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Off Camera Flash Techniques to Create Dramatic Wedding Reception Images

off camera flash

Here at ShootDotEdit, we specialize in professional wedding photo editing and we’ve heard from many that one of the most challenging aspects of being a wedding photographer is that, often times, you have absolutely no control of the situations you encounter to photograph. One specific aspect of that challenge is the lighting conditions you encounter. Knowing how to use off camera flash can help you overcome these challenging wedding photography lighting scenarios.

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In our Off-Camera Flash Techniques for Wedding Photographers Guide, created with SLR Lounge, we discuss a few scenarios that may occur during the getting ready part of the day. Throughout the first and second post of this series, Pye Jirsa from SLR Lounge shared his suggestions to set up the lighting for the getting ready scene and indoor portraits to help you develop unique and dramatic images. For the third post, he will share off camera flash setup wedding reception tips that can help you create memorable and dramatic wedding reception images.

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How to Use Off Camera Flash to Create Dramatic Getting Ready Images

how to use off camera flash

One of the most challenging aspects of being a wedding photographer is that, often times, you have absolutely no control of the situations you encounter to photograph. One specific aspect of that challenge is the lighting conditions you encounter. Knowing how to use off camera flash and when to use off camera flash can help you overcome these challenging wedding photography lighting scenarios.

On a wedding day, one of the first scenes you encounter is the getting ready location. This can happen in a variety of places, such as a hotel room, a house, or a room provided at the wedding venue. Depending on the location, you might be able to shoot most of these images with natural light. However, using off camera flash during the getting ready scene is a great way to add drama to an otherwise potentially dull scene.

How to Use Off Camera Flash

In the Off Camera Flash Techniques for Wedding Photographers Guide, created by ShootDotEdit, a wedding photo editing company for wedding photographers, and SLR Lounge, we discuss a few scenarios that may occur during the getting ready part of the day. Below, we show you how Pye Jirsa from SLR Lounge and Lin & Jirsa Photography personally sets up the lighting for the getting ready scene to create unique and dramatic images.
pye jirsa headshot

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Top 5 Tips: Off Camera Flash Setup Strategies for Photographers

off camera flash setup

Of the challenging lighting scenarios you face during the wedding day, the reception provides a handful of issues for you to overcome. From low light scenarios to uplighting, to constant movement from your couple and guests, there are plenty of obstacles during the reception. How can you quickly create light and not miss any of the important moments?

Off Camera Flash Setup

In our Online Training: 3 Easy Off Camera Flash Lighting Setups for Wedding Photographers, Matt Kennedy of The International Academy of Wedding Photographers shared his personal off camera flash photography tips during even the most difficult lighting scenarios. Here are 5 off camera flash setup strategies for photographers from the Online Training to use during your upcoming wedding shoots.

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Off-Camera Flash Techniques for Wedding Photographers

Lighting…. It’s one of the most essential aspects of photography to understand. Done correctly, it can help you set scenes, capture memorable moments, develop moods, stimulate emotional responses, and elevate the quality of your images and the story they tell. And yet, lighting is one of the most challenging parts of photography to master.

As a wedding photographer, you see it all – the good, the bad, and the terrible when it comes to light. Since you are not always in control of where you shoot, or what the lighting conditions will be, it can be difficult to know which tools to use to combat the light during the wedding day. Off-camera flash provides you with options for the lighting situations that need help, or when you desire to create a more dramatic look to the image. So, how can you quickly control and create light with off-camera flash in any location, regardless of the lighting scenario?

Free Guide: Off-Camera Flash Techniques for Wedding Photographers

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The Best Cameras for Shooting Weddings in 2019

Although you are the creative vision behind each and every photo you take, the gear you choose can determine how quickly and effectively you do your job. The best cameras for wedding photography change every year, and it’s important to choose one that is not only reliable and fast, but one that works best for you and your unique situation.

