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Off-camera flash and weddings?
  
 
oguruma
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


I am not planning on shooting a wedding, but I have always been curious: What is a good way to stage off-camera speedlights/strobes to get candid shots at a reception? I am not talking about staged portraits in a predefined area, but, say after the ceremony where there are people everywhere.

Suppose you have a 10' white ceiling: would you stick lights in the corners pointed at the ceiling?

What if all the walls and ceilings are an atrocious color? Do you use parabolic reflectors?

I have no venue in mind, more just curiousity than anything.



Dec 07, 2017 at 06:28 PM
gnjphotography
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


At reception 2-4 lights spread out along the walls, depending on the size of the venue. I usually bounce, though if there is a large dance floor with the official party's table at the front, then 3 lights with either white umbrellas or flash benders, to light the dance floor and their table.

Though it really depends on the venue. Some are large and open while others are narrow and small. Different set-ups for different locations. Mostly trial and error.

-Greg



Dec 07, 2017 at 06:42 PM
LeeSimms
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


Everyone's different. I'm usually 2 speed lights on stands pointed into the interesting bits, sometimes grided, and sometimes I use a third (clamped). I also shoot with a little 430exRT on camera so I can fill in an instant if I need to (fill is 99% of the time bounced, but off camera is direct). I never liked off-camera bounce for wide shots as it highlights the ceiling too much.


Dec 07, 2017 at 07:44 PM
jcolman
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


Totally depends on the venue. I pretty much use four lights most of the time. Often two will be gridded, one will bounce off a wall and one will have a 3' softbox. Example below. In this case, all the lights were placed on the balcony. In this instance, three were gridded and one shot thru the soft box.





At this Indian wedding, I had two gridded lights on either end of the hall and one light bounced off a wall behind me.





At this wedding, two gridded lights and one light firing thru my soft box



This one featured four lights, all bounced off walls for the first dance. Later in the evening, I grid three lights and aim them at the dance floor. I bounce one off a wall.






Dec 07, 2017 at 09:14 PM
Ziffl3
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


Big difference between small locations and large reception w/ dance floor.
On camera fill..... always. At 128th power.... will hardly notice.
Generally run 4 flashes off camera.
A small venue.... 2-3. Sometimes 4 works really well.... grid’d.
Never bounce off ceiling. Never use an umbrella/big modifier. Looks bad... sucks up light energy.


End of the day.... while the dramatic say 1ocf + on camera fill or not can be very cool and dramatic with shadows,
Majority of brides love seeing well lit faces. And by lit... meaning lit with light vs liquid courage.

-mark



Dec 07, 2017 at 09:15 PM
Ziffl3
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


Mr cool man style is rockin’
But at the Indian wedding or the image of the group above.... the ambient light is totally blown out.
With up lighting.....me like to let the bride and groom see what they payed for.

-mark



Dec 07, 2017 at 09:18 PM
jcolman
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


Ziffl3 wrote:
Mr cool man style is rockin’
But at the Indian wedding or the image of the group above.... the ambient light is totally blown out.
With up lighting.....me like to let the bride and groom see what they payed for.

-mark


Yes I did blow out the ambient light for this shot.....I wanted to make sure that the entire party was lit so I upped the power of my lights.



Dec 07, 2017 at 09:39 PM
oguruma
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


jcolman wrote:
Totally depends on the venue. I pretty much use four lights most of the time. Often two will be gridded, one will bounce off a wall and one will have a 3' softbox. Example below. In this case, all the lights were placed on the balcony. In this instance, three were gridded and one shot thru the soft box.

https://i.imgur.com/M1t2cus.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/Xu1qzFM.jpg

At this Indian wedding, I had two gridded lights on either end of the hall and one light bounced off a wall behind me.

https://i.imgur.com/inynn6G.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/nCjVTpx.jpg

At this wedding, two gridded lights and one light firing thru my soft box

https://i.imgur.com/WbSqvve.jpg

This one featured four lights, all
...Show more

Thanks for sharing! Those look awesome! What are you using to fire those?



Dec 07, 2017 at 10:14 PM
jcolman
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


oguruma wrote:
Thanks for sharing! Those look awesome! What are you using to fire those?


Cheetah lights (same as Godox) three 180's and one 360 light.



Dec 07, 2017 at 11:39 PM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


I run 3 flashes on stands as high as I can get them pointed down towards the dance floor. The higher the flash the less shadows you get.
I run them at 1/32-1/64 power.

