A Cowboy Romance: The Power of Light in Wedding Photography

bride and groom hugging and smiling on wedding day

Makenzie Kriss

Mar 8, 2024

Imagine a riot of colors bursting forth from every corner, with wildflower florals adding a pop of natural beauty to the scene. Vintage Western turquoise jewelry adds a touch of timeless charm to the bride’s attire, while cowgirl boots and a laced open back wedding dress help make a stylish statement to help tie everything together. It’s all about embracing those Western vibes with a dash of elegance and a whole lot of emotion.



Venue | @clovercliffranchbnb
Planning | @eventsbyemilye
Assistant Coordinator | @samanthaquinn04
Photographer | @maktographymk
Videographer | @courtneystuevefilms
Second Shooter (Video) | @aarondatufilms
Floral | @timelessfix
Catering | Olpe Chicken House
DJ | @blacktiecelebrations
Bridal Makeup | @carlychapmanmakeup
Bridal Hair | @sadie_catherine
Dress | @shopdressgallery
Pies | @cabinpiecompany
Guest Book | @recallingmemoriesks

bride and groom hugging and smiling on wedding day

Storytelling Through Light

black and white wedding photo of lace wedding dress, cowgirl boots and wedding bouquet at Clover Cliff Ranch

Having spent over seven years as a wedding photographer, I am deeply inspired by the art of storytelling through light. So much so, that I created an entire photography course over it called The Wedding Light Masterclass. It’s not just about capturing images; it’s about capturing all the emotions, textures and colors into each frame so that you can feel the same depth of emotion that was experienced in those moments. I love the challenge of taking shadows and light and bringing them together to create timeless images that speak volumes and evoke powerful emotions. 

As I reflected on my 2023 wedding season, I couldn’t help but have this gallery stop me in my tracks. I thought, this is why light is so powerful. This is what I’m trying to teach others how truly powerful light is in photography. Now, it’s time to show you the magic of light on a wedding day and how it can make a gallery feel alive.

black and white wedding photo of cowgirl boots sitting on chair

Morning Preparations: Capturing Details

I knew leading into this wedding day that it was going to have seeds of emotional elements scattered out throughout the day. We started the day in a small, vintage room where the soft morning light streamed through the windows.  The gentle glow from the sunlight illuminated the intricate details of her laced wedding gown and wildflower arrangements perfectly.  The light added a touch of elegance to these intimate details and moments.

mother, bride and sister hold each other and laugh before wedding ceremony starts
black and white wedding photo of six bridesmaids smiling at bride
wedding photo of wedding party gathering around bride and groom in mismatched colored dresses and wildflower florals at clover cliff ranch

To top the entire day off we took photos with two Clydesdale horses and a Texas longhorn bull. Clover Cliff Ranch created the most beautiful atmosphere for this Western wedding.

Golden Hour: Enhancing Connection

Golden hour photos create an opportunity for the couple to take a step away from the chaos and enter into a slower paced atmosphere where it brings out intimacy and connection.  It allows the couple to take a deep breath and reminds them why we are celebrating this day in the first place. This is a great opportunity for a wedding photographer to get portraits that feel relaxed, connected and showcases their true selves. 

I will never get over the effortless look of these. So simple, yet so delicate and beautiful. It’s moments like these that you realize that wedding details, light, and location matter when it comes to your wedding photos. 

Reliving Romance: Light in Reception Photography

As we transition back into the reception, the lights are dim and the use of artificial lighting can add new energy and emotion to your wedding photos. The warm glow of candlelight at dinner or the light wands flashing all over the dance floor, the different lighting setups set the mood and atmosphere of the wedding reception photos.  

This wedding used Light wands that created the best opportunity for the photographer to use flash and shutter drag to help show movement in the photos.

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