Light Painting Wedding Photography
Light painted wedding photography is a unique and very complex type of wedding photography. Our one-of-a-kind light painted wedding photographs are created with very high-powered strobe lights. During the process, the whole scene is lit from multiple angles. The camera never moves, only the lighting does.
The goal is to create a series of images (with our newlyweds in one of them) at one 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!
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.
Joannie and I have taken traditional light painting photography up a couple of notches. Because we use such advanced lighting equipment at our weddings, we are able to create these very cool light painted wedding photos with our couples in the photo!
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 exciting!
Here are just a couple of examples of our unique wedding photography. 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.
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.
At all three weddings, I wanted to try something different. Instead of just taking a regular nighttime wedding photo, I wanted to try and light more of the scene in the finished wedding photograph.
Lighting the scene lighting happens once our couple has returned to their wedding reception. We don’t want our newlyweds to miss too much of their party. 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.
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 pretty garden and the historic hotel itself served as the backdrop for Nick and 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.
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 painting photographs. It turns out that no one else creates these at weddings!
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.
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.
This is the one wedding photo that you’ll have on display in your home forever! – M&J