Reception Lighting

 

Wedding Photography Weekend

 

Lesson Info

Reception Lighting

so jodi and I are appearing our reception makeover room we're going to be doing some images obviously this isn't a full reception but we're going to sort of demonstrate some of the key lighting things that we need to do in order to capture one the details of the day which obviously are super important and to the content that's happening the first dance is the toasts the cake cutting all these really really critical things that are going on that we need teo not just capture but we want to make sure we can see them great and they're lit dynamically and beautifully so it really shows off how awesome their reception is and I know when we first started out on a lot of photographers always like reception landing is the hardest thing to do and they have this beautiful room you take pictures and looks like they're standing in a black hole you know or like there's like barely enough light to see anything that's going on so we want to show everybody how can we fix that problem that's obviously a...

massive problem and jody and I've devised another another system it's very similar to the way that we do our portrait's but we do it without a light meter we do it all in the camorra us we're going to show you guys how to get foolproof portrait's thatyou're going toe be able to edit the entire reception very quickly and also captured dynamic images while you're at it so so there's a few different lighting techniques that you can do it a wedding so we're gonna kind of list out the different options of the things that you do so the first one is e t t l bounce flash e t t l is elektronik through the lens and like we talked about that is more of an auto mode so we want to avoid that as much as possible but occasionally when we're running to get a grab shot you know as the mom is like laughing with someone you know a little switch it to e t t l really quick because for the most part we're set to manual but we'll get the rest of way have tol that is one option then we have the manual bounce flash this is you know flashes on our camera we're bouncing in some direction on dh that's more the preferred method that jody and I use so that's another option then we also have manual off camera flash so this is another great option if we want something even more dynamic when it's on the camera's on the flashes on your camera who when the flashes on your camera there's only so many things you can do I can point out someone or I could bounce it off the wall and the ceiling or the floor maybe but when as soon as you move it off camera you have a lot more options and a lot more dynamic possibilities ah the next thing that we've used a different times is the video light a video light is great because sometimes you're in reception areas and it's so dark you can't even focus or people are exiting and they're like I have a great idea and they tell you as a photographer we're going to blow bubbles at pitch black at midnight when we leave and there's gonna be nowhere to bounce light and we're gonna walk out and you're not going to see our faces people going that sounds awesome doesn't it you're like yeah that sounds easy to photograph um some video light is great because that adds constant light allows us to focus also can act as a great fill light on we've used it a different situations even for portrait sometimes it's a great light wait we also like to do for fun as we had some additional kicker light so those are lights in the background that air shooting toward the camera or shooting from the side giving a nice highlight on the edge yeah and kicker lights are great because it adds that extra bit of sparkle that extra bit of dynamic nous especially to a really poorly lit reception this is like goto we're using background kicker lights because even if they're in a pitch black hole if I put a light on the front and I have a light bursting in the background it's gonna be way more dynamic than just having them standing in that black hole so there's essentially two different options of shooting your flash kind of like we had on you can use manual and we use this about ninety percent of the time and we're in the reception and we're using this one we're in one certain area so we have our exposures we have everything set for oftentimes the dance floor yeah so shooting manual is definitely key because again we get consistency and when you're editing as you all know you get to one image and it's bright the next images dark the next image is correct and you have three adjustments to make and when we edit reception stuff it probably takes me the least amount out of everything we edit because I'm shooting one hundred percent manual flash most are ninety percent manual flash and all my exposures are very consistent when I'm really do spending the most time is deciding which photos I don't want it which crazy dancing photos don't they need and then just applying one action all those images and they get edited really quickly again e t t l is the devil it's scary it's horrifying but well we usually use it for like jodie meant mentioned is quick candid shots if I'm set up for an exposure here in the center of the dance floor and everything's looking perfect and mom's around the corner by the bathroom down the hallway tearing up because her baby's leaving with this guy and she's never going to see him again or you know whatever and we run around the corner it's completely different lighting situation I don't necessarily have time to go let me balance the manual flash and it just check my history graham you need to switch toe e t t l auto mode and grab that moment make sure you get that moment so we will switch to detail for those kind of fast fast moments so whenever we're shooting reception shots were looking for the same thing that we're doing we're doing stroke shots or even natural it shots were looking for a subject to be a little bit brighter than the background so hear two shots that we have this is jake and meritus wedding there a little bit brighter and then what's going on the background because the attention is on the the great thing about this is you look at this image is actually one of the toughest reception spots to shoot into nashville they always light it horribly it's uh usually they have this really bright dance floor in the backgrounds to dark which is really hard to work with and as you can see we've got a video light kicking in and a kicker light on the other side we've got this great bounce flash lighting them up and it's dynamic it's full of life you can see everything you can see their friends kind of peering and the bride's maids looking in the background you can see the video guy over here with this camera coming around the side and it's this is exactly what we want this is exactly what we want to see