Using flash for wedding and event photography

Few weeks ago we’ve got a question from one of our website visitors and a fellow photographer, She was asking which settings do we use when shooting with flash.

 Shooting wedding with flash

I decided to expand a little bit on that topic with some sample images.

  1. We are a natural light photographers and prefer to use available light for our family, weddings and events photography. Of course that is not always possible, especially at the wedding receptions which most of the time take place in the evening or in the dark rooms with candlelight. And then of course we use flashes and my personal flash choice is Nikon SB800. Also on another technical point which affects the result and not only for flash photography – we only shoot with prime lenses and my personal weapon of choice for flash photography is 50mm 1.8 and 24 mm 2.8. So here is the equipment side of the thingsShooting wedding with flash
  2. I always put flash in TTL mode and adjust settings in-camera. My most common settings for flash are:

Shutter speed between 1/400 and 1/60
Aperture between 2.8 and 2.2 depending on the lens
ISO as low as possible

Shooting wedding with flash

  1. My flash is turned usually left or right with 45 degree looking up in order to reflect off the available surface. In rare cases I put it straight up to reflect off the ceiling.

    Shooting wedding with flash

  2. Sometimes I like going a bit creative and make smudgy flash shots to show the movement. For those kind of shoots the settings are usually as follows:

Shutter speed from 1/50 and lower, can get as low as 0.5
Aperture has to go up from 3.5 up to 11 at some point
ISO again as low as possible

Shooting wedding with flash

Shooting wedding with flash

Shooting wedding with flash

  1. In order to get these kind of shots what I do is use my back focus button to focus on my main subject and then move it just few mm left and right to get light rays

    Shooting wedding with flash

  2. Important point to remember is to keep these kinds of shots to a minimum especially at the wedding. Not all the clients will appreciate the creativity, so in any case the key wedding moments have to be shot in a classic way. When we shoot the wedding, we use these shots at the end of the first dance to add variety and when the general guest dancing starts.

    Shooting wedding with flash
    Shooting wedding with flash
    Shooting wedding with flash
    Shooting wedding with flash

I hope that helps.
Keep sending us your questions here or to lisa@lisalobanova.com

What do you think?
This entry was posted in Q&A.