MY ACCOUNT
Checkout
photographers
SHOP

Youtube

Simple Off-Camera Flash Setup

One OCF Setup for Wedding Photography

filed in:

I'm Katelyn James Alsop, a photographer, educator and momma who believes any photographer can have a profitable AND purposeful business.

WELCOME

Top Categories

Browse All

read more

WEDDINGS

Browse All

EDUCATION

Browse All

PERSONAL

A wintery boston wedding

w/ inside, dark ceremony

KJ ALL ACCESS

WATCH ME SHOOT weddings
Come join over 3,000 other photographers from around the world & become my virtual third shooter! 
FREE TRIAL
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ

Browse Series

 Baby James Story

Our Home

Our Kids

Ask Anything

If you’re a photographer that despises Off-Camera-Flash (OCF), this blog post is for you! Ugh. I feel you. I used to hate it too… and it honestly still isn’t my favorite but it’s necessary in order to rise in your professionalism on wedding days after dark!! Off camera flash seems intimidating when you’re trying it for the first time.

It requires you to control and understand light in a new way. Instead of not having control over the light source (you can’t change the sun!), you are now in charge of everything about the light source!  From placement to power to height to direction…. It’s all up to you! It can be a lot to future out but today, I’m sharing some information about how to setup and properly use ONE off-camera flash during your receptions!!

If you’re not using OCF, chances are… your images from receptions look somewhat like this…..

Dark background

Flat and dull

Just kinda…. Blah. 

 

But with just ONE Off Camera Flash and some basic flash setting knowledge, you can transform your reception shots to look more like this!! : 

When you’re using Off Camera Flash, the first thing you have to do is recognize that there is a system for setting it up! 

 

Now, this is just ONE of the setups that I recommend when using just ONE Off-Camera-Flash! 

 

This is the setup that I recommend for specialty dances (not party-dancing!). This is important to pay attention to! If you want to hear my setups with ONE OCF for cake-cutting and toasts and party-dancing, I’m explaining it all in this YOUTUBE EPISODE!! (link) 

 

Ok, so for the first dance, father/daughter and mother/son dances, here is what I recommend:

 

FIRST – DETERMINE YOUR BACKGROUND (your direction) :

When I’m setting up my one-CFP setup, I am normally doing it on the dance floor and I’m deciding what I want in the background. Unlike shooting outdoors with natural light, I have CONTROL over where the light source is going to come from! So I normally choose to have my background free of the DJ and his equipment. 

 

SECOND – PLACE YOUR FLASH 45 DEGREES (to your right or left) :

This is important! You don’t want your flash in the background of your shot, we are using your OCF to expose the FRONT of your subjects. Your on-camera bounce card will provide some extra light but the main light source is your OCF placed 45 degrees from you to your couple! 

 

THIRD – TAKE A TEST SHOT AND DETERMINE YOUR SETTINGS:

This is the technical part that gets a little tricky! I explain it more in-depth in this Youtube video! Overall, I don’t want a crazy amount of flash power coming from my one OCF. If it’s too powerful, my clients will be over-exposed and if I try to adjust my camera settings to fixed the over-exposure issue, the background will literally become black and dark! Not good! So, I prefer a lower flash power (1/64 is a good place to start) and a higher ISO! This allows the flash hitting my couple to be softer and the background glow to show up! I also recommend not shooting higher than a 2.8 aperture with this setup! 

 

There is so much more to share! If you want more OCF insight and education, here’s a 14 minute Youtube Video that breaks down what I just shared and much more!! 

 

In this Youtube Video you’ll find:

  • Why OCF matters and the difference it makes in your images!


  • My simple ONE OCF SETUP that I used when I first began using OCF! 


  • How to use this setup in different scenarios: Dances, Cake Cutting and even Toasts!!! 

 

Enjoy and if you want to watch me shoot a REAL WEDDING day for FREE, click HERE!!! This is an amazing opportunity to what this FLASH education in action in a real situation! KJ All Access as been called “A Visual Learner’s DREAM!” CLICK HERE!

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Step by Step Photo Editing

Step By Step Editing Process Sit beside me as I edit!

If you have been overwhelmed by editing…or just not sure what exactly the image is *missing* to make you happy with the final edit, chances are, you’ve never been taught what to look for! 

READ MORE
Youtube

I started my career as a wedding photographer almost 14 YEARS AGO….hard to believe it! 

AM I RETIRING FROM WEDDINGS?
READ MORE

Am I Retiring From Weddings? An Honest Answer!

Youtube
time saving culling tips

Time Saving Culling Tips Don't lose your life to your laptop!

If you’re an overshooter like me, this can be the most time consuming part! Which photos to keep and which are unnecessary? From 13 years of experience, I have a few tips to help you make this a quick process!

READ MORE
Youtube
When to travel with your camera

When to Travel with Your Camera Is it worth the risk?

Packing for a trip can be OVERWHELMING… but it can be even MORE overwhelming if you decide to bring your expensive camera!

READ MORE
Youtube

We’re going back to the basics! This is one of the most common emails we have in our inbox.. ‘Where should I put my focal point to get a tack sharp image?’

Where to Put the Focal Point
READ MORE

Practical Approach for Your Focal Point 5 Tips to Get Tack Sharp Images!

Youtube
3 Successful Business Traits

Successful Business Traits 3 Things Every Business Needs!

Looking through a lens in so many businesses has given me a unique perspective to see the traits that are needed for success!

READ MORE
Youtube

READER FAVORITES

"Best money I have EVER spent on education! ... and I've spent a lot!”

- Kara Abbey, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"I love all the lessons I'm learning from KJ All Access! Thanks Katelyn!”

- Shannon Drummond, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"I find very few educational resources worth it ... this one is!”

- Kate gansneder, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Being able to see behind-the-scenes of Katelyn interacting with her clients has been SO impactful!”

- Angie mcpherson, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"SO worth it! It's amazing the amount of knowledge you get out of them!”

- Brittany Lowe, ALl ACCESS MEMBER

"I learned just as much in one All Access as I did in a whole course! SO GOOD!"

- Joanna Krueger, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER
10 Steps to Starting Your Photography Business
Helping a friend survive a season of Infant Loss
How to photograph a first look in Harsh Light
OUR KJ COUPLES REUNION
A Lake Como Destination Wedding - Greg and Kate
A Letter to the Go-Getters fearful of Motherhood

The KJ blog
must-reads

The KJ Blog is where you get to know me, where you meet our KJ Couples and see their beautiful wedding days, where I have been building an archive of education for over a decade and where I let you see a peek into our life, our home, and hear about our purpose! 
don't miss the
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ

YOUTUBE

Join 60,000+ others and learn, grow and get connected via our Youtube Channel! This is where I'm constantly sharing new content, talking all things gear, business, tips, tricks and letting you into the behind-the-scenes of our everyday life! 
MORE FREE EDUCATION + CUTE BABIES ON
WATCH NOW

"I have invested in all of KJ’s education!

The way she teaches makes so much sense and I’m so grateful for her! My business will be forever changed!"

- Renee Nicolo

"KJ education has been life-changing

 It has elevated my work so I could quit my day job and work from home with our baby boy!"

- joanna k.

"I'VE INVESTED IN SO MANY RESOURCES... 

and none compare to what I get from KJ!"

- LAUREN M.