for reception lighting so here's a reception detail shot we the cake is the focus in the shot and it is a bit brighter than the background and as you can see you know we're simply this is off camera flash and how dynamic could be especially if they have it and this is the opposite of last place this place lights up beautifully you know they have all these gobo is that shooting on against the wall is that lighting company actually came into a little the the centerpieces individually which is very rare you know you only see this that like really expensive weddings or people that care a lot about lighting which usually there's not a lot of those people so you can get super dynamic shots in this case just by adding one life that's all we did for this is that one life to the front of the cake to get that beautiful image all right so now we're gonna talk through our practical how to sew reception lighting how to the first thing what we want to dio it's simply under exposed the ambient light by one stop and we did this outside we went if we have a background and the reason that we do this this particular system at receptions is because we could use a light meter but the problem is as you can even see sitting in this room and even if the cameras happened in which they will pan around more later we've got some lights like you were having a reception shooting up the wall I am those lights shooting on the wall aren't really pushing much light over here so the difference between the exposure here from just sort of this light bouncing everywhere and those lights on the wall is vastly different we have tons of light blasting against these walls and it's probably three or four times darker right here on my face so if I meet her for my face to seventy percent I'd have a good light exposure with my my flash it but the background probably me way too bright way over exposed so what jodi and I want to do instead is use are in camera meter to give us a general room exposure bring that empire room export her down a little bit and then fill in with flash so this is how we do it so we start by under exposing the ambient light by one stop so we're putting our camp where pointing our camera towards room often we have a wider lens onto grab a variety of the room you know focuses just on this part with up lighting it'll be brighter than this part with just a little bit darker so we're pointing our wider lens up the whole room and here's some of the steps were taken were shooting on manual on our camera the entire night even if we're on an auto flash mode the camera's still on manual because if the camera's on auto and the flashes on auto at a reception with this really weird dark lighting anybody that's ever tried that knows the camera like you'll take one picture and it'll be like a ten second long exposure you'll take another picture and it's it's just wild cameron was crazy so the cameras on manual we're probably using very wide apertures because it's dark and we're probably using higher esos because it's dark typically when we're shooting a reception about as bright is it as it is in here were probably half to eight or f two o or maybe even wider aperture and s o eight hundred maybe sixteen hundred sometimes even higher depending on how dark that a particular situation is so we're shooting and manual and we're just in all of our camera settings to give and under give us an under expose shot so you're in camera meter is gonna look like this gonna be minus one minus one stop so usually I'll put on a twenty four to seventy lens and say uh and kind of my go to places if I'm at a reception and we have like a dance floor like a lot of exceptions do and we have you know some hopefully some lighting on the wall and some you know the tables air out in this way and then maybe the band of the deejay is like behind me I'll usually stand with the dj of the band to my back because nobody cares about the man or d j to be in their photos they want their family and friends and their images I wanna shoot back into the crowd so I'm gonna stand kind of in that position with my back to the deejay or my back to the band point my camera back towards the entire room at about twenty form millimetres and get a general exposure of that room and under exposed by about one stop and then we're going to sort of take the process from there and fill in whatever darkness is now on the dance floor with our flash so when we taken image we're checking the history and we're not looking at the screen member of the screen is not your friend it lies to you all time so we're looking at the history graham and history graham is gonna look something like this when you're a little bit under exposed for cannon under exposure is the camera left as we're looking at the screen here over explosions the camera right nikon sometimes that's reverse to make sure you know which way that goes on your camera but most of the exposure as you can see is to the far left here it's not so far left and it's shooting up that wall that would mean there was no detail whatsoever but most of it is to the far left so that means we're a bit underexposed just what we want if you took a picture and there was like a black line just shooting up the left wall that would be too dark we don't want to open up the aperture or slow down the shutter speed a little bit all right so now we manually power are flash up or down until the correct exposure is achieved yes so you've got that room under exposed by one stop we manly power the flash up or down until we get a correct exposure so what do you mean by that so what I'll do is say I'm in a great reception spot right and bounce flash anybody want to guess what some good technique for bouncing flash is just what we were doing earlier is where we want the flash to come in so what we don't want to do and actually having my camera really fast all right so I've got my flash on the cameras you can see here I've got my little trigger on the side so I can shoot a background life but don't worry about that right now we're just focusing on the flash so I've got my flash right here and there's obviously those different options of filling in the flash turning this flash up on manual until we get a direct exposure on her subjects if I was photographing chris who's sitting straight in front of me I could point to flash right adam but that's probably going to be the most unpleasant lining him all the time we call that paparazzi lighting you know which can look cool and there's actually a guy parker pfister who doesn't paparazzi photography with flash it reception's looks awesome most people can't pull that off because they're not a school's parker so don't try it um the other option which I see a lot of tigers do is kind of this action pointed straight up and bounce not the scene because we get this big you know so we got a big