The Wedding Story: Capture Creative and Authentic Photos

Lesson 24/56 - On-camera Flash For The Dance Floor


The Wedding Story: Capture Creative and Authentic Photos


Lesson Info

On-camera Flash For The Dance Floor

So, on-camera flash, that is right now, saying we're not set in our ways, maybe later this year or next year we'll be using off-camera flash, but right now the only way that we use our flash is on camera. And the only time that we really use it is on the dance floor at the reception. What that allows us to do is really freeze our subject while also capturing the light in the background. So, a few important points here. The first one is in terms of exposure, what we do is we get a proper exposure of the background, underexpose it by a stop or two, and then not really touch our exposure. The exposure, it doesn't matter what combination it is, is there to really control the ambient light in the background. If your subject is too bright or too dark, changing the exposure's not going to change anything, or it will, but not in the right way. So, leave your exposure for the background, and if your subject is too bright or too dark, adjust the intensity of the flash, because the subject, like ...

in this photo, is lit up by the flash. So if they're too bright, lower the intensity of the flash. Do not touch the exposure. So does that make sense? Exposure basically is settings on your camera. It's for your environment. Your flash is for your subjects. Yep, and then in terms of how we use the flash itself, well, we want to make sure that we give it the best direction possible. So in a photo like this, we would tilt it right and tilt it backwards. More often than not it's going to be tilted one side or the other. What that does is it sends the light in one direction and then comes back with direction. As opposed to having it straight up where it goes straight up and comes straight back down, creates not the most flattering light on the face. And also, doesn't give the same dimension to the light itself. So you can see in this photo that it's coming from the right. 'Cause the light on her arm and on her face, the light on the back of her arm is a little bit darker than on her forearm. So, we know that it's coming in through here. And so we bounce it in as many situations as possible, even if the ceiling is high or even if it's dark. It's just a matter of giving a little bit more power to the flash so that it does reach the ceiling and comes back down. We also really like it because it's so simple and it stays true to our documentary approach, and we can just stay focused on the moment, and keep telling the story as it unfolds without needing to fiddle around with any kind of setting and just keeping it very, very simple for ourselves. Yeah, what's great is when something like this happens in a split second, this is a Greek wedding, I'm sure you recognize the plates. Everyone's crowded around them, around this guest, so your light follows you, follows the camera, and that's really key for us is that it allows us to not miss moments because our light is always coming with us. So I know what you're thinking. What if there's no ceiling? (laughs) Not my first time. So, I mean in this case, this is a tiny backyard wedding. I bounced the light directly behind me off of the garage door. So, yeah so in this case it was just bounced on the garage door behind me, and again it allows me to, the split second thing that happens, I'm not fiddling around with an off-camera light. My light is coming with me. It's consistent. It's firing off every time I shoot. So, yeah. Again, giving that direction, same ideas as on the garage door, really sending the light to the far left of the frame, and letting it come back with that same direction. It creates almost like this natural light. Obviously, it's not as well-balanced in the raw file. The speaker might be a little bit brighter, there might be more light on the mother and the father who are having their moment, but in post-production we really even things out and make sure that we dictate where the viewer looks at the photo, and that there's the most light on the bride and groom and then it kinda slowly dissipates on the other subjects. You know, post-production can save you to a certain extent, or help you, but it's important to not just be like, I'll fix this in post, especially when it comes to lighting like this. So, while Daniel was saying that things can be brought down and brought back, you don't want it to be too extreme. And if the flash is pointed this way, and the speaker's completely blown out, obviously, that's too far gone. We can't make that look natural afterwards. All right. Sorry, this is the, what I wanted to say, right? In situations where there's absolutely no ceiling or a garage door to bounce the flash off of, it's really open air, what we do is we rely on the little foot card that comes out of the flash. Make sure that the diffuser stays tucked in. We put the white card back about halfway, and then click it one notch forward. I can't give you the technical explanation for this, but from trial and error, we know that this works. It gives us this kind of quality of light, which is a little bit harsher than a bounce flash, but it's still in the right ballpark for the way that we like our images to look. And again, stays in line with our very simple approach of just documenting and making sure that the lighting is very simple. It doesn't look quite as good when it comes out straight out of the camera, but in post-production we darken the edges a little bit more and make sure that the light is well-balanced on the subject. I think what's really important is that you just have enough light on their faces. So, you don't want to be pushing that in post too much, but you also don't want it to be too blown out. So just finding that happy place for the lighting on their faces, and then that's a good place to go from there.

