Nighttime Wedding Photos

January 17, 2022

Night Wedding Photos | Milky Way Wedding Photos | Wedding Photos at Night

Taking 30 extra minutes for nighttime wedding photos means a whole new set of unique, creative shots to love forever

You’ve had a long day of celebrating with family and friends, or a long day of driving, hiking, and eloping with your significant other. Now that it’s nighttime, should the photos end?

[I’m a creative wedding & elopement photographer, so what do you think I’m going to answer?!]


Nighttime wedding photos are some of the most beautiful, creative, unique, and memorable images you’ll get all night. They require a bit of patience, an extra layer to stay warm, and some extra time with your wedding photographer. But trust me, it’s SO worth it.

I’m a New York, California, and destination wedding photographer, and some of my clients’ favorite images from all around the world are the shots I do not just at sunset or golden hour, but night. I plan a few fun photos based on what my clients love to do, and then figure out how to grab some magical images to cap off their celebration.

Due to the nature of night wedding photos being dark, and external light being the only source, it’s necessary to do a pose and hold still. While I’m more of a candid wedding photographer than posed, this is one time of night when it’s definitely necessary to stand perfectly still.

Night wedding photos are beautiful, but we’re talking CREATIVE wedding photos here.

I love capturing dance shots, night shots, sparkler exits, and more (below). But….

...what I’m really talking about in this article when I say “Let’s go take some nighttime wedding photos!” is my creative, unique take on end-of-the-night shots.

How I take my wacky, innovative night wedding photos

There are a few tools that make my nighttime shots extra awesome:

  1. A couple who WANTS them. I will never force my couples to do any photos they don’t want! Certain clients hire me for these, and others just prefer to party
  2. A few layers. Nighttime can be cold almost everywhere, even in summer, so having a shawl (for females) is particularly smart
  3. Patience. It takes standing still and trial and error for us to get the perfect shot. If you don’t have time for night wedding photos on your actual wedding night, consider an adventure session!
  4. A tripod and tools. I almost always have my kit and lighting so that I can run around and set up these shots. They take far more practice than it may appear, even if it only takes 10 minutes out of your wedding!

It’s extra handy for me to have my second photographer or assistant nearby, since setting these shots up myself can be challenging. A tripod, a spotter, and a couple willing to hold still is what’s typically needed.

As a creative wedding photographer, I always have a special toolkit handy, which includes everything from light attachments to filters and matches.

Sometimes we spin fire. Sometimes I run around with my light saber. Occasionally I use smoke bombs. And sometimes I use Christmas lights!

I admit that I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to these things. I love to give my clients the most wacky, fun, amazing experience possible so that they can have photos that are different from the usual.

A Delightfully Different Wedding

For this warrior wedding in Syracuse, New York, my clients eschewed traditional wedding wear and opted for custom-made armor. To cap off their day, I used a smoke bomb and an assistant to create some one-of-a-kind wedding photos in their unique outfits!

Their wedding was featured on one of my favorite websites: Offbeat Bride.

Martial Arts Offbeat wedding syracuse wedding photographer Arrow Park NY

Milky Way Wedding Photos

Nighttime wedding photos don’t always need tools or props. Oftentimes, I don’t need a bag of innovative tricks at all. We need a little bit of luck with a clear sky and a great vantage point. Capturing Milky Way wedding photos is perfect for adventurous couples who elope, and I adore taking them.

For your wedding shots with the Milky Way, it’s best to be away from light, near the equator, and around summertime. This gives you the best chance of having those stars truly pop.

Sometimes, such as in this shot in Morocco, wedding photos under the stars requires hiking in the desert.

Unique photo ideas for weddings - Sahara desert Morocco wedding Milky Way

Other times, such as with this shot on Big Island, Hawaii, it required driving up a volcano at nighttime, hiking carefully, and standing still in the very cold night. Yes, Hawaii can get VERY cold!

Mauna Kea wedding elopement photos under milky way with kissing couple in Hawaii

So…what is your dream nighttime wedding photoshoot? Would you do fire spinning or fireworks? Smoke bombs or star shots? Aurora borealis wedding photos or something with Star Wars light sabres?

I want to hear below, and I can’t wait to photograph your wedding–and create the most amazing, one-of-a-kind images for you! Why have typical wedding photos when you can have images like these?! Cheers~

Kathryn Cooper Weddings: Milky Way Wedding Photos | New York Wedding Photographer | Destination Wedding Photographer

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Gah…night moments are so timeless…the star shots and blue hour frames…stunning!

Holy moly! These are so fun. I almost never do nighttime photos but I think you’ve changed my mind!

Cool photos! Love that you’re giving a creative type of photography to your clients. It’s a great variety to pick from too. I love the night sky the most! It’s so beautiful.

I love milky way photos! I feel like there is just such an added element of romantic emotion when a couple goes out with the stars high in the sky.

WHOOOA! Those night photos are so cool and creative! It’s not easy to pull those off but they came out stunning!

Wow! These are so cool! I love that you do something so different with your couples. I love the very first image especially. It’s amazing!

Ahhh thanks Stephanie! That means a lot~

Love night photography and how creative you’ve been with your work here, thanks for sharing!

Your light work is so impressive! I love when couples trust their photographer to get creative, especially with nighttime portraits. Your Milky Way shots are my favorite!

Awww thanks so much, Jessi! I love when they trust me as well. 😀


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