Light Painting Wedding Photography

Light Painting Wedding Photography

Light painted wedding photography is a unique and very complex type of photography. Our one-of-a-kind light painted wedding photographs are created with high-powered strobe lights. During the process, the whole scene is lit from multiple angles. The lighting moves around, literally all over the place, but the camera never moves.

Light Painting Wedding Photography. A starry night light painting wedding photograph created at The Pavilion at Lake Elmo.

A pretty light painting of Bryan & Emily “under the Milky Way” at The Pavilion at Lake Elmo.

The goal is to create a series of images (with our newlyweds in one of them) that shows off their unique wedding location. In post-production, all of the images are brought in one by one. The key parts are slowly “painted” back into the scene. That’s what light painting wedding photography is in a nutshell!

Light Painting Wedding Photography. A stunning Minnesota Zoo light painting photograph created at the zoo's Central Plaza.

Steve and Sarah’s completed light painted wedding photograph.

Traditional Light Painting Versus Wedding Photography Light Painting

Traditional light painted photographs are created using long exposures of up to a minute or more. These light painted photos are created with stationary subjects. Because of the long exposures, people are not in these light painting photos as any movement would photograph as blurry.

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

My very first light painting photograph! It was created with traditional long-exposure light painting techniques.

Joannie and I have taken traditional light painting photography up a couple of notches. Because we use advanced lighting equipment at our weddings, we are able to create these very cool light painted wedding photos with our couples in the photo!

A very pretty TPC Twin Cities light painted wedding photograph of the bride and groom in front of the clubhouse.

A pretty one-of-a-kind light painted photo of Dan and Katie at the TPC Twin Cities.

Go Where No Other Wedding Photographer Has Gone Before

Do you like the Star Trek reference?

Why do we create light paintings at weddings? Well, since day one back in 1986, creating great wedding photographs has always been our photographic specialty. Joannie and I have always strived to be unique with our wedding photography. It keeps our work fresh and unique!

Light Painting Wedding Photography. Hilton Light Painting Wedding Photograph. The finished light painting of the bride and groom on the pretty staircase in the hotel lobby. Image was created during their wedding dance held at the Hilton Minneapolis Bloomington.

Kevin and Stephanie’s completed light painting.

Nearly 30 years ago, we were the first wedding photographers in Minnesota to put two-page panoramas in our wedding albums. That was more than fifteen years before it became “normal” to do so.

A pretty wedding photography light painting created in the IDS Center Crystal Court. image was created during the couples Windows On Minnesota wedding reception.

Matt and Jennifer’s completed wedding photography light painting!

Our wedding albums back then would also contain pages that we custom-built ourselves. It allowed us to include very unusual image sizes in their wedding album designs.

Something Very Different at Weddings

Fast forward to the summer of 2016. We had three beautiful weddings that were held in three really awesome locations. Each of them also had spots that looked great at night.

Minneapolis MN Photographer Light Painting Wedding Photography. The pretty fall color Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club light painting of Eric and Amanda. The image was created at their wedding reception.

Eric and Amanda’s beautiful light painting was created at the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club in Prior Lake, MN.

Lighting the scene lighting would happen once our couple has returned to their wedding reception. We don’t want our newlyweds to miss much of their celebration. I knew it would be a lot of work in post-production, but I thought that it might create something that looked different from all other nighttime wedding photographs. So we gave it a try.

Light Painting at a Destination Wedding

Our very first wedding photography light painting was created when we were the destination wedding photographers for Luke and Ashley. Their stunning destination wedding was held at the historic Grand View Lodge, in Nisswa, Minnesota just a little north of Brainerd, MN.

The location for what turned out to be our very first light painted wedding photograph was by the pretty waterfall in front of the Glacial Waters Spa.

Light Painting Wedding Photography. 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 wedding photograph of Luke and Ashley created at the pond by the Glacial Waters Spa.

It was after sunset, and it was so dark that we had to use a cell phone flashlight to assist us in locking focus on Luke and Ashley. After we captured the images we needed of them, they left us and returned to their dance.

Then I went around to light the rocks, trees, and the pond with one of our strobes. Each time that I got to a new spot, Joannie would fire the camera with a cable release. Back in the studio, I combined all of the exposures into one unique light painted wedding photograph.

I was unaware that the photography we were doing actually had a name. We were actually light painting!

The Saint Paul Hotel

Our next two light painted wedding photographs were created less than 100 yards from each other, and just one week apart! The first one was at The Saint Paul Hotel in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. Then, just seven days later, we were kitty-corner across the street at the historic Landmark Center in St. Paul, MN.

Nick & Brooke’s pretty wedding photography light painting was created during their wedding dance at The Saint Paul Hotel. The hotel’s beautiful gardens and the historic hotel itself served as the backdrop for Nick and Brooke.

Light painted nighttime photo of the bride & groom in the gardens during The Saint Paul Hotel wedding reception.

Light painted nighttime wedding photo of Nick & Brooke.

Landmark Center in St. Paul, MN

Just one week later, we were at Branden & Janna’s beautiful Landmark Center wedding. Joannie and I took our newlyweds across the street into Rice Park. We photographed them in front of the large fountain with Landmark Center as the background.

A fun nighttime wedding photo created by light painting with strobe lights. Photo of the bride and groom at Rice Park in downtown Saint Paul, MN. (after)

Light painting with Branden & Janna at Rice Park.

Here’s The Scoop

Once our newlyweds have been placed in their scene, nothing else can move until all of the exposures have been made. The resulting images, sometimes well over one hundred of them, are then “painted” back into the scene one exposure at a time.

This creates a unique, one-of-a-kind wedding photo that highlights the scene 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.

Here’s a short video that highlights all of the steps that went into creating Dang and Linh’s stunning light painted wedding photograph created at The Van Dusen Mansion in Minneapolis, MN.

The Only Light Painting Wedding Photographers in the World

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”. Joannie & I are part of a very small group of photographers worldwide that create light painted photographs.

Shayne and Lyndsay's stunning Meadows at Mystic Lake wedding light painting! Photo includes a waxing crescent moon, and the planet Mercury low on the horizon.

Shayne and Lindsay’s stunning light painted wedding photo under a waxing crescent moon and the planet Mercury!!

We have done extensive Google searches for Light Painted Wedding Photos, Light Painting Wedding Photographers, Light Painted Wedding Photography, Wedding Photography Light Painting, and other search terms. When we do, often it’s our wedding photos that show up in the search. So, to our knowledge, Joannie and I are the only full-scene light painting wedding photographers in the world.

Light Painting Wedding Photography. A stunning light painting wedding photograph of a bride & groom created at their Grand Superior Lodge destination wedding on Lake Superior. The final fantasy light painting has the couple under under the aurora borealis.

Aleksandra and Brycen’s fantasy light painting under the northern lights!

You Should Have One Of These!

Joannie and I would love to create one of these stunning light painted wedding photos with you at your wedding! We now include a beautiful light painted wedding photo, printed on aluminum, in each of our Wedding Collections.

Elm Creek Light Painting Wedding Photo. A stunning light painting wedding photograph. Image was created during the couples Elm Creek Park Reserve wedding reception.

Jesse and Stephanie’s stunning wedding light painting was created at the Elm Creek Park Reserve.

This just might be the one wedding photo that you’ll have on display in your home forever!M&J

Mounds View MN Light Painting Photographers – Minneapolis, Minnesota Light Painting Wedding Photography – Destination Wedding Light Painting Photos – Minneapolis, MN Wedding Photographers

“Light Painting Wedding Photography” – © 2023 Michael Anderson Photography.