***If you read nothing