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!
Ah! It’s our FINAL STUDENT SPOTLIGHT!!! This July post has been a long time coming but it’s HERE and it’s LIVE and I want you to help me celebrate these amazing photographers who are making their dreams happen!!!
This six month update feels like it’s weirdly disproportionate compared to other monthly updates! Why is that? Well, last month I posted a couple of sets of images that were actually at the beginning of his sixth month and THEN we photographed multiple weddings, had several trips away from home for a few days and the dads were for several days!
Hope and Jesse are the sweetest couple. You can just feel it when you’re with them! You can see it when you watch them interact. You can hear it in the stories that their family members and best friends shared about them. They are truly soulmates and best friends. They have an undeniable love for one another and that is why even a rainy, misty wedding day could be incredibly vibrant, warm and joyful!!
Rhett’s fifth month was full of fun. It’s crazy to me that I know I only take my big camera to about 10% of the things we do in a month and yet each month is SO full.
This beautiful wedding day took place in the rolling hills of West Virginia, just past the Virginia state line. Wild Goose Farm is a venue that I’ve never photographed before and let me tell you, it was a treat! We didn’t even have the sun join us for most of the day and yet we were able to capture beautiful portraits! Between the horses, old fences, stunning estate home, lily pad covered pond, old stone walls, rustic barn, open fields and a historic stone arch, I was in photographer heaven!
This session was just as sweet as it looks. We spent the evening with Megan and Tim in the country outside of Harrisonburg, Virginia. We were tucked away in the rolling hills in between beautiful fields and family farms. It reminded me all over again why I just love Virginia. We really have it all… beaches, mountains, history, and great schools! JMU, while it did play a role in Tim and Megan’s story, isn’t actually where it started!