soft ceiling and it brings all this big soft light down but what's gonna happen is that the direction of light we want right down on top of our heads no so instead what we want to do never notice these things sort of have these clicks when they go click into certain spots and notice it's like forty five degrees thirty degrees straight on so the reason they do that because this would be loop lighting so if I was going to shoot chris bouncing off the ceiling is gonna go up just to the side and about thirty degrees forty five degree angle which means it's going to come back just above the center of his eyes and it's gonna light highlight shadow oh cool I click it again those two forty five degrees so it's going to go up forty five degree angle and it's set at a forty five degree angle it's gonna come back down and it's got a forty five degree like him it's going to look perfect some people do sort of do this like uh shooting it straight off the wall which can look really cool because you get a very nice side light but a lot of times that light's coming in too low so we end up shooting a shadow straight across the nose and ifyou're ratios are off it's going to make somebody's nose look really wide not cool so I prefer to do it at this forty five degree angle so actually comes in at a correct lighting pattern which is very important but sometimes this does look correct if your balance with light right so if I was going to shoot chris he's a guy I wanted to look cool someone a forty five degree lightem I'd set the room for one stop under I turned my flash onto manual and now I would start powering up the flash so this is what the exposure looked like on my camera that history graham pre pre flash now that we start powering up the flash should start doing something like this and you know when that history graham starts to move the only reason that moving is because we're adding flash to our subjects phase so once that line gets right to the edge once we push and it's best to look at the red green and blue channels on your instagram watch the red channel once the red channel which looks just like this gets right to the edge and touches that wall just barely touches it the exposure is dead on nailed so perfect ten times when we're testing this out one of us will run on the dance floor and the other person will shoot a subject they're so we can get the correct reading do we want a demo this really fast okay so let's let's demo what using anyone anyone volunteer get up here now so we're gonna demo this really fast and I'm gonna sort of do it we'll do a generic version of this you can stand right there what I'm gonna do and what kind of hopefully the camera can see and I'll show it to the camera so I'm going to do is first I'm using a fifty millimeter lens right now I'm not s o four hundred at f to a one one hundredth of a second that's just where my camera happens to be I'm going to sort of point it in the background and we got our awesome camera guy back here look at you sexy beast yeah you know I'm talking to some sort of pointing and back here because this is where most of the background light is there isn't much light on our subjects face but there's quite a lot of light back there so I want to make sure that's not completely blown out because your eyes going to go to the brightest part of the image and we don't want the background to be overly bright so I'm pointing it back there and I'm adjusting my shutter speed a little bit toe one yet one one hundredth of a second I'm going to take a quick image and I'm gonna check my history graham and bada bing when you know as you can see in one show to the students and under the camera see how it's a bit under exposes not way under exposed but it's been under stress which camera should I show you this guy can you see that so the background is just a little bit under exposed just like we want got it cool so now all I have to do is power my flash we happen to have a ceiling in here that's white so I can bounce out this ceiling so I'm going to start at one eight if power on manual and now I'm just gonna taken image look at my history graham not look at the picture of her I'm gonna look at the history graham and watch it move up and up and up and up so here we go my dear looking amazing yes waken tether it great idea great I need ten things not about idea you want to read off your camera settings that you were at when you were getting the minus one stop yep one one hundredth of a second and listen to and I s o four hundred possums were tethering up here so you guys at home can see it very clearly and I'll actually take another shot with the flash off so you guys can see how the background and if nico down there if you can make sure that the history graham is showing in the development module the right panel that would be even better I'm gonna still waiting for the camera connect here so give us a second laura ji is asking what metering motor using I'm on evaluative always on evaluative which is just sort of a general reading of about sixty percent of the center I believe so I always leave it on about if it was on spot then it would really throw it off because especially the reception there can be one spot that's super dark in one spot that's ten times brighter so I want general meade oring so whatever that is for a nikon I don't know in general meandering as you want on that take matrix meeting okay so we're gonna take another test shot by n camera meter right now says I'm not about one stop underexposed some snapping a picture for you guys to see and hopefully they go to the er well look att says you guys can see take a look at the history graham it's actually a little bit bright because you're noticing there's some highlights and that's coming from that light on the ground on the bottom right but overall most of the room is just a little bit too dark right so now we're going to turn the flash on and fill in the difference actually spend my shutter speed from eighty if now to one hundred just attained that background just a little bit more and now we're going to take another shot oh my gosh you look so gorgeous so now there's the first image and check out the history graham watch the history graham shift boom notice the red channel went up but it's not to the edge and the reason I say push it to the edge is because now I'm shooting at s o four hundred he may be an eight hundred or sixteen hundred and we want to avoid noise because the noise obviously doesn't look good in digital photography and the noises in the shadows so if we purposefully overexposed just a teeny teeny bit I'm talking a tenth of a stop then when we bring the exposure down a tenth of a stop and postproduction the noise in the shadows gets reduced if you shoot too dark and brighten your image the noise goes hi I'm ugly and gross look at me second so now I notice