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Shooting with Speedlights

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Capturing the best images to tell the wedding day story for the bride and groom is one of the most important parts of being a photographer. There are many aspects to consider when shooting so you can create stunning images. Understanding how to pose your clients and learning the most advanced shooting techniques can help you develop images your clients will love. Another crucial part of creating beautiful images is having the ability to shoot in any lighting.

During some of your wedding shoots, you may not always know exactly what type of lighting you will be working with. When this happens, it is important for you to know which tools to access to make lighting your shoots easy and effective. Speedlights are lightweight, portable light sources you can use to enhance your wedding day shoot. Here are some tips to help you take advantage of the power of speedlights for your upcoming shoots.

Create Light in Any Shooting Situation

Since speedlights are transportable, you can carry them along with you during any shoot. Additionally, speedlights are flexible, which means you can choose where you want to aim your flash. Speedlights require minimal set up, and you can quickly get started shooting. Regardless of the weather and lighting conditions, speedlights give you more options for your shoot. You can use them in conjunction with the sun to even out the shadows and highlights in the image, or a speedlight can be your primary source of light.

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Bounce the Light

Using speedlights can help you overcome several lighting obstacles so you can capture as many shots as necessary. A great time to take advantage of speedlights is during a wedding reception. Often times, receptions take place indoors (or under a large tent if they are outdoors). In these scenarios, use speedlights to bounce the light off of the walls or ceilings. If you are only using one speedlight, try placing it on your camera and aiming the light up towards the ceiling. By doing this, you can achieve an even light on the couple while still keeping the ambience of the location.

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Understand where the Light is Positioned

Understanding where the light is on your subject can make a large difference in the result of your images. If you have a second shooter with you, you can have them hold speedlights at different angles an positions while you shoot. Try placing the light above your couple or positioned to the side of them to create diverse images. Place a speedlight behind the couple to add a glow around them, and create separation from the background of the image. Remember, the more conscious you are about the light during the shoot, the easier time you will have during your post-wedding workflow (meaning you will not have to focus so hard on eliminating harsh or unflattering shadows on your couple).

Related: Learn how to quickly create a Signature Style for your images with Lightroom Presets

Tip: If you do not have a second shooter to help assist you with your lighting, try placing a speedlight on a light stand. This will still give you flexibility in where you position the light.

Match the Characteristics of Natural Light

Speedlights are a useful off-camera lighting source that can help you capture gorgeous images. It is important to know how to use speed lights with existing light sources to create natural-looking images. Whether you are working with harsh light, or overcast light, it is helpful to know how to blend speedlights with ambient light to help the images look more natural. Think about how natural light works in your images, and mimic this action with speedlights. Because speedlights are so flexible and easy to move, you can quickly reposition them to your desired location. If you want your images to take on the characteristics of the harsh and dramatic lighting from the sun from a certain angle, position your speedlight above the couple with it angled towards them. Remember, the closer the light source is to the object, the more harsh and direct the light will be.

When indoors, you can also mimic the characteristics of natural light and make it look like the light source is coming from a window. Position your speedlight so it is at the height of a window, and use a mid to low power setting for the intensity of the light. This will allow the light to be softer and look as if it is coming from a window.

Related: Are you using these 3 tips when shooting in natural light?

Tip: Shoot the wedding day with your post production workflow in mind. Also, utilizing photography editing services to take care of your images after the shoot will allow you to spend minimal time editing.

A majority of your job revolves around creating beautiful images for your clients on the wedding day. When you understand how to create gorgeous images through advanced techniques, you will attract more of your ideal clients. Learn more tips and tricks to lighting the wedding day shoot with our Pro Photographer Lighting and Posing Guide!

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