How to Achieve a Light / Bright Wedding | Minnesota Wedding Photographer

People often message me and ask,

“How do you get your photos to look so white and bright?!”

While editing plays a factor, a light and bright wedding gallery from start to finish has less to do with your photographer’s editing style and more to do with the decisions you make when planning your wedding day. 


1.    PRIORITIZE THE ENVIRONMENT – This is the most important tip on the whole blog post if you want to achieve light and bright photos on your wedding day! When choosing a venue for your ceremony and reception, look for the following:

  •  White / light walls 

  • White ceilings (this is SO important if flash photography is required!! The trend of wood or black ceilings makes using flash and achieving a bright look during the ceremony or reception nearly impossible)

  • Loads of floor-to-ceiling windows, but never standing or sitting in a position where you’ll be backlit

  • Spacious rooms with vaulted ceilings

  • NO additional lighting! Uplighting in funky colors will make your all your photos colorful

2.    PLAN THE ATTIRE ACCORDINGLY – Of course the Bride will be dressed in white but choosing a complimentary light bridesmaid dress color is even more important if you’d like to achieve the light and airy look. Think light pastels, light gray, or even white! I personally believe that this color palate can transcend all seasons if done correctly. So if you’re getting married in fall, avoid a maroon or dark dress if having light photos is important to you. The backdrop is already going to be colorful, so keep it simple! I mean think about it, how gorgeous would all-white bridesmaid dresses be with a colorful fall backdrop?! 

3.    CHOOSE A BOMB GETTING READY SPACE – Choosing an awesome getting ready space is so important if you want light and bright photos! Look for a space with white walls, charming décor, and lots and lots of natural light pouring in from the windows on more than one wall! The best part about having an awesome getting ready space is that it can double as a rain backup if unexpected weather comes about on your wedding day. If you want examples on great getting ready spaces in Minneapolis, read my blog post HERE.

4.    MAKE SURE THERE’S A GOOD SPOT FOR PORTRAITS – Have you ever seen a photographer taking pictures in a spot that doesn’t look very pretty to the naked eye? That’s because there’s somuch that goes into finding the right lighting for portraits. I’m personally a stickler about where I photograph. Here’s some of the things I look for:

  • Light and bright photographers LOVE big trees with ample shade, BUT it has to be in the right setting. Golf courses end up having the type of shade we adore; tall, mature trees that are sporadically placed with vast greenery in the background. If you’re shooting in the midst of thick woods, the darkness from the lush trees will result in darker photos. 

  • You need to be facing lightness! If your face is shaded by a tree, not only will you not achieve the light and airy look, but your skin will have a green cast in the photos. Bonus points if you’re able to stand facing a road or if you’re standing on a concrete sidewalk. 

  • Light-wash industrial buildings make a great backdrop if you’re getting married in the city. The shade buildings provide also is great for skin tones. 

  • You must have the sun behind you, even if it’s the middle of the day. 

If you’re planning to hire a photographer with a light and bright editing style, but your decisions don’t align with the advice above, know your photos will still be beautiful but they might look different than what you see on their portfolio. If you have a dark venue and still want to achieve the light and bright look, sprinkle in the tips above throughout your day so your gallery has some portions of the style you’re looking to achieve. 

No matter what your decisions are and what style your photos come out to be, make sure your wedding day is authentically YOU and you’ll love your photos regardless. 

Trish Burtzel