I've got a little bit maybe two thirds of the stop I can open up so I'm gonna go to clicks on my manual flash here which is going to be two thirds of a stop we're going to take another amazing image of you smiling oh my gosh and now we're going to see that red channel should go right almost a peking very very close and the one on here is showing a little bit different accuracy than on here on my camera it says red channel is right pushed to the edge let's take one more really quick awesomeness and I think that looks absolutely fantastic that's just what we want so we've got obviously and take a look at the brightness look at the light in her eyes we've got uh catch what time is that twelve one two about two o'clock light in her eyes which is perfect catch light we've got that nice little loop shadow under her nose which means the light's falling exactly how it should say I could do sort of this bounce straight off the wall let's see what happens when I do that we're going to get some light coming in and creating these sort of funky shadows on her face you see that we don't want that not nearly as pleasing as let's go back to where we were straight up and down to yeah we'll do a straight up announced let's go back to where we were that's much better now let's do one where bounces straight off the ceiling awesome so we go straight up the ceiling you're gonna see it's going to come straight down on her head and I may have blown her face out just a little bit there what do you use that orange filter to yes yes yeah and you can see right there look at the shadow under her nose is now hitting her lip making it look almost like she has a little mustache that we don't want that we're gonna go back go back for one more shot awesome of the way it should be bouncing off that wall looks fantastic while we're here do you want to put the orange jolan and then we can show how the background went out and hear the words light we have isn't overly so I kind of don't mind the way it looks like this but if I wanted to tame it down I could put my cto filter on now I'm going to switch over to tungsten white balance and you're going to see how all of this light gets neutralized so there's a shot on tungsten white balance and you're going to see in this next image how all that orange is gonna come right out and neutralize all that color for us so now now if you look at that and go well it looks a little cold or a little warm you khun slightly warm and cool it later in post production but now you have sort of that neutral blanket toe work with which works really really awesome thank you thank you have a beautiful job s so hard standing there looking amazing chris questions what if you don't have ceiling earlier you shooting in a gym and great question and we're going to answer that okay so what we want to avoid so we're looking for history ram you know like this is when you part of the plan ash up more there we go back to the way back to the power points are and what we want to avoid is the history ram spiking to the right side that means we're have things in that shot that are blown out which means whatever the flash is outputting yeah so watch watch for this anything that hits that wall is overexposing there's zero detail in it and also watch your bling keys that's the immediate indicator if you see anything flashing on someone's face that means warning over exposed my face detail is gone ok so like we mentioned we kind of talked about this but us so we're gonna talk about you know just cover bounce wish zack hit on a lot of the great point so if you're fortunate being in an area where you can bounce your flash on like this or a white tent which is awesome than some good things to keep in mind is the angle of light just zach talked about we want a nice lighting portrait style that's flattering to r peace that we're shooting you also want to keep a relative distance usually we're not in a space like this that's so small usually in a much bigger reception hall for the most part so if I am standing by the deejay he's probably ten feet from the wall which means on fifteen feet from the wall so if I stay within fifteen or eighteen or twenty feet of that wall remember lighting close gets dark fast so if the light is traveling very far up to that big wall and coming back I have a little bit of leeway in room to move around and so today and the exposure will stay relatively the same if I'm very close to a wall like if I was just now photographing these kind of demo shot I moved back one step and half the distance to the wall that I wass my flash is going to get way stronger and overpower your face in the next shot so you have to keep that relative working distance toe whatever you're bouncing light off otherwise your exposure is going to change dramatically because remember flashes on manual not on e t t l so it's not thinking for itself it's just about putting the same model light so if we move closer further away it's going to change which is good and can be bad but it's mostly good so you also want to just keep an eye on history and just make sure that you're that's bacon out so here's some demo images again you know we happened to be in a white tent so we can bounce flash on we'll talk about the angle to bounce with two people because one person it's easy to highlight shadow with two people dancing it's very it's a lot more difficult not cast a shadow on the other person so we tend a life more straight on as you can see we've got our under exposure of the background we've got are a couple as the focal point and it creates a really beautiful image of their first hands here is just another example father daughter dan's we're bouncing that light and it's coming on them piece of cake same thing here I love this image from meredith and jakes wedding um you know we're shooting the toast we got a nice background light firing in which adds a lot of drama we're bouncing some light off the ceiling coming back and letting the two of them and we get capturing this beautiful moment too in this beautiful expression and now I have marking kelsey and they're cutting their cake so we're doing the same thing just bounce in the flesh and that's something that we want to be careful of is we don't want the flash tio come this bounce this way and then hit the cake first and then we have our cake that's blown out and then it goes on to the couple we want a position and focus the light in such a way that it comes out and doesn't really necessarily splash on the cake in it works but is that bad boy and sort of a good rule of thumb to when you're bouncing flash around and like maybe there's six people sitting at a table right here and dad's giving a toast on this side and you want to photograph these people or dad's over here giving a toast and you're photographing him and he's looking over at the crowd this