I often spend a lot of time at a wedding wrestling with light. Different sources, color temperatures, intensities are all over. Often, I find I like to shoot into the light to create a dreamy, open, bright feeling to my images because those are all qualities that typically go along with weddings.
However, sometimes, I find myself in a spot that just needs more oompf, more drama. When that happens, I shoot with the light, not into it, not perpendicular to it. I point my lens in the direction the light is falling, spot meter for my highlights, and the result is a gorgeously dramatic image where the shadows fall away into a velvety background and my subject pops right out of the frame.
This technique also works while being outside. I meter for my bride’s dress (I like to always have detail in the whites of a wedding dress) and the blue sky turns darker and more dramatic and helps the couple “pop” out of the frame.
So the next time you want to add a little drama into your image (without all the post production work) shoot with the light! Let it do the work for you.