Light Painting Photography


Light Painting Photography

Light Painting Photography is a unique and complex type of photography. It utilizes long exposures with specially modified LED lights. Joannie & I also add lighting from high-speed strobe lights as well. The goal is to create a series of images of a stationary subject lit from different angles.

Subjects that really stand out in light painted photos are cars, motorcycles, fire trucks, airplanes. Also food, buildings, machinery, and tiny items like jewelry.

Light Painting Photography. The completed look of my light painted Coca-Cola products.

My very first Light Painting photograph!

We Are The World’s Only Light Painting Wedding Photographers

Joannie and I have taken light painting photography to the next level. We’re creating most of our light painted photographs with people in the image! The subject that we’ve really excelled at is creating light painting photos at weddings.

Why weddings? Well, wedding photography has always been one of our main photographic specialties. We have always strived to be on the cutting edge with our wedding photos. It keeps our work fresh and exciting.

Light Painting Wedding Photography at a Grand View Lodge Destination Wedding

We created our very first wedding photography light painting in July of 2016. It was at Luke and Ashley’s stunning Grand View Lodge destination wedding in Nisswa, MN. Their light painted wedding photograph was created at the pretty waterfall in front of the Glacial Waters Spa.

Stunning nighttime wedding photo of the groom and his bride with her veil flowing in the breeze. Wedding photo taken at a waterfall and pond at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, MN.

Light Painting of Luke and Ashley at the pond by the Glacial Waters Spa.

We set up the tripod in the dark, using a cell phone light to assist us in locking focus on Luke and Ashley. After we captured the images we needed of them, they returned to their wedding dance. Then I ran around and lit the pond, rocks, and trees with one of our strobes. The whole time Joannie triggered the camera. Back in the studio, I combined all of the exposures into one light painted wedding photograph.

Light Painted Wedding Photography

Since that wedding, we’ve mastered our light painting photography at weddings. We’ve learned a thing or two about how to really make these images look their best. Consequently, we’re light painting more difficult scenes at weddings and the final results are simply stunning!

The Van Dusen Mansion light painted wedding photograph.

Linh and Dang’s finished light painting at The Van Dusen Mansion is amazing!

Light Painting Photography 101

Once the subject has been placed, nothing is allowed to move until all of the exposures have been made. The resulting images, sometimes well over one hundred of them, are combined and painted into a single, unique image. This method highlights the subject in a way that is simply not possible with any other lighting technique. Light Painted Photographs almost take on a 3D appearance, they’re that cool.

No One Else Is Doing This At Weddings

Joannie & I are part of a very small, select group of photographers worldwide that employ this type of image creation. I have been mentored by John Hartman, one of the finest light painting photographers in the world. I’ve totally caught “the light painting bug”!

We have done extensive Google searches for Light Painted Wedding Photography, Wedding Photographers Who Light Paint, Wedding Photography Light Painting, Light Painted Wedding Photos, and other search terms. To our knowledge as of 2016, Joannie and I are the only full scene light painting wedding photographers in the world.

Our hope is to add it too other types of portraits as well. Recently, we’ve already done our first light painted engagement portraits. I can easily see us creating light painted high school senior portraits too. And maybe light painted family portraits in the future as well.

Light Painted Photos and Santa Claus

We are even light painting our sets for The Best Santa Experience! Here’s the before the light painting of “Santa’s Workshop”:

One of our 2017 sets called "Santa's Workshop." This is the set prior to light painting it for The Best Santa Experience.

Our “Santa’s Workshop” set before light painting it for The Best Santa Experience.

And the “after” light painting:

Light Painting Photography. A baby boy and his big sister taking a look at Santa's naughty and nice list at The Santa Experience in Santa's Workshop. The scene was enhanced by light painting parts of it.

Riley and Ryder take a peek at Santa’s naughty and nice list!

The before the light painting of our “Storytime With Santa” set:

One of our 2017 sets called "Storytime With Santa." This is the set prior to light painting it for The Best Santa Experience.

Our “Storytime With Santa” set before light painting it for The Best Santa Experience.

…and the “after” light painting:

Light Painting Photography. More Storytime with Santa portraits for The Best Santa Experience. Santa shares a little "pixie dust" with an adorable one month old baby girl.

Santa shares a little “pixie dust” with sweet little Elizabeth.

Virtually anything that is three dimensional can be light painted. A light painted photograph is a stunning piece of art that will be appreciated for generations to come.

A stunning engagement portrait light painting of Ben and Emilee with Ladder 757 at the Falcon Heights Fire Station.

Light painted engagement portrait of Ben and Emilee with Ladder 757.

We’re also in the early stages of creating a dedicated website just for Light Painting Photography that can be found at


Light Painting Photography Q&A

Q: What items can be light painted?
A: Any item, from the smallest piece of machinery or jewelry to a fairly large building, can be light painted. Some of the endless possibilities are shown in our galleries, but it can be literally anything.

Q: How do I make something cool like this happen?
A: You’ll meet with us to discuss your subject and ideas and to plan the photoshoot in more detail. The shooting location might have to be scouted ahead of time to find the best angles and viewpoints for your image creation. Once that is done, a shoot date can be scheduled.

Q: How long does it take to shoot a light painting?
A: The time it takes to create a light painting will vary depending on the size and complexity of the subject and the size and scope of the location. Typically, it takes anywhere from two to four hours to complete the photograph portion of your light painting.

Q: What will it cost to do my light painting?
A: Since every light painted subject and its location is unique, the time and expense needed to complete the process is determined by its complexity. In-studio projects start at $300, while on-location photo shoots that require travel, scouting, and pre-planning will be more. The light painting session fee is independent of any printed images that you order.

Q: When will the finished image be ready for me to see?
A: Your finished photograph is typically ready to view within 10 to 15 working days after the photoshoot. The beautifully printed versions that you select after seeing the finished image will be ready in 2 to 3 weeks.

Q: Can I get a gift certificate for one of these?
A: Yes, gift certificates are available by contacting us by phone or by using this contact form. Gift certificates may be purchased for the photoshoot alone or for any amount over that, with the unused balance applied towards the purchase of photographs.

Q: How can I find out more?
A: We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. Just call us at 763-785-1177. You may also visit the studio to talk with us personally and see printed examples on display here. There is no charge for this visit. Please call ahead for an appointment. We look forward to working with you to create the photograph of a lifetime!

“Light Painting Photography” – © 2020 Michael Anderson Photography.