way usually a good rule of thumb is if you can whatever direction people are looking in in your camera so if you're looking in the camera and you know I'm going to take a photo of chris and he's looking that way I probably want to bounce my flash that way because it's going to short light him it's going to bring the light back in highlight a sliver and hide the rest and everyone looks beautiful that way and guys is going to make them look kind of tough masculine when it's going to slug arise them so that's a good rule of thumb sometimes on somebody's cutting a cake like this there's not enough room to bounce it behind them so in this case they're both looking the camera left right so ideally we would want to bounce the light off the left wall and then bring it back in and highlight the cake and highlight the side of their faces but sometimes they're too close to a wall and you can't get bounce it in there without seeing that flashing your shot bouncing off the wall so you'd have to come in on this side then and broad light like in this like in this particular image centers were shooting and they were also looking to get details so often times zack and I will chat with each other and you know I'll probably more than likely I'm always almost twenty four to seventy so we'll get wide shots and then also zoom in and get kind of moments that are happening as well yes beautiful now what's that like kinda stuff looks great an album as kind of a side image next oh you know a storytelling image next to sort of the main image and then stuff like this we do this a lot with bounce flash let's grab the reflectors show people shooting the rings and stuff can be tricky because sometimes there's a couple of interesting factors going on when you're shooting rings and one is you need a lot of light you needed hopefully a macro lens we usually issue with a macro lens we can get very close like this and what jody and I will do is whenever you're shooting and rumor um focuses relative so it's really tough to shoot rings and have anything and focus it correct to point eight so if you're filling the frame like this with something very tiny from the front of the ring to the back of the ring is infinity distance it's like shooting someone in the foreground of mountains in the background right it's very very far distance in relative nous because you're so close so close and the closer you get the more shallow depth of field gets so we actually shoot stuff like this and like f eight eleven we want a ton of death because if you if you ever talk to a guy that shoots product photography from my friend emine baynes also does that and he'll shoot a ring like this at f eleven sixteen slices to get it all in focus at eleven so this is your focus the part right they focus and she's a focus and shoot focus and shoots sixteen times or eleven times and splice them all together to get those like zale's commercials that's how they do some of that stuff to get everything in focus so we're shooting at f eleven just trying to get a sliver of it and focus because you get ever get home from the wedding and you're like none of my ring shots aeryn focus they all are out of focus shoot him at the high apertures like that so when you're shooting at a high aperture eso alison needs to go through the roof and if you're bouncing off the ceiling your flashes going if you and I can't keep up so a trick that knew it and I do is this we open up the elector of forty two inch reflect we always have it handy and if I was standing right here and the rings were sitting right here and I was going to photograph him I would spend my flash round like this I'd you know crack this open toe like half eleven I don't worry about ambient light I don't care about ami like this is just one life and because it's one light that's so big and so close it's goingto act is its own fill light because it's very soft very uh shadow less lightning there's not going to be a ton of highlight and shadow it's gonna look just like this just one light so we create a virtual ceiling or not virtual we create a ceiling essentially but yeah so she doesn't keep a super close because we wanted to go out and sort of hit a big array of this and pushed back but this is how we do it so it bounce the flash like that I usually be manually focusing and then boom and we'll do this coming up when we're shooting we shoot the images like that so that instead of the flash having to travel to a twenty foot ceiling in a reception hall it only has to travel three feet and we get a lot more power out of the flash when it comes back and we get that consistent beautiful light source and we can control the angle if I take a photo like this and I look at the screen and I go all the lighting's all flat I could say judy move it at an angle like this over here and I can adjust my flash like that all of a sudden I get this nice highlight shadow on the rings so that's a really really awesome tool to make your detail super close detail ring shots and focus now is do these at the reception for some reason I don't know why the reason we do it because they always have knickknacks they have you know favours or in this case the fabulous from steven's kids running and one of the gifts that fabulous scarlett's all about you fabulous so we're like how perfect would that be you know for an album style shot it was moving on off camera flash like chris you'd ask alright you don't have a ceiling what in the world do you do you know you hate it because like the ceilings are like forty feet high and like all the the walls are wood and you're like I'm screwed so what do you want a grand on micro polo and off to so this is how we do the off camera flash we've got our own authority where he got it so we've got our off camera flash setup that we showed you guys earlier this is simply a receiver plugged into a little hot shoe if you have a five eighty x two or probably any night kind of mermaid you can just plug this cable right into the camera which allows us to be triggered off camera from our little er cst transmitters and then what will jodie and I do is we use the micro apollo this is from wescott lighting this is an eight inch soft box and what this does is takes this light source which is very tiny and contrast e and makes it about four to six times bigger using this shooting's on space I guess it's not a lot but we're not talking about you know shooting a whole portrait of song we're talking about shooting a cake or shooting in details so we don't need this to be massive and in reception we're not looking to create these unbelievably buttery milky little photos right we're not gonna walk around with that soft box and perception that would be ridiculous right we're looking to capture great content and make sure it's clear all these images you're so maybe they're bound slasher direct flights