It’s no secret that I don’t LOVE flash photography. However, I know that I need to constantly push myself to get better at it. Over the years I have learned so much about how to manage my flash and make it work for me. I have learned how to re-create my own natural light style with flash instead of sunlight. This may not be the “technically correct” way of shooting receptions but to be honest, I have literally heard DOZENS of different approaches to shooting this part of the day. If they are creating gorgeous, high quality images, then how can they be “wrong”?
I used to avoid sharing this stuff because I was so sure that my way of doing things wasn’t right. However, I was creating shots that I was proud of. They were well exposed and bright and crisp. They had dimension and a little bit of glow. They were exactly what I wanted in my flash images. So why not share?! Sure, I’ll have some critics but the bottom line is, this works for me!
One thing that I’ve learned is that there are several situations that are hard to deal with when it comes to shooting with flash. In a perfect world, I wish I could shoot at a 45-90 degree angle from an off camera flash during all dances, cake cutting, toasts and party dancing. This would give my reception images guaranteed depth and pop! However, there are some situations when this isn’t possible. One raised hand can block the light from the off camera flash and ruin a shot of my subject. Sometimes the ceiling is TOO HIGH and TOO DARK to bounce my on-camera flash off of for fill light. This happens all the time in BARN situations!!
So how do we light our subjects when these situations arise and using off-camera flash isn’t ideal? You use a BOUNCE CARD. Do I love it? NO. Can I make it work for me? YES.
When I photograph barn wedding receptions with flash, I want to avoid the following:
So how do I do this? Well, there is always a chance that some things may not work perfectly every time, but ideally, I want the two following scenarios to take place:
Bounce flash, OCF to the back left…
Bounce card, OCF to the back left (avoid the flash being in the frame to avoid too much glare and light bursts!)
So to answer how I fix the issues I wanted to avoid above, I do the following:
Friends! If this was helpful, let me know! If you have questions, leave a comment and I’ll answer them in our OCF Basic Mini- Guide that you guys asked for!!! Excited! No question is silly! PS. For more resources, visit THE COLLECTION!
Oh, this wedding day!! What a beautiful Texan dream! I met Melanie when she attended one of our workshops years ago in our home. She had the sweetest spirit and such a kindness about her. I remember loving how she made personal marketing her own and did headshots in a pile of Skinny Pop!! I loved her creativity and her ability to envision what she wanted in her brand.
My review of the Canon EOS R6 after shooting a full wedding day is LIVE on Youtube! I was so nervous to use a brand new camera system for full wedding day… I had my Mark IV ready in my bag just in case… but thankfully, I never had to use it! I was really hoping that I would love it and feel comfortable with it….
This wedding venue may look familiar to some of you who have been following us for a while! I photographed Meghan’s brother’s wedding a few years ago at this very same farm and venue!
Natural light photographers…. (flash photographers, we know how you would handle these scenarios and that’s awesome for your style! This is for the natural light folks!)
I’ve been hoping for this day for a very long time…. but I wasn’t sure that it would ever come. That sounds dramatic but let me explain. I LOVE my website company. Showit is incredible and the more I learn about and experience other platforms for hosting and creating custom websites, the more I realize, they aren’t really, truly “custom” at all. Showit is the website design platform for the creative. Hands-down. It’s so powerful, so intuitive and so easy to use. Years ago, Showit created a way to implement a Showit theme onto a Wordpress blog!!! Genius! I couldn’t wait for my blog to be a Showit blog…. but it never happened.
If you are like me and you’re a natural light wedding photographer, you may not love using the Canon 600 EX-RT flashes. But they are so necessary!