2 flash setup at a rehearsal dinner















3 Flash setup.















Doesn't matter where I am light is good.






























2 Flash Wedding











The key is getting the subject in the sweet spot for your flash ratio and then have the background or people in the background 1 or more stops darker so you can isolate your subject. I shoot stopped down with the flashes. Like F4 most times. Sometimes more sometimes less.



Dec 08, 2017 at 09:17 PM
 

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hardlyboring
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


My setup is as down and dirty as you can get. I use no modifiers, never bounce a flash, etc.
Sometimes we have literally seconds to get setup.
I put the flashes up, test them, and off we go.



Dec 08, 2017 at 09:20 PM
Ziffl3
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


me like down and dirty.
it can be dramatic and yet still see faces/emotion.




Dec 09, 2017 at 05:47 AM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


Ziffl3 wrote:
me like down and dirty.
it can be dramatic and yet still see faces/emotion.



Ya I think having faces lit and exposed correctly is the #1 thing.
My clients like a bit of creativity but they also like well lit shots. I think parents and grandparents also like that. Mom doesn't care how creative the shot is. Heck they like the most uncreative shots. They just want a nice photo where the subjects are lit correctly.



Dec 09, 2017 at 04:27 PM
echelonphoto
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


All great examples here....I feel using more than 1 ocf can create more harm than good...such as one of the lights showing up in the image. I use one godox AD360 with the dome diffuser, set as high as possible in one corner...my on camera 686 is bounced with a demb diffuser as the fill light...I can manuever around the subject so the light is never intrusive.


Dec 09, 2017 at 07:18 PM
ZachOly
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


I use one on camera ETTL flash, only

Haters gona hate



Dec 09, 2017 at 07:49 PM
InSanE
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


ZachOly wrote:
I use one on camera ETTL flash, only

Haters gona hate



Some use none so you are good.



Dec 10, 2017 at 07:35 AM
Ziffl3
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


echelonphoto wrote:
All great examples here....I feel using more than 1 ocf can create more harm than good...such as one of the lights showing up in the image. I use one godox AD360 with the dome diffuser, set as high as possible in one corner...my on camera 686 is bounced with a demb diffuser as the fill light...I can manuever around the subject so the light is never intrusive.


That is why there are grids.... But I understand not wanting to see stands and have a clean look.
Most of the time there are lighting towers or speaker towers/stands.
Secondly.... large dance floors really like more flash to get good coverage...especially when there are performances.

-Mark




Dec 10, 2017 at 04:36 PM
jcolman
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


InSanE wrote:
Some use none so you are good.


To each his own. I prefer to use light not just so I can create a good exposure, but to model the subjects. At my wedding last night I created a series of shots to show a bit of how and why I use four lights.

The venue is mostly pretty dark so if I want good images I have to add some light. Here's a shot of just the ambient light.



I shot this at ISO 6400, wide open lens. Sure I could shoot at a higher ISO and live with a bit of noise but the purpose is not just to make an image, it's to make a photograph.

So I added four lights. Two of them are behind me and to each side with grids. The other two you can see in the photo. The one on the left is aimed at the ceiling, the one on the right is shooting thru a 3' umbrella. By the way, these are straight out of my camera with no editing or color correction.



Here's one of my gridded lights.



Here are the results. I get a nice back light on the subjects when shooting towards the stairs.





But I can also shoot from the other direction.



It's also quite easy for me to control the output of the lights and/or turn each one off if I chose. Here's a shot with all four lights firing.



Same angle but with the power turned down a bit on my key lights (the key lights are the ones behind me in these images)



In this shot I turned off the umbrella light



With my four lights I can shoot from pretty much anywhere on the floor or above, and get nice even lighting that helps the subjects pop out.





It takes a lot more work (and investment in gear) to do this kind of lighting but this is how I market myself....creating beautiful lighting for my couples.





Dec 10, 2017 at 04:46 PM
ZachOly
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


Whenever I see kicker lights in the frame, my eyes go right to it and not the subject. I realize it's a stylistic choice, and to some extent, a logistical choice, but I always just look at the kicker light. Including those heavily backlit first dance photos.


Dec 10, 2017 at 05:04 PM
amonline
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Off-camera flash and weddings?


hardlyboring wrote:




That's how it's done.



Dec 10, 2017 at 05:06 PM
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