were going to show you what this actually looks like it looks pretty bad in the bone so this is how we're doing or off camera flash same principles is outside same lighting patterns and all of that so here's kind of what we do we add the micro pollo we stand about sixty six to eight feet away from our subject that could be the cake uh that could be a client that could be whatever um we pick a lighting style when we're lighting details it's usually more dramatic forty five degrees and we go a little higher than normal because it adds more drama so don't be afraid to break the rules a little bit it doesn't have to be bottom of the soft box at the top of the cake you know you can go a little higher it's going to be a little more dramatic so often just take it right off the stand and especially when we're moving around the reception we only have a few minutes to shoot details really fast one of us were hold will hold up for the other or we'll have our assistant hold it and we'll just go around and shoot details or pure by yourself and keep it on a stand like this and you're getting a good rock so then we simply whatever is in the background if we're shooting the cake and there's some lights who make sure that's one stop underexposed we turn the flash up until the meter or until the history graham goes right to the edge we're ready to rock and then what is this one the distance you know yeah so jody and I when we go to reception and we run in and you know they never give you any time to shoot any of the details hardly ever um we walk in we do this one set up by underexposed that background I'm looking at the cake jody's pumping up the flash we fill in with the flash we check it perfect exposure awesome now all we have to do is run around the entire reception and make sure this stays the same distance away from everything we're shooting and we'll get the exact same exposure what happens if we walk over to the cake table we'll say we should the cake table and around a hundredth of a second and it looks great then we'll walk over to you know a guest table and we're photographing that but the backgrounds to dark what do we have to do anyone yes slow down exactly all we have to do is adjust the shutter speed we don't how to change the flash don't have to change the distance of the flash don't have to worry about that just simply slow down the shutter speed watch that in camera meter till goes to minus one open raring to go click if it's a twentieth of a second it will be in focus I promise you it'll be sharp click okay awesome now we walk over somewhere else and oh it's three times brighter here speed the shutter speed up to two hundredth of a second if you have to be exactly like what we did that just like what we did outside and you can knock out details at a reception in literally we did the last sunday's wedding five minutes flat we were like gangbusters running around shot the cake two minutes later they started cutting the cake we're like who oh my god so here's what's important it's look like using the micro pollen this eight inch soft box right here this was on a little model pod at this wedding because it was a packed wedding so our assistant was just kind of following their we always say follow their faces but there's two people dancing if jodi stands up really quick there's two people dancing we want the light shooting this way we don't want to cast that shadow they turned this way and my assistant just keeps following them with that light and once they get too far they run back over to this side and you know they always do the slow turn now the lights over here we just follow them with that light that's all we do just follow them around all summer and that's exactly what you see right there same thing with the cake shop cam this is off camera flash forty five degrees to the side we get a highlight and shadow on that cake underexposed background by one stop failed our cake is a little bit brighter than the background so stands out looks like the same thing here the whole room looked really beautiful except you notice all the centerpieces are very dark so we lit one centerpiece with this off camera flash fired away and boom we get this beautiful shot of the entire room uh this is an outdoor wedding so there was no ceiling obviously or anything to bounce it off and what you're seeing the black is the black sky but they had those like italian string lights so we set up our off camera flash hit that under explosive background don't stop better being munna move it's really that simple okay so our last section here adding a kicker light yes this is where it gets cool all right so the first thing that we want to do is we position the lights pointing toward the crowd so from the crowd pointing yeah pointing in the crowds face so let's say for example that this is our dance floor right here the band is behind us and we have all the rest of you but I don't want the ban of my shots of what the family of the shots because your boogie and you having a fun time I want to rim light everyone so we're going to put a background like forty five degrees this way or forty five degrees that lately bacchus explain and what we do is we start the background splashing about one thirty second power that's just a generic given every receptions completely different we raise it up seventy eight feet it's bare ball so if this was my background flash would be just like this remember background light doesn't have to be soft and pretty it could be very contrast it looks awesome then we take a test shot just to see how bright it is keep your bling keys on if you can see it in the shop but it's not flashing a bunch of over exposure it's perfect that's how I could get mathematical and literally go one stop under it exposure from this light but you don't have to get crazy with it if you can see it and it's not too bright it looks awesome and we pointed towards the center of the dance for and we make sure exposure I'm looking for to be cool is in the center of the dance first runner up seven eight feet it's also usually probably fifteen feet or twenty feet away from me I wanted a good distance because member the longer the throw the more even the exposure it's gonna give over that long throw if it's too close to everyone or too close to a wall sometimes people make the mistake of putting it right next to a wall well when it goes off it's going to create a really nasty hot spot on the wall we don't want that we keep it a few feet away from the wall and some people are like what if somebody kicks it over if you want awesome shot to take that chance you know by a vivid tar eighty dollars piece of junk manual flash and if it falls over cost eighty bucks instead of you know three hundred so I highly recommend you don't need a nice flash with the deal you just need a chief flash fire off oftentimes