Lighting for Weddings: Put the Lights Where You Shouldn't
For the debut of “Lighting for Weddings,” I wanted to begin with lighting you were taught not to do. When I was first starting out, I was intimidated by lighting and how to deal with it. Weddings are always pressure cookers, so trying to create awesome lighting in seconds can be a daunting task. That’s what my articles will focus on—great lighting on the fly. I’m not going to promise perfect lighting setups, rather ones that will make your clients stop and take notice. That will give you an edge over your competition in this ever-expanding competitive market we’re facing today. My motto with these lighting setups is it doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be different.
But, but, the lights are in the shot!
I don’t know who came up the rules that said our lights can’t be in the shot. Why not? For this article, we’ll concentrate on reception lighting, which we all-too-often neglect.
Sure, we can set our external flashes on E-TTL for Canon or i-TTL for Nikon (through the lens), foof the light around (a technique where we bounce light off of the walls and ceilings to create more dramatic light), and bang away all night. However, I have little secret for you (shhh, come in a little closer). Uncle Bob can do the same thing with his digital Rebel! It’s our job to create something different; that’s why we get paid the big bucks.
I do 99% of my lighting with small, portable, cheap strobes. I use the super-simple LumoPro LP160 manual flashes and trigger them with RadioPopper JrXs.
Place the lights on stands with an umbrel
la swivel so you can angle them downward. Typically, I put them right next to the DJ speakers, so they’re somewhat out of the way. Next, I set the LumoPro LP160s to the lowest power (1/64) with the diffusers on.
I use a Canon Speedlite 580EX II with a small dome diffuser (Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce OM-EY) pointing straight up on E-TTL.
Of course, you could crop the lights out if you wish
I love to do this at Indian weddings when the couples’ friends perform a dance. It’s like creating their own Bollywood lighting.