Our most recent wedding advice piece was on hiring a wedding photographer with lighting knowledge and why that matters for your wedding portraits. This is the follow-up post to that! While your wedding portraits are probably going to be a large part of what you’ll want to share in the immediate weeks after your wedding, often times it’s the moments that have truly lasting emotional impact. And since that makes up a very large part of the hours we spend with you on the wedding day, it’s important for those photos to be of the same quality. Moment-driven wedding photography with flash is not obtrusive and often can produce photos with a better file quality. At the very least, it provides more variety from which to choose when it comes time to sharing your images.

Let’s start with some basics: the wedding reception. This is where lighting comes into play most often as it’s usually a darker part of the day or indoors in low lighting. Often both! For the vast majority of your wedding images, what we’re aiming for is balance. We want to balance the light that’s already there.

wedding reception lighting with off camera flash

If your venue has room lighting built in or your DJ brought colored lights, it’s usually for effects and not for skintones. We want to show what’s going on but not completely kill the ambience you designed! At Keri and Nick’s wedding reception, the room was bathed in heavy red lighting. This is typically a photographer’s worst nightmare as our skin coloring can already be red and cameras have trouble distinguishing between shades of red. Every try and take a camera picture of a red rose? You’ll know what we mean! We placed a small flash on their table for their wedding toasts so we’d be able to see a bit of them without blasting the entire room with bright flash. Take a look at Nick’s best man to see why!

wedding reception lighting with off camera flash

If you’ve paid for uplighting or DJ lights, we love showing them off! We’ll create images with and without extra lighting to show you both viewpoints.

wedding reception lighting for moment-driven wedding photos

And if your venue has no room lighting, is a dim room (or a “cave” as we might affectionately name it), or if your wedding is outdoors, it will be much more difficult to balance. Traditionally, photographers might just stick a flash on the camera and blasting away, keeping their nearby subjects bright with a pitch black background. We still strive for balancing the foreground and background so you can see all of what’s around.

creating light where there is none with off camera flash

Of course, sometimes we’re not talking about receptions. At Mey and Kao’s wedding, she and the girls got ready for the day in a utility area of the venue. It was cramped and dark, so I popped a little light into her getting ready photos in a few of the frames.

creating light where there is none with off camera flash

Mansha and Samir’s wedding ceremony started very late due to their priest’s late arrival. The ceremony was supposed to end at sunset but instead started after, the light dimming quickly. With a ceremony overlooking the Great South Bay, we wanted to show the water in their photos! Being in the mandap, it was too dark to expose for both the water outside and them inside, so again we popped a small light in for some key images.

creating a vibrant wedding ceremony with lighting

And sometimes we just go straight for drama, using a little extra light to pull the focus into a specific area of the photo or create a silhouette. These typically end up being some of our favorite images from a wedding.

dramatic wedding photography with flash

As always, the wedding world is best when couples know how to make decisions that provide them with the best possible wedding. We want you to see all of your wedding with as much variety as possible!