How DJ Lighting Affects Your Wedding Photos

Bride with arm up about to throw bouquet at group of women for an article on how DJ lighting affects your wedding photos

Let’s get the weekend started with some fantastic photos from the dance floor of Rachelle and Brice’s wedding! As per my last post, Rachelle and Brice’s wedding started with a beautiful ceremony. After the couple said ‘I do,’ guests got their groove on while bathed in discotheque ambience. Their wedding was one of my most fun events to photograph this past year, but it did bring up the issue of making sure your photographer and DJ are on the same page. Here are the details of how DJ lighting affects your wedding photos.

I by no means want to throw a wet blanket on anyone’s plans to have sensational disco lighting at their wedding reception. That said, you should know ahead of time that colored uplighting and DJ laser beams are some of the most challenging scenarios for any photographer.

Couple bathed in yellow light dancing at a reception for an article on how DJ lighting affects your wedding photosLet’s start with uplighting: uplighting is when you have colored lights posted around the perimeter of a venue, shining directly onto the ceiling. While the lights are pointed straight up, the hue from the uplighting spills over most of the venue. As such, understand that your uplighting color choice will be featured in the majority of your photos.

When you receive your final photos, most clients want to view the photos as their eye would – that is, to see the natural skin tone of their guests. While I can correct many things in post-production, I can never remove all of the color cast from uplighting. Pink, blue, and green are some of the worst colors to remove in post-production. Yellow uplighting is slightly easier to remove. If there is a white ceiling or wall, then my flash can largely overcome the color cast, but it is still a challenge.

Laser lighting and multi-colored strobe lights from the DJ booth presents an even greater test for my camera. My flash will be working overtime, especially since most DJs choose to have the room completely dark except for their creative lighting schemes. It is what it is, and again the most important thing is for you and your guests to have fun and dance the night away, but I always want to make sure clients understand that this is a sub-optimal situation for beautifully lit photos.

Woman bathed in pink and yellow light dancing at reception for an article on how DJ lighting affects your wedding photos

Sometimes you luck out and the laser beam falls perfectly on a guest’s smiling face. In these magical moments, I am actually glad to have the DJ’s unique lighting on tap. Here’s my advice: make your dance floor into a nightclub, but just make sure to tell your photographer about any creative lighting choices. Be it uplighting or candlelight, any thing that makes a room darker than normal means that I will be burning through batteries at a faster rate. Thus, I need to make sure and have extra batteries on hand in order to always be prepared to capture every shimmy on the dance floor. If it is possible, raise the lights for any special toast, blessing, cake cutting, or bouquet toss to ensure that these special moments are properly lit and without any color cast. Also, if you have plans to for your initials to light up the dance floor, then let your photographer know as it is always nice to get an overhead shot of you with your personalized insignia.

Bride dancing with father with initials in light on dance floor for an article on how DJ lighting affects your wedding photos

I leave you with a few more details of Rachelle and Brice’s wedding. As mentioned previously, the couple was married at the Harriet Himmel Theatre in West Palm Beach, Florida. The centerpieces were created by the bride, and are a nod to Brice’s love of Patrón Tequila. Another favorite drink of Rachelle and Brice’s crew is Fireball cinnamon whisky, and one of the groomsmen creatively affixed a GoPro mini camera to a bottle of Fireball that was subsequently passed around the entire reception. Even the bride (and mother of the bride!) got caught on camera a time or two. The evening ended with my first sparkler exit.  I was a little afraid I was going to get set on fire, but it was so much fun.  After the wedding, Rachelle and Brice took a romantic horse and carriage ride back to their hotel. The only thing missing for this December wedding was snow (it was 75 degrees that evening.) Enjoy the photos!

Vendors

Ceremony and reception venue – Harriet Himmel Theatre in Palm Beach, Florida

Catering – Ovations Catering

Cake – Johnson’s Custom Cakes

Florist – J. Morgan Flowers, Inc.

Sparkler exit dress – Parker Black, bought at Bloomingdale’s

Videographer – Maku Cinematic

If you would like to see more images from my wedding photojournalism portfolio, then please visit my portfolio – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com

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