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…..
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:
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.
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!
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:
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!
I just feel like I need to say…. prepare yourself. Prepare yourself for some of the most gorgeously styled details I’ve ever photographed. Prepare yourself for fun portraits and the sweetest ceremony and lastly, prepare yourself for some serious JOY!!
I bought the RF 100mm Macro because I wanted to compare it with my EF 100mm Macro! I’ve had the EF for YEARS but since I upgraded to the R6 last year, I’ve slowly been replacing my lenses with the RF models.
This Dover Hall Estate wedding was one for the books! Wow! Just incredible! From the planning to the florals to the dress and creative use of the property. It was just gorgeous!! We met Ryan and Danielle at their engagement session a few months back and we fell in love with them. They are truly as kind and thoughtful and sweet as they appear.
Oh you are something!!!! We are starting to lose you around the house! You crawl under tables, behind couches and soon, I just know you’re going to discover the stairs! You will walk laps around the ottomans and you LOVE to pull up on everything. I’ve caught you multiple times trying to splash in the toilet and it’s just hilarious… your brother or sister NEVER attempted that!
This day was one for the record books. It was the first time we had photographed anything at the beautiful Ivy Rose Barn and let me tell you, it’s a dream! It was also the first time that I was able to meet Sharon and Turner in person!! This is SO rare for me!! Normally we’ve already met our KJ Couples beforehand but thanks to the pandemic, we never had a chance to!
We’re in a quite a new season. Rhett’s seventh month has been the month where he decided to start moving! No cord, cup, small choking sized object is safe anymore! This happened literally the week he turned seven months and he has been on the go ever since.