With new cameras being released at record pace, it’s hard to keep up, let alone determine what is going to be the best camera for wedding photography. We reached out to photo and video rental company LensProToGo for their thoughts on the best cameras for wedding photography. Their ability to test all of the wedding cameras in their inventory has given them a leg up in determining what cameras do perform better over others. We’ve asked them to weigh in on the best Nikon camera for wedding photography, along with the best Canon camera for weddings. And, they’ve shared with us their thoughts on the best mirrorless camera, if you’re just looking at making the switch. Take a look below to see which wedding cameras they chose for 2019!

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Behind-the-Scenes with Scott Robert Lim – Shooting with Mirrorless Cameras: Should You Do It?

As a wedding photographer, there are plenty of options for the gear you use. This is especially true when it comes to your camera. With all of the options available for cameras, it’s important to choose one that you are comfortable with, and one that helps you quickly shoot through the wedding day. Although the camera you choose is not a reflection of your skill level, choosing the best one for you can make you more efficient. Often times, it can be helpful to hear from industry leaders to see what type of gear they chose to give you options when it comes time to replace your current camera.

We recently sat down with international photographer and educator, Scott Robert Lim, to discuss the camera he uses. Below, he shares the reasons he shoots with mirrorless and the impact it has on his shoots and photography. Read through to decide whether mirrorless is the best choice for you and your wedding photography business.


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Why is mirrorless the future? You can…

Travel and Shoot with Ease

One of the first benefits I like about the mirrorless camera is that it is a lot lighter. Shooting weddings is a very physical activity. It’s like running a marathon. When you’re shooting multiple weddings every year, after a while, it wears on your body. A camera that is lighter helps you move around and take the shots you need, while providing less strain on your body.

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Image Compliments of Scott Robert Lim

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Culling in Camera: Can it Save You Time?

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During the wedding day, how many images are you shooting? Chances are, you shoot hundreds of images from the wedding day (based on these most important moments) – most of which don’t make it to the final set you send to your clients. And, based on how many images clients really want, the culling process may force you to spend your time getting rid of a ton of images to get to your final total.

Culling your images in Lightroom is not the only way to start the process of delivering a set of the best images from the wedding day. You can start the process earlier by updating your process, and even culling in camera. The biggest question is, can these techniques save you time in your workflow? Here are a few steps you can take to eliminate the number of images you need to cull on your computer during your post-wedding workflow.

Step 1: Shoot What’s Needed

The first step is to start the process before you even take the first set of images. Achieve the best shots possible by properly posing your clients in a place where the background is ideal, the light highlights them, and you know it will be a memorable image. Or, if it’s something you cannot pose, position yourself in the best angle for the image. Before you take the photo, make sure you know it will result in an image that contributes to the overall story of the wedding day. If you only focus on the images that matter, you won’t have to spend as much time on your computer afterwards.

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Image Compliments of Sam Stroud Photography

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Upgrading Your Camera: When Should You?

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Have you thought about upgrading your camera lately, but aren’t sure when the best time is? When you purchase gear for your photography business, it’s a big choice for you to make. In our Guide to Camera Bodies, we share the top cameras for wedding photographers. Sometimes, it can be difficult to decide whether you actually need a new camera or if you just want one. Camera bodies are expensive, and require thought on your part. If you think you are ready, or even if you know you won’t be ready for a while, here are things you can ask yourself when you want to know when you should upgrade your camera.

Camera Limitations

Does your camera limit you from photography activities? For example, do you find you shoot in dark locations quite a bit? Shooting in the dark can be a challenge alone, so if your camera lacks the ISO performance to shoot at low light, you may want to consider purchasing a new one.

“If you know you’re going to shoot in low light, you have to have a camera that has high ISO. If you don’t feel comfortable with your camera shooting at 3200 ISO or higher, I give you the right to go buy yourself a new camera. You have to make sure you are going to produce professional quality even in low light.” – Scott Robert Lim

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Image Compliments of Scott Robert Lim 

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