Lighting for Weddings: Using Off-Camera Flash to Conquer Stage Lighting During the Reception

[tps_header]All too often, I find lighting is added to the reception room. While this adds some nice ambience for the room and the guests, it can make for a difficult lighting situation. Many times only a part of the room may be lit, leaving the rest of the room quite dark. This presents a tough challenge: Do we expose for this light, or do we just eliminate it? Using two off-camera flashes does a great job of solving this problem, without eliminating the ambient lighting altogether.


Step One

off-camera flash at wedding receptionsThe wedding in this tutorial is definitely a worst-case scenario, and a bit of a struggle for me to dial in. The band provided stage lighting: a rack of lights on either side of the speakers, which were directed at the musicians and onto the dance floor. There’s no doubt that it has an impressive look when you’re out on the floor; however, the problem is that there’s an abundance of light in the front—almost overpowering—and then a significant drop-off at the other end of the dance floor. Not only that, the light is really harsh, super-duper warm, and not very sharp. Solutions? Let’s begin with the easy fix: You could make sure the stage lighting is always behind you and use your on-camera flash. Drag the shutter a bit, and you’ll have varying results, depending on how the stage light is hitting the subject.


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