we'll like put it next to like you know if there's like pillars in the room like support beams or if it's kind of a sketchy room with a lot of people walking by and just not paying attention we'll have our assistant just kind of stand by it guard it so this is the look that it gives and it just creates some cool dynamic extra funding you know it's off to forty five degrees the camera right it's far enough away toe where grandma and grandpa back there that's bright by their heads but it's not crazy bright and it's shooting this beautiful room light back in them this is a reception area a country music hall of fame that's brutal if it's not lit really well which it's usually not it could be a black hole so without that background like all that room like you see on everybody would not me there and they would just be kind of black blobs which wouldn't look very awesome it's the same thing here we got that rim light shooting in on meredith she's hugging her dad tearing up my lovely one of my favorite images list looks absolutely awesome same thing here we got that background light firing in given us this beautiful beautiful light in the background and we can see the crowd kind of looking at them same thing here this reception was not let very well at all so he set up the background light in this case directly behind them because it was the best position for it shot right over their head and we get this nice like kiss of light right over the top and capturing these beautiful expressions on them yes I love this is this is actually her mom and then to the right or the bride and then to the right is her mother and you can even see their faces looked the same they're both kind of this is just a lucky shot but you see the little you can see the little black part of the stand back there firing that background flash creating that beautiful separation and when the flashes going off like that spreading out and kind of that that diamond pattern or that uh burst pattern like that it kind of ups the everybody's going like this and it makes them look like boom like you know it's like the fireworks just went off that's awesome more dancing goodness late using the wide angle shooting in the light and we got that nice little light kicking in the back adding some extra light looks really really cool now you'll notice this is the wide angle lens and you know often we talk about not using that for people for when you want people to look attractive but we're trying to communicate especially when the dancing gets underway we just want to communicate that fun dynamic nous of it so zack lots and bust out the sixteen to thirty five for those like crazy fun dancing shots yeah I don't mind if somebody's elbow looks like it's stretched in my camera because it's crazy it's fun you know but if you don't like that she don't know any five or something so last one this is kind of a tricky one the floor bounce sometimes I've been in situations where I got it off camera flash in my hand no flash on my camera and something happens really fast or we're in a really unique situation like in this case when I shot this image we're standing in the reception and all of a sudden I went where's all the crew where's the groom in the group when they're all gone and the bride was like oh they do this thing it's their thing they'll smoke cigars at big events when something big happens like why don't they tell me so I run outside I've got this flash in my hand because I was bouncing off the ceiling I liketo I don't like it on my camera I like it over here so I can direct it really fast you know when I got cameron one hand I'm crazy so I run outside and they're all smoking these cigars and I'm like I'm outside I'm not going to go like this and pointed at their face is gonna look horrible so I decided to bounce it off the ground have them also blow some smoke at me I took three images and this is one of them and there's the groom right there in the dead center and we get this you know a very inappropriate way to shoot light shooting up at them bounce it off asphalt or off of ah dirt road but in this case because it's such a rugged image and they're all smoking cigars and it looks like they're in the smoke room it works for this kind of a shot so it's good to know the rules so you can break them when you want teo yeah so here's some more rule breakers just the ceiling and here was impossible and it was also very hard to shoot flash directly at people for the dancing is they're moving so fast so I just had a flash in my hand and I'm bouncing off the floor and watching my history graham and bouncing light from underneath I got my light the background and we get some really fun fun cool shots here's another ground bounce for cash I don't know what that guy was doing having a lot of fun but it can work really really well the last couple of images dragging the shutter could be really awesome that's simply when the background isn't bright enough so you keep slowing down the shutter and it gets below thirty twenty fifteenth of a second and used you to do a great drag shutter shot you pop your flash off and it hits them and say somebody's moving and it works best when people are moving so say chris you know was running through a shot and I pan with him I shoot my flash often which will freeze him but then I keep moving my camera and it's at fifteenth of a seconds of the background well then drag with it and that's how you do those rags shutters but the flash no these is last froze him that's has probably had a fifteenth of the second but the background just kept dragging them that ambient light into a streak which looks really cool so some people spend their camera while they're shooting in a circle so if you're in the middle of the circle you'll be frozen but everything else around you drag in a circle and then of course exit shots these are some of the toughest same principle all same principles underexposed whatever's in the background by one stop if there is no light in the background then you just want to get your history graham to nice and bright in our case we like to shoot in some background lights and we sometimes we'll hold it off camera flash like this or sometimes our assistant will have it on a little mono pod and just hold it and the trick is when they come out we need to keep a relative distance of six to eight feet so we try toe have them come out so if chris was the groom and coming out and I'm holding this slashed my assistant is well from here to there is a perfect exposure but right here is completely over exposed so as they come out I tell them move with them and when I start to move you move so they come out and we all start to kind of move together like this just moving back moving back moving back you don't get in over exposure and a couple of things to think about with the exit shot as we always know