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Intro to Reception Lighting SWOT Analysis

Lesson 38 from: Picture Perfect Lighting

Roberto Valenzuela

Intro to Reception Lighting SWOT Analysis

Lesson 38 from: Picture Perfect Lighting

Roberto Valenzuela

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Lesson Info

38. Intro to Reception Lighting SWOT Analysis


Class Trailer



Intro and Who This Class is For


3 Groups for All Lighting Scenarios


My Progress in Lighting


Analyzing Circumstantial Lighting


Circumstantial Lighting Q & A


Using a Reflector the Right Way


5 Behaviors of Light: Overview and Angle


5 Behaviors of Light: Inverse Square Law of Light


5 Behaviors of Light: Relative Size


5 Behaviors of Light: Relative Size Continued


5 Behaviors of Light: Color


5 Behaviors of Light: Reflective Surfaces


5 Behaviors of Light: Q & A


Location SWOT Analysis and 10 Things to Look For


Location SWOT Analysis: Examples and Exercises


Overview Q & A




Speedlites: The Basics and TTL


Speedlites: Manual Flash


Speedlites: Zoom Flash


Speedlites: Zoom and Rotating Flash Head and Reflectors


Speedlites: First Curtain vs. Second Curtain Sync


Speedlites: High Speed Sync


Speedlites: Optical vs. Radio Systems


Speedlites: Groups and Channels


Location Lighting Upgrade Examples


Indoor Lighting: Building on Ambient Light


Outdoor Lighting : Speedlights in Direct Sunlight


Outdoor Lighting: Using Speedlites in Shade


Outdoor Lighting: Romantic Look and Patterns with Speedlites


Indoor Lighting: Creating a Window with Strobes and a Curtain


Indoor Lighting: Moody Light with Speedlites and Gels


Indoor Lighting: Reflective Surfaces


Indoor Lighting: Shooting Against a Window


Indoor Lighting: Adding a Reference Point and Ambience


Indoor Lighting: Shooting into a Mirror and Creating Separation




Why You Need to Learn to Get it Right In Camera


Location Photo Review and Analysis


Intro to Reception Lighting SWOT Analysis


Reception Lighting Setup


Image Critique: Lighting Problems and Solutions


Don't Limit Yourself As A Photographer


Lesson Info

Intro to Reception Lighting SWOT Analysis

Here we go. One of the most requested things that I have asked to teaching this class was roberto, can you please teach a little bit about reception lighting? If you're not a wedding photographer, this is still going to be really useful to you because it creates lighting techniques that you can utilize elsewhere if you are a wedding photographer or you should corporate events, this is going to be extremely helpful to you because there's some crazy little techniques that I use that have been very successful for me. Okay, so reception's you walk into a reception it's usually in some big hotel ballroom. It has some crazy little lights all over the place. It's got some plants it's got some flowers on you have the vendors, coordinators, florists obsessing over the photos of you going to take over every single square inch of that place on then they want the photos five seconds after you took them totally edited. Fantastic. Um, the problem is the people that ask for off the people that ask of...