Class Description

Wedding Photography is a hard and sometimes exhausting business. Finding ways to stay creative while continuing to capture timeless and classic imagery is important. Drawing from their own life experiences, Davina and Daniel Kudish capture the subtle nuances of their client's life stories at every wedding. In this course, they’ll discuss techniques to personalize each individual wedding to capture the stories and moments that make each couple unique.

They’ll discuss the formula to capturing stories and teach:

  • Pre-Wedding Conversation techniques with clients to help build your shot list
  • Utilize what you know about each couple to help approach capturing the day
  • Research and location scouting techniques
  • Capture the details that matter most
  • How to work with various lighting situations
  • Preserve the mood and capture natural moments
  • Composition and Framing
  • Shooting with variety
  • Create personal and creative portraits
  • Edit a slideshow and how to create an album

Davina and Daniel are known for capturing creative portraits and important moments that tell every unique love story. Join them to learn how to implement their formula to find and capture the creative story with every client.


1Class Introduction 2What Are "Epic" Images? 3The Slideshow Formula 4First Client Meeting 5Establish Client Relationship 6Expectation vs Preparation 7Pre-Wedding Checklist 8Gear for Photographing Weddings 9Capture The Subtleties 10Show The Connection 11Importance of Capturing Transitions 12Sidelines & Story Telling Details 13Anticipation & Patience 14Let The Scene Develop 15Sequencing in Numbers 16Successful "Anticipatience" 17Examples of Poor Reaction Time 18HTCG in 10 19Giving Direction 20Have Variety With Light & Composition 21Capture The Mood 22Take Advantage of Natural Light 23Be Creative With Video Light 24On-camera Flash For The Dance Floor 25Find Flattering Ambient Light 26Don't be Afraid of Tough Light 27Composition & Framing 28Lens Choice 29Keep it Simple 30Purpose of the Creative Portrait 31Scouting for the Creative Portrait 32Maximize a Location 33Unique Posing for a Creative Portrait 34Experiment with Your Photography 35Make The Image Personal 36Post Production Overview 37Stay Organized in Post Production 38Full Gallery Edits 39Lightroom Workflow Overview 40Bring Out Detail in Lightroom 41Black & White in Lightroom 42Landscape Images in Lightroom 43Bold Images in Lightroom 44Slideshow Edits 45Importance of The Slideshow 46Selecting Slideshow Images For a Large Wedding 47Culling Slideshow Images for a Large Wedding 48Complete Slideshow Example for a Large Wedding 49Slideshow Images for a Small Wedding 50Complete Slideshow Example for a Small Wedding 51Build a Business Around Storytelling 52Portfolio for Clients 53Importance of The Inquiry Reply 54Price List Best Practices 55How to Price Your Work 56Final Thoughts


a Creativelive Student

Holy Moly! I have been very familiar with Davina & Daniel for several years and I also work closely with Image Salon for the past 3 years. I loved their relatability, raw honesty, human connection, and their teaching method. It was also super helpful to see the GoPro footage on a real wedding day and walk through their thought process with them. A refreshing wind of inspiration has now flooded my mind and attitude. I am excited to begin my 8th year of weddings with a clear mind and full heart. These two are the REAL deal and I am so happy I made this investment. Thanks, CL for always bringing the BEST of the BEST.

a Creativelive Student

I’ve been following Davina and Daniel’s work for years and suffice it to say, they are in my top 6 all time favorites. I was so excited to watch this creative live and it didn’t disappoint. From their approach to shooting through the moments, to their stunning locales and minimalist gear, there is something for everyone in this class. Both Daniel and Davina have a tremendous knowledge of photography and their willingness to share and educate is second to none. Oh, and just so you know, they are also the nicest people on the planet. Super sweet, amazingly talented. Thanks for having them on.

a Creativelive Student

Davina and Daniel are fantastic presenters as well as an exceptional photo team (plus they are super nice people, too!). I love their approach and methods and felt like there is so much value in this course. Even though I've been photographing for a long time, I took away a lot of great value gems from their course and look forward to applying several to my own business!