While you normally wouldn’t associate uplighting with photographers, uplighting is something a lot of my Bride’s ask me about and mostly, if it’s beneficial to photos. I’m here to tell you it is TOTALLY a game changer for your reception photos. For anyone who doesn’t know… Uplighting is the lighting that is cast upwards on the walls of your reception room. Some venues automatically include them, some make you pay extra for them and some don’t offer them but usually, your DJ can supply them to you in this case 🙂 My brides are ALWAYS asking me if uplighting is something they should invest in and if it even makes a difference in photos and since I always answer this question (in two parts), I figured it was time I did a blog post all about uplighting!
So… should you invest in Uplighting? YES!! I absolutely LOVE the effects of uplighting in reception photos. It completely brightens up your reception room and brings life to your photos. Without uplighting, people’s skin tones tend to look really dull and you can see the sweat from all the dancing and all the drinking MUCH more without uplighting. It’s so weird how that works but it’s true! It helps any venue immediately look brighter in photos… ESPECIALLY venues with dark woods everywhere. As gorgeous as it is, in photos it makes everyone’s skin tone’s look incredibly yellow and dull and the room ten times darker than it actually was. Uplighting helps brighten not only skin tones but the room and it fills the room with a nice glow around everyone. I can’t recommend it enough! Now onto the next part of choosing your uplighting. Colors!
What colors should your uplighting be?? This is super simple! There are three colors to definitely choose and three colors you want to avoid at all costs. I’ll explain why 🙂
3 BEST Uplighting Colors
3 Worst Uplighting Colors
Even if yellow, green or red match the colors of your wedding day… DON’T DO IT! The uplighting does not have to match your wedding colors. Honestly, it’s not that serious and people would not notice that your bridesmaids are wearing hunter green dresses but you chose pink uplighting. How dare you mismatch! Nope, don’t even worry about it lol. So here’s why you should NOT choose yellow, green or red… Yellow and Green uplighting do a fantastic job of making you, your bridal party and your guests look SICK. I’m not even joking. Everyone looks super pale like they all have fevers and need to be home in bed. I have no idea why this happens but it does and it is NOT flattering to ANYONE and after editing over 80 wedding days, I’ve noticed this! lol So I always tell my Brides to stay far away from these two colors. Now Red and Orange! Red and/or Orange are such bold colors that it overpowers your photos. Red can completely take over a photo and not only make the background look red but it tints your faces to make you look flushed and pink. It doesn’t look pretty in photos. And Orange is SO warm, everything becomes yellow! Even flowers 🙁 Which is awful especially when centerpieces are white.
Pinks, Purples, Blues and Whites are THE Best for uplighting. I don’t know the magic behind it but it just fills the room with a gorgeous, cool glow. It makes people look LESS sweat too which is amazing. It doesn’t make skin tones look washed out or pale but instead like they have PERFECT skin under that color lighting. All this talk about skin-tones lol… it’s hard for someone who doesn’t have a critical eye like I do to understand what I’m saying and what I see! But like I said, after editing countless wedding days I’ve seen what works in photos and what doesn’t and these colors definitely do! It doesn’t need to completely fill and color the room… even just one light on each wall would make a difference and give the right effect in photos!
In conclusion… YES! Uplighting is worth the investment, especially to enhance reception photos and to brighten a dark reception room. Just be cautious of what colors you choose for them 😉