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As a wedding photographer, you might often find yourself shooting at indoor venues where flash is either not allowed or it is just not possible to use it. This makes natural light the only option available. This can be a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity to get creative. When it comes to indoor wedding photography without flash, there are multiple things that come into play. The first requires you to adjust your camera settings to compensate for the lack of light. The good news is that with a bit of practice, not only can you get it right, but you will also be able to create stellar photographs. In this blog post, we offer some tips for shooting indoor weddings without flash. Moreover, we also share inputs on how to make the most of low-light situations! So let’s get started!

Tips For Shooting Indoor Weddings Without Flash

1. Adjust Your Camera Settings For Low-Light Situations

a wedding ceremony in a church
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @taylorkempphotography

The first and foremost thing that you need to take care of is the camera settings. Shooting in low light can be tricky, but if you know how to adjust the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, you’ll be able to make the most of the lighting available. Here’s how you can adjust these three parameters: 

  • ISO: One of the most important things to remember for indoor wedding photography without flash is that you’ll need to adjust your camera’s ISO. The higher the ISO, the more light your sensor will be able to gather. In simple words, increasing your ISO will make your camera sensor more sensitive to light, allowing you to take well-lit photos indoors without additional light. However, you’ll also need to be careful about noise levels. A good rule of thumb is to keep your ISO as low as possible while still getting enough light.

  • Aperture: Another way to let in more light is by opening up the aperture wide. Aperture is the size of the opening that light passes through in a lens. When the aperture is wide, more light passes through the lens, which can be helpful in low-light situations. This will again let in more light and help you avoid using flash.

  • Shutter Speed: Finally, make sure to pay attention to your shutter speed. It is also an important factor to consider when shooting indoor weddings without flash. A slower shutter speed will let in more light, but it will also mean that any movement will be captured as a blur. So if you’re photographing a dance floor, for example, you’ll need to use a faster shutter speed to freeze the action. On the other hand, if it’s something static like the cake or the decor, then you can use a slower shutter speed.

Note that ISO, aperture, and shutter speed work in correlation. So a good starting point can be to set a low ISO (100-200), a slow shutter speed, and then open up the aperture as much as possible. From there, you can experiment with different combinations until you find something that works for you. Just remember that indoor lighting can vary greatly, so it’s always best to test out your camera settings before the big day.

Suggested Read: Photography Basics For Beginners: All About Depth Of Field

2. Use A Fast Lens

infographic stating if you don't have a fast lens, now might be a good time to invest in one

Another tip is to use a fast lens, also known as a low-light lens or prime lens. A fast lens is one with a wide aperture, and it allows more light in. It allows you to shoot at a lower ISO and/or with a faster shutter speed. This can be helpful in low-light situations such as indoor wedding ceremonies where you might otherwise need to use flash. Since it allows you to operate at a wider aperture, you can keep your ISO low and avoid introducing noise into your photos. If you don’t have a fast lens, now might be a good time to invest in one.

3. Shoot RAW

a bride sitting in her wedding attire staring at the window
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @erinm_photography

More often than not, it is a good idea to shoot RAW, even more so for indoor wedding photography without flash. The reason is that it provides you more freedom and flexibility when editing the image later on in the post-production phase. Moreover, when you shoot RAW, you can adjust the exposure, white balance, etc., without worrying about losing quality.

Suggested Read: How To Import Raw Files Into Lightroom

4. Give HDR Mode A Try

In addition to the aforementioned points, also try to experiment with the HDR mode. This mode takes multiple pictures at different exposures and then combines them into one well-exposed image. This can be extremely helpful when shooting in difficult lighting conditions, such as church weddings.

5. Use A Tripod

infographic stating by using a tripod, you can keep your camera steady and prevent any unwanted blur

Using a tripod can turn out to be highly rewarding when shooting indoors without a flash. This is because you are likely to be using a slow shutter speed (to allow more light in), which means any movement can result in a blur. However, by using a tripod, you can keep your camera steady and prevent any unwanted blur. Even though a tripod is highly recommended, if you don’t have one, try to use a surface that allows a sturdy and steady base.

6. Keep Experimenting

a wedding couple standing in the hallway holding each other's hands
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @loversoflove

Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with experimenting! Approaching your constraints with an innovative headspace can help you turn them into a work of art. Moreover, there are tons of ways to make beautiful photographs without using flash. One idea is to use candles or string lights to create some stunning light trails. Or, if the wedding venue has any interesting architectural details, focus on those instead. With a little bit of imagination, you’ll be able to come up with some truly unique photos that hold the potential to wow your clients.

Our tip: Use editing to your advantage! This is where you can really bring out the best in your photos and make them look amazing. Try different editing options until you find a look that you love. Or if you don’t have the time to edit each image, consider outsourcing your editing to experts (like us) and get flawless images in return.

Indoor Photography Ideas By ShootDotEdit Customers

1. Robb McCormick Photography

a bride in her wedding dress looking outside through the gap in between huge curtains
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @robbmccormickphotography

2. Apollo Fields Photography

a bride in her wedding dress holding the bridal bouquet looking at itImage Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofields

3. J Perryman Photography

a black and white image of the bride and groom staring at each other
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @jperrymanphotography

4. Infinite Loop Photography

a bride in her indian wedding attire
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @infiniteloopphoto

5. Flavio D Photography

a bride and groom standing in front of a clear glass balcony facing opposite sides
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @flavio_d_photography

Further Read: Top 10 Tips For Indoor Wedding Photography

There is no denying that photographing at indoor wedding venues can get tricky, let alone without flash. But with the right techniques and a little practice, it is just a skill waiting to be mastered. You might not always hit the bullseye, but you will always learn what does or doesn’t work for you. Just remember to keep experimenting! If you found this guide on indoor wedding photography without flash helpful, be sure to check out our other blog posts on wedding photography tips and tricks. We cover everything from how to shoot first-look photos to how to pose couples during their portraits session. 

At ShootDotEdit, in addition to providing tips on helping you level up your wedding photography skills, we also love assisting you with your wedding photo editing load. To learn more about how our professional photo editing services can make your life easier and business more successful, take a look at our pricing plans.

1 comment

  • Eisha Singh

    Fantastic article…Thanks for sharing such an amazing content with us.Good job.Keep it up.

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