lighting and a clever use of your surroundings can create amazing photos.
So what's ambient lighting we hear you ask? Well, it's just a way of softening your features and adding warmth to the skin. Simple.
Here are Beyond Certainty's top tips to help you make the most of ambient lighting to get that perfect picture...
The Golden Hour
Avoid direct sunlight and taking a pic between 11 am and 1pm. If you are outdoors, the 'golden hours' to take a photo are in the early morning and late evening. This is when natural light is soft and you can escape the harshness of the midday sun, which can highlight imperfections.
Try "Hollywood lighting" for a dramatic portrait. Place a light high above and just to the side of yourself, angled down. This casts deep shadows that create a sense of volume. Avoid placing light below you, this is called monster lighting for a reason.
As a general rule, it's best to put the light source behind you, so that it illuminates you. This creates a whimsical, dreamy feel to any photo.
Light is your friend
The further the light source, the harder the light. This can create hard edges and create unflattering shadows. If you are having your photo taken indoors move lamps closer to you for more flattering light.
Natural light sources offer some of the most flattering lighting possible. When using natural light, make sure the light is soft by taking your photo away from direct sunlight. Light from north facing windows, indirect window light, or shade underneath a tree will help capture you at your best by adding warmth to your photo.
As a rule don't use your flash indoors. It mutes colour, casts shadows and is extremely harsh, which can make for an extremely unflattering portrait. Also, avoid using flash indoors as it leads to red eye.
Don't leave the photos as they are – run them through your favourite editing packages such as Instagram to remove all imperfections such as red eye. A quick touch up works wonders.
Don't forget the same tricks can be used for garden parties, christenings, birthdays and festivals, so make the most of ambient light and get snap happy.
What do you think?
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