ahead of time what they're doing or thes and sparklers and he's in bubbles of these and flowers and we'll talk tomorrow how we gain that information and then also something that we do it is I will go up to the bride and groom everyone's lined up way air situating around we don't leave it up to the planner that sometimes they're great but we leave it's our responsibility lying people up and then we also tell them how to blow bubbles and howto like chuck the flowers don't go in there like throwing up in the air little fall so so we've lined everyone up and then the bride and groom are getting ready to come out I will go back to the bride and groom guys amazing wedding day it was so great have fun on your honeymoon you guys are awesome and then I say you guys were coming out feel free to stop in the middle and kiss if you want and they're like okay one why would they not want to kiss if they don't want to kiss them something's wrong with them but to what that does is often times exit shots happened so fast and you don't have any time you get like one shot and that's it and especially when it's dark it's hard to focus and like good but what having them stop and kiss does is it gives you a couple extra shots that you're able to get in on this one really great moment so every single wedding we do that for them yeah it's awesome little trick asked them to kiss halfway out when you walk halfway out kiss and then the crowd usually goes crazy like yeah and we poom capture a few more three four five more shots and then they pick up and start moving again and we all move together and then they jump in the car and leave you so that is that any questions I'm actually do it question question when you were talking about using the often very light do you also have to flash went on when you're at a reception like outside reception where you cannot bounce light up anything so do we use a flash in an outside reception as well as an off camera it's like do you have it in your camera as well as the other one that yours in this moving along it typically no if we have an off camera flash usually don't have one on our camera that's the main light know some people will do a fill light with a flashier very low power to one and then use this one which is which looks great we just don't usually do that because which is extra work questions we need to yes and we're going to move on but we'll take a couple questions as we're moving everything out of the way way that covered a lot of really great e I can't wait to test him all out but there are at least twenty questions going on right now about shooting outside our large halls where there's nothing to bounce off so what is your kind of go to lighting technique in that situation out of all of those off camera flash off camera flash with the mini micro pollen which will demonstrate as well so people will see that we'll do it for the bridegroom will do a bounce bounce flash when we're gonna kinda have him stand there like they're going to dance and we'll sort of light it and then we'll do a bounce flash but then we'll see you off camera lighting shot so we can show both of those techniques that expo imaging thing germany grab that as well the and that question is do you ever use the apollo with your on camera flash when you said you don't but little guy you could cause it softens it but we really want to keep his much as possible are flash off camera cause in the light that hits or something going with letter and if the if the flash is on camera it means it's gonna bounce and if it's bouncing off white wall twenty feet away and we have a twenty foot light source would you have a way with light source or eight inch lights twenty foot looks way better because it's softer so if you put this on your camera and point it that way it's gonna have no effect and also you pointed straight this way it's still gonna look horrifying because it's direct it's coming right off the camera always looks very bad but if you have nothing to bounce the light off of that you could throw this on the friend but way like the light off another quick gear question callie donna is wondering do you have an opinion on gary fong domes who uh I think the biggest thing to remember is we want soft pretty light great and soft pretty light happens when it hits something in it like it's a big wall on your course becomes big light source you have your little flash right here by putting something on it this much bigger it's not going to do if you double the size of this light source you get still really bad contrast you like if you quadruple it it's starting to get better so the biggest problem with something like that is is that we end up getting on the direction of light it's just coming from everywhere and it's not directional anymore we've got some shooting off the cameras some bouncing out the ceiling a little bit bouncing out the wall and we lose all control of our flash when you use it way bought two of them so we're not saying we haven't spent a hundred bucks on it but they're really very poor modified that means don't work at all really well it's just not not well designed gather about the flash yeah I would never professionally use that ever so that's my opinion

Class Description

Being a successful wedding photographer isn’t just about taking gorgeous shots, it’s about creating an incredible experience for your clients. If a bride feels great about the services you provide—from your first meeting to your wedding day demeanor to the final delivery of the album—then she’ll be a happy customer for life and recommend you to her vast network of friends and family.

Zach and Jody Gray not only produce beautiful photos, they take great pains to ensure that every aspect of the wedding day is well planned and executed. In this weekend course that includes actual shoots of a bride and groom, Zach and Jody cover all the components of wedding photography, everything from marketing your business to finding the perfect lighting sources to posing your subjects to picking the best shots.

By describing their humble beginnings and explaining how their modest start-up grew into a thriving business with clients across the country, Zach and Jody will inspire you to pursue your own wedding photography dreams.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Establish a strong connection with your clients.

  • Identify the essential gear you’ll need for your shoots.

  • Use light rigs when natural light is unavailable.

  • Understand lighting ratios, strobe lighting, clamshell lighting and more.

  • Figure out which lenses to use for each part of the day.

  • Build up your network and attract more clients.

  • Market your business with your website, sales calls and word of mouth.

  • Review your images and find the best shots.


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