Off camera lighting for weddings
Sometimes I love shooting a bride and groom at night. When you get to use all artificial light, you can get get so creative and really have some fun with the shoot. Sometimes when photographing a wedding you always don’t have a lot of time set aside to shoot images of the bride and groom. Sometimes by the time the ceremony ends the sun is going down and you only have the nighttime to shoot. Instead of thinking of this as a bummer think of it as a really amazing opportunity to create some great images. When shooting at night you have a totally blank canvas to work with and depending on how you light the image you can create anything you want to. Think of it as a blank canvas to work with where the possibilities are endless!
This image was taken during the middle of the reception while the dancing was going on. After shooting some dancing for awhile we wanted to get one more series of the bride and groom together, so went outside to scout out the area. Sometimes we will go to the lobby of the location or look for interesting spots outside to shoot and there wasn’t much to work with at this spot other than a large empty field behind the building that had a few large oak trees. It was pitch black back here so we had to light everything we wanted to highlight in the image. We first lit the bride and groom with a Q-Flash that has a little mini softbox on it. The light was setup just to the right of the camera and very high. (getting your flash off camera really brings out the detail in her dress). The 2nd light was setup to highlight the oak tree (one more Q-Flash) and we wanted some interesting dimension to the tree, so we lit it from the far left and behind the tree. This way the light was coming across the tree and creating some cool shadows and depth to the image. Finally we have a vivitar 285 flash setup just behind the bride and groom slightly to the right of them to create a little light along the side of her dress and the veil. For the first shot below (our favorite from the series) the 3rd light actually didn’t fire (batteries were a little low and didn’t wait long enough for the flash to recycle) but the second shot you can see the effect of this 3rd light. The color is a little different on these two just because the first has been photoshopped and the second hasn’t really been touched up yet.
To fire the lights we used our trusty pocketwizards. A little bit of photoshop work was done just to soften the image up and put a little glow around her dress. This just gave it a little more of a romantic feel.
Camera: Canon 20d
Exposure Program: Manual
Shutter Speed: 1/160 sec
lens: Canon EF 10-22mm f/2.8L
set to 10.00mm
Here is also a different angle in this series where you can really see the effect of the 3rd light. The light on his back really separates him from the background and gives him more depth. Adding a little key light coming in from the side or back can add just a little highlight that really can help your image pop.
For anyone interested here is a Amazon links to some of the lighting gear we use
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