Reception Lighting Setup

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late afternoon crowd! I’ve been running around like crazy today and I’m just now getting a chance to sit down at the computer for an hour before the next event of the day begins. I’ve been doing things like grocery shopping, speaking at a local high school’s photo class, grabbing a quick lunch with my husband before he drives to DC for class and searching for a 16×20 white frame at all the local Targets so that I can finish my “Production Wall” Re-vamp. I feel much better after I list what I’ve spent all morning doing because I really HATE being a late blogger! Ugh. Who wants to read a blog post at 3:30 in the afternoon? Everyone is tired and ready to be HOME!

But for those of you that care and have been emailing about this post for quite some time, I hope you enjoy this.


This is my disclaimer… and I feel like I have a disclaimer for EVERYTHING these days.  This is just the way I choose to use off camera flash. I haven’t blogged about this before because I’m STILL LEARNING. Sure, I think I’m getting the hang of it but I don’t understand EVERY aspect of my 580’s or my transmitters so I’m a little nervous to write this post. However, I’m doing it anyway, in hopes that one tiny thing I share will help someone out in the long run.


I shoot with two Canon 580EX II’s and two Pocket Wizard FLEX TT5’s and one Wescott lightstand.  For those of you that are newer to off camera flash (OCF), the FLEX TT5 is a transmitter that syncs my flashes.  Here is my opinion on the FLEXTT5:  When it works, it’s AWESOME…. but I would never brag about it’s consistency. As I get to know this equipment more, I understand it more. However, I’ll be the first to admit that I get frustrated! However, as soon as I think “I’m just going to sell EVERYTHING and try something NEW!”…. I have an amazing experience with my FLEX! So all that to say, I DO like my lighting setup because it’s SIMPLE. No CORDS, No CONFUSION….. but I wish it was more consistent.


I shoot with a 580 and a flex ON CAMERA and a 580 and flex OFF CAMERA. I really lOVE shooting with the subjects between me and my OCF so that I have a nice “glow”… but this takes practice and AWARENESS. It’s hard to learn how to position yourself for GREAT shots. You not only need to create good composition with the subject, but you also have to be thinking about the position of the OCF as well. It takes practice and I’ll be the FIRST to admit that I’m not the best…. but I’m committing to learning more and more at each wedding. It’s very tempting to just have one on-camera flash and justify it because “most photographers just do it that way”.  But if I’m being the photographer I WANT to be…. I want to provide the BEST… and I want to challenge myself. I spent 2 years never attempting OCF because I didn’t understand it! Then I realized that if I didn’t start learning this system, I would NEVER improve! So as much as I dislike flash, I’m learning to appreciate what it can do! Below is my all time  FAVORITE reception shot with OCF!! I feel like Zach and Jody would be proud! haha Ps. Zach and Jody are flash PROS! Want to learn more about this area of photography? Don’t ask ME!!! PLEASE!! haha Ask them or attend one of their In-Camera Workshops! It’s definitely on my bucket list!!



This is the cover of their album!!:)

I ran out before the bride and groom and plopped my light stand down in the grass and just hoped it was at a good angle. I didn’t really have time to test it out! Luckily, it worked out ok!

OCF adds so much more DIMENSION to images.

xoxo, Katelyn
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