How to shoot: Reception Dancing and Partying
OK. So if you've been hired this long for this wedding, at this point, we've gotten into the uh part of the reception that is partying and dancing. Um And that means everybody, I'd say eight times out of 10, I'm usually cut loose at this point, right? They don't necessarily wanna pay to someone to shoot the dancing and whatnot, but sometimes I do on the bigger weddings where I'm doing a 12 hour wedding, I'll probably end up having to stay the entire time uh during the dancing. Now, typically, like you're gonna be exhausted of shooting this after like 20 minutes. Um And nothing is gonna change if all the things are done other than the grand exit, if they have one, the dancing is gonna be the same for the next two hours hour, three hours, nothing really is gonna be any different. Um So you can tell your couple if they want you to, to take photos of dancing and partying that you could stay for maybe 2030 minutes and nothing will be any different other than people will be sweatier and prob...
ably a little bit more intoxicated. So let's take an example. Though, during the dancing things are gonna be dark, there's gonna be maybe stage lighting, it's gonna be loud. So this is when, um, I would recommend having maybe some earplugs because you might get stuck, uh, very close to a P A or a speaker, um, where the best shot may be and it's just gonna kill your ear drums. So the best thing is to remember about that. Um I'm always gonna end up using probably only one camera for this and that's gonna be the main camera with the 24 to 70 probably most definitely my diffuser on top of my flash um on camera. So if we go through here, this is exactly what I'm using here, right? I'm following the groom around using the diffuser finding a good place for it. And let's look at the settings. This is taken at 1 24 a 3200 iso along with um a 1/8 of a 1/80 of a shutter and my flash is firing. Usually I'm let's see if it says here and it doesn't really say, but usually um I am using my flash, it says it didn't fire, but it's definitely using my flash to fire on manual mode on my flash around an eighth of a power, sometimes a quarter of a power depending on how bright or how big the room is in this sense. It's nice that I can just focus on uh on the groom and him running around. Now these shots are fun, right? It's more for record keeping. They don't need to be super interesting or super artsy or composed all crazy. They just need to accomplish um telling a story and knowing what's happening around and seeing some faces even with this a little out of focus and a little bit motion, it's still very fun and interesting. Um Having the flash is nice because we can see the faces and it will freeze and focus them. Um A lot of times I'll hold, I'll hold my camera up above people and shoot down. Um One that's more flattering and two, you can kind of get up and get faces if you start to bob and weave through the crowd, it's not necessarily like um good on your flash and you won't get the most interesting shots. So holding it up, especially when people get into big groups, having the camera up above everyone. If there's a live band, getting coverage of that is great. Um Looking for people that may recognize you that take a moment or just waving at them and taking a picture. Um You'll get moments like this. This is a really good shot too if you can go around and take pictures of the couple with their friends. Um Again, this is a really great reason for using a diffuser on a flash, right? The skin tones are nice. The light is even um it's not totally blown out but we're not losing anything. Um in particular, same thing just following, following our our bride and groom around looking for really fun, interesting things like this jacket. Um And you know, noticing couples dancing is always fun to shoot, they're gonna wanna see those in the future and then keeping an eye. This is a really good example of me moving my hand up over the dancing and taking a photo um of them. And then again, more group shots, this is a little harder and I can tell um already like the focus was a little rough. Um getting everyone to focus because they're on different levels. But having the flash really helped a lot and having the versatility of the 24 to 70 moving in and out the 7200 wouldn't be a great lens in this situation because it's a little too far, especially if you're using your flash. Um You don't wanna overpower and blind people. So using your flash at full power at 70 uh might be a little aggressive again finding moments uh getting the band um including the band with the bride and groom is always a plus and uh and working your way through. And I and I can tell you like we just went through all the dancing photos I took for this wedding. This is a travel destination wedding. So you can see I was done about, I don't know a third of the way through the partying and dancing because they didn't need those photos. They wanted a little bit of, of record keeping. But um nothing, uh nothing where it's like the entire night. Um That doesn't, you know, it's not the same for all weddings. Um But II, I like to tell the bride and groom at the beginning before we shoot that we don't need to be there for, you know, multiple hours of you guys just dancing. In fact, sometimes it's kind of nice that the photographer has left and people can just relax and not worry about being photographed sometimes. Um But yeah, so main takeaways from this flash is very important. 24 to 70 is very important. A camera with a higher iso you could get away without a flash uh most likely and then just blending in with the crowd changing levels as far as like where you're taking the photos from and looking for situations with your bride and your groom. Um where they might be just alone or interacting with their guests is always a good thing too.