f those photos of you people that ask for those photos are the people that refer to you the most, because if you have a great wedding coordinator, andi, you don't do the reception details or you don't do a good job at them. For example, I just did a wedding recently where I screwed up the details big time I didn't screw up big time I screwed up a little bit I made a big mistake I walked in on I use the same techniques I always use and I forgot to pay attention to the tables that table's we're hot on the cloth the tablecloth wass ah shiny linen it wasn't a flat line and there was a shiny linen well, I was under pressure I was going fast I totally messed up so I went in there I used my light to illuminate to illuminate the flower details because the flowers are so if on when I illuminate the flowers I forgot that the light spilled into the table on the table was a shiny linen and it just it's like hot spots in every table okay? And this is done two weeks ago like I just did this on the corner and I was like, oh my gosh, they're terrible's like oh god okay, I've had better thanks um lesson learned you gotta be you gotta take remember yesterday creative? Like I said, I'm gonna take a minute to just think I didn't do that when I walked into the reception because everybody was on me roberta we have fifteen minutes you have to take special fifteen minutes I was like ok, ok? And I'm running from the from the cocktail hour whatever I wass to the reception right I think when I got there I was like well run put lights here go go go and I just said you know what I know better than that I should have taken a minute I should have told the coordinator please be quiet for one minute I'll get to it I let me just think and then we look I forgot and I messed up so there you are fantastic these are the different parts of receptions you have reception details reception details requires a different skill set then grand entrance grand entrance requires tl flash whereas the reception details required no flash or or manual flash on you would have to have multiple of them I'll explain later uh first dances first dance requires a whole different skill set for example you zoom in the flasher to the maximum amount on you put your widest angle lens you have I mean maybe not officially but like a sixteen to thirty five put it at twenty four or sixteen zoom the flash and you get a beautiful spotlight on them and then the rest was just very gradually going to darkness that's a beautiful look I'm just gonna help a lot of speeches speeches people get stand in front of someone giving a speech and they think a photo with a flash on it just like bush right on their face nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with that but that's what everyone in the world gets so when you flip through the album reception lighting just looks flat it just looks like it's dead that makes sense and if your reception lighting looks like a nightclub when clients who are not photographers look at your album they'll be like wow, this looks amazing I was like, yeah let me show you what it looks like online like in the reception also not very good I always explain my lighting techniques to my clients for the reception lighting because that's where they put most of their money is on the reception so if you make the reception look like a million dollars you are going to get hired more than you think that is a very important thing to tell you and if you do a good job with reception details like I usually do except for that last wedding I just shot where I totally screwed up you're gonna be beloved by every vendor, okay? The next one is spontaneous group for us what happens when you're taking you have this light setups and then somebody comes here can you take a picture of us? I do that because people are drunk, right? So they're kind of slouching like this and I'm like yeah, you know what? I do it this is like, totally I shouldn't say this, but I'm gonna say it anyway um what I do with really annoying people um whenever they're like, really drunk and they're just like a mr photographer take a picture was like, oh, my goodness, I'm seriously going to right? Um, this is the best technique ever on ly a creative life he will get this kind of information ready when people are no your receptions say, can you think of can you can you take a picture? Yeah, man totally yeah, grab grab the test button. I'm just just flash him. Yeah, I didn't walk away, but you never took a picture. You see what I'm saying? And if they're really, really annoying for your flash on manual power full power on then push the test button and you will blind them for or fifteen minutes I went there when they're drunk. It is the coolest thing to see because they're drunk another blind so it's fantastic. So this is the sort of great techniques people learn a creative life. Okay, um I hope that doesn't come back and bite me later on. Okay, that last one is, uh, not the last one. Then you have spontaneous group photos, then you have dancing photos. How do you make that look good. And trust me that's the that's the one where people really messed up, I really don't think it's you use you should never use a flash on your camera when you're doing dancing just looks flat he looks terrible, okay? You people are gonna look at your arms is gonna be like this is the most boring thing ever ok um and the next one is cake cutting photos how do you do the cake cutting on? How do you do that quickly? Because they're like okay, we're going to go get the cake and you have five seconds to like go from there to the cutting of the cake so I'll show you a quick technique that takes you about two seconds to make it happen. The next one is the bouquet toss. Okay, this is really important because you want to go toe to toe like you want to do multiple flashes your flash cannot fail so that technique iss you gonna raise the ice so toe double what he used to be on then the flashes toe work very little so he could recycle faster. That makes sense what people do like my second shooters like roberto, I only got one picture with you like that was like, well, what? Let me see you miss your camera settings and it's like I s o four hundred I'm like do your flash has to work so hard to reach all the way there come back because that's on tl flash that bouquet tossed on and I have four hundred the little batteries are just not going to recycle enough so I said you should have shot that like a sixteen hundred eso and then your flash is working at a fraction off what he had to it will never make it would be like to toe toe toe toe, toe toe toe toe toe it will be perfect okay this is reception details this is reception details dawn properly you see how the flowers are illuminated well that comes from every single a lot of receptions have little candles that go around always put the candles not in the middle of them here you gotta grab these candles and you separate them a little bit from where the people put them just enough to illuminate the flower petals from the outside so what a lot of times people people put the poor they put the flowers and the candles are like right next to the poor well if you if you want to use the natural light that's there you have to use the natural I properly in other words that kind of have to be spread so the flowers get illuminated now the florist loves you because the flowers look good I now the wedding coordinator loves you too because you didn't have to put a big flash on the flowers killing the linen tables which is what I did my mistake that I did last weekend or two weeks ago um uh big mistake and declining to really good um you know, it's funny people expect a lot for me all the time and sometimes people just forget you know look, I'm just a person man like I'm making mistakes all the time I'm opposing expert supposedly I probably make one or two mistakes on every single post I do every single post ideo I see something wrong with it you know and that's okay you're a photographer, you're not supposed to be some sort of like never make a mistake person you know, whatever but so that's kind of one thing I'm going to show you something needs to do that my my suggestion for this kind of lighting is that you talk to the coordinator and you work out where the lighting from the venue is going to be pointed at you want to make sure that the tables are being illuminated properly if they're not it's going to cause you more trouble than it's worth so it's better to call the court and say where's the lighting happening? How is that there was going to be? How are the table's going to be illuminated? Are there going to be candles under the tables asked these questions if you don't you show up there's one table's let the other tables not let one tables in complete darkness one table's blown out by the light it's like right nex it's the way you gonna discuss this? Um if you have to use flash use manual flash put it at the lowest power possible. Use a couple of flashes and set them up on dh just barely kiss the light just a little case of light. Don't be used to flash on reception details like blast everything reception details should almost be taken without artificial lighting but you have to work out with venu. How that's going to be lit? Okay, if you have purple lighting yellow lighting orange lighting blue lighting you want to keep the integrity of that lighting because that's what the bride and groom wanted so you have to be careful with that here's the here's, the grand entrance grand entrance this is the way for a crafty norris she's lit well, but the background is kind of going out is going to go in darker, same technique as the first dance zoom the flash head soon the flash head on in the rest goes into a very gentle darkness in in the outside, the key to this is they're walking towards you so you have to flash you have to use tl flash for this. Okay, um give me one second there's one more thing you want to make your flash your flashes going to think if you point tl flash to the groom it's going to think that everything is very dark you're going to get a very bright exposure here's the main key to this play attention to this one. Um, can I borrow you guys? Uh maybe tyler. Rachel actually not rachel. Amanda, can I borrow you for a second in tyler? Stand right here for me. It happens, you know, in l a it happens all the time. Okay. Stand next to each other or quick and face this way. Okay, hold her hand when you're walking past the granite and that's the grand entrance, right? T t l remember how to teal works. The whole reception is moody, right? It is moody if you point you have to make a decision. Do you want to point your meter so the black tuxedo or do you wanna point your meter to the white dress? You make a decision? If you point a meter to your white to the white dress, then you know that the camera's going to think there's plenty of light I'm going to go lower. I don't need to go crazy and then you can say, no, I actually need you to compensate for that and go brighter. Okay, a few point, if you decide you know what? I'm just gonna focus on the groom on the tuxedo that camera's going to think it's quite dark I'm going to blast you with light because I need to eighteen percent gray and that's when you told the flash power it down so you have a little bun called flash exposure compensation if you decide to go with the groom you tone it down if you just had to focus the meter on the pride you turned that flash exposure compensation up on you only do it by three quarters of a stop don't go one stop don't go too stops is gonna be too much to fix later that's going to give you the best the best options okay so white or the black shirt make a decision put it on t t l can anybody tell me why details the best choice for this mark because they're moving and the flash power if you are on manual is it won't you won't have time to adjust for the distance and they're going to get brighter as they come closer to the camera because in manual distance affects the power right so in tl distance doesn't affect the power so if they're go ahead and walk towards me you're going to toom toom toom to its exposing perfectly every single time that's why you do it thank you guys yes where is your flash for this on my camera on your camera thank you for asking that I totally forgot to mention that this is on camera flash on I usually have I actually for this I usually keep it just a flash by itself okay, but the key is the key is this flash air is very much it's like this okay on dh sometimes I go a little bit like that but I don't like it direct okay, I know that there's two stops there's this forty five I what ninety one eighty but I do this but sometimes there's just not enough that zone feature what worked well, if it's pointed towards the roof so I just kind of go like that any kind of stays onto me this works and if it doesn't just put it on I didn't just do it that way. Okay? Is that no situation where you might want your I sew up a little bit more if there's a bunch of pictures you want, you don't want your exactly you want to change your eyes so if you have to the rapid fire with your flash andi, you also have to remember if you assume the flash two hundred millimeters or whatever the maximum is for your flash it's going to be quite hard on the bride and groom so you may want to compensate for that as well so if you raise the so too much and you have a really bright spot and you try to correct it with high, so you're introducing a lot of noise so you have to be kind of careful with that. I'm ill opinion. What I do is I usually, if I do in the if I zoom in the flash to two hundred, which are usually, too I toned, I turned the flash exposure compensation down, uh, instead of trying to get a perfect exposure, I tried to go a little bit darker than perfect, because that way I'm not going crazy with my s. Oh, my flashes, it's very hard because, like a little laser beam vacating the breading room, um, and then I can actually adjusted later. You do. I do what you do have to adjust quite a bit in receptions, okay?

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

10 Elements to Look For at a Location

Ratings and Reviews


Im sitting in my office listening to Roberto with my earplugs on and I know I have already left 2 reviews but he's so funny…. my family comes into the office asking me "whats so funny" Roberto makes me laugh out loud with his jokes but at the same time, he is SO great at teaching. Im watching for second time to make sure all his good info is ingrained. HIGHLY recommend you take his workshop on Picture Perfect Lighting if you truly want to take your photography to the next level! WOW thats 3 reviews now…can you tell I am impressed

Maureen T.

I'm taking a portrait photography course at NYIP online. one of the mentors there recommended the posing book by Roberto. I ended up ordering at the library the posing and the perfect practice book. I fell in love with both books...ended up buying them and signing up here for the year membership just so I can take all of his photos courses. I spent most of my weekend doing perfect lighting course here I am in love with the way that he teaches! He makes something so difficult and challenging for me make sense. I also like that he challenges us photographers to be true professionals. I am thrilled to have discovered Roberto and already noticed my photography is better in the short time that I've been studying him.


Roberto has the personaliyy and gift to relate to others.He is honest and shared some of rhe disaters that occurred, even with high paying and important clients when he failed to follow his proven and tested approaches. He has shared from his extensive knowledge developed by hard work and effort to master his craft. His dedication in attacking his weaknesses and making them a strength is inspiring. I have purchased many CL classes and all have worth the investment so I hesitated to purchase this course because I didn't think there was much new information. However the clear teaching and extensive knowledge shared by Roberto in his unique style caused me to purchase it gladly and believe it is an exceptional value. Roberto has shared his extensive tools, but you will never be the master of the craft without putting in the hard work and testing that roberto testified to. Thanks again CL for bringing the best to us and Thank you Roberto for taking the time and preparation to achive excellance in in this class.

Student Work