How to shoot: Reception First Dance
Time for the first dance. Now this can come at uh there's so many different times that the first dance can come at and there's gonna be multiple types of dancing, right? So I'm just gonna take you through generally um how to shoot a first dance. So if your, if your wedding starts with the first dance where sometimes the grand entrance will lead right into the dance. You just have to be ready to go having the 70 to 200 for the grand entrance and then moving into the dance is great. That's why it's helpful to have a second body. However, that may have a 24 to 70 or a wider lens that you can switch or having your lens close by that, you can switch to the to back to your midrange zoom from your 70 to 200. Now, this particular wedding that we're gonna go at their first dance came in after dinner after the speeches and when uh we had a full live band with DJ. So if we go over uh to this wedding, um they had a mini little entrance from the dinner party into uh leading into a little dance part...
y and then they went ahead and started their first dance. Now, in this situation that I'm saying that I, that I had to shoot in, I had to use my diffuser and my flash, right? Remember my flash with the big uh diffuser on top. I pointed it into the air. Um I had to sink it at um either 180 if or I think 11 25th on my particular camera or 1 2/50 so that it sank and then I changed the level of the flash power. Um And the idea depends on your uh couple. This couple was pretty good at spinning. Um Not to mention there were some really cool colored stage lights up uh and up ahead and I found a spot that looked cool at the background. Something to do during the first dance is to think about where you are, where the couple is and what's behind them, right? I think I moved in one direction where uh the background didn't look so good. So I kind of started to lean into one area. This was probably one of my more favorite shots. Luckily there was a warmer light on the left side. My flash was filling in from the right and then there's all this color in the background. If I had flipped that maybe there's one down the line, there was actually just people standing behind me at this point, everyone's standing up and I don't really care as much about getting in people's way because you were there to photograph the first dance. So I think it's OK doing a mix of vertical and horizontal is great keeping an eye on what they're doing, how they're interacting with each other and snapping away when you see these little moments like that. This is one of my favorite frames I knew. Uh I like having a lot of space on the right side and it kind of showcases their band that they had there. This is done with my uh 24 to 70. Um at 24 right? Having a nice wide shot of the dancing. So you can see the details in the dress and the suit is always helpful to have here. I'm not using my flash so you can see how it's a little bit less filled in with the light and I'm letting the lights from the stage fill in and kind of give them an edge of light. I really like the flare behind there that was catching my camera a little bit. I thought it added to the ambiance in the moment. So really when you get to a first dance, walk around, see where you can find the right angle uh for you to shoot them at with because it's going to be very important. And then of course, we'll lead into the next dances which is like the father daughter dance again. Don't put your camera down, right. This is at 24 and this, I'm standing in the same spot and I nailed this sort of look while she's waiting for her dad. And then he shows up same thing filling in with my flash, having the flare in the background, they change their lights a little bit. So the colors are a little bit different. But finding these moments when she's laughing or smiling and you're seeing the best of the best, right? You're not seeing all the extra photos that I took in between all of these. Um And then we lead into the mother and son dance. But again, same coverage right up and down portraits, some horizontals looking for this moment where she is looking up at her son. This is such a nice moment where she's actually looking up and you can see she's starting to have this private conversation with them and she's starting to break down and she's starting to cry and he's up like this. This is the moment, right? And we've nailed, we've already nailed our exposure as far as the flash goes, as far as our positioning where we're standing in the room so that when this moment happens, we can get it. He actually sent me a text about this photo and he's, it's just one of his favorites. He um got very emotional about it because it's just him and his mom and they're there together having a moment away from everyone else and just talking about um their relationship, his new relationship, all these things. So the idea is to recap, find a place in the room where you like the background where you feel like the lighting is, is gonna be good because typically it's gonna be a little darker where your flash is going to work well from you with or without it, right? Remember the shot that I took with out a flash. Um And then also where you can do uh a variety of horizontal vertical photos. Um And then the last thing to think about is for me is like, I know I said earlier, like not to care about being in other people's way but try not to take away uh from the first dance. I don't like to get super close to them because this is a moment, right? Especially if there's a videographer there. Um Chances are you're gonna get one or 1 to 3 photos really great of this moment and they're gonna love it, but there's gonna be a videographer there, potentially who's gonna get the entire moment and you wanna be cognizant and aware of where you are in relation to what they're also filming. Um But you also wanna be um aware of how the couple is feeling, not getting right up into their face, um not disrupting what's happening in the actual act of having their first dance as a married couple. Um The crowd is less important, you don't wanna get totally in people's ways, but um you also wanna be able to do your job and get your, your shots as well. This is another one of those times like we talked about the ceremony where people will have their phones out and they will be taking lots of photos and videos. Um and you just have to get your job done but be respectful of everyone around you as well. Let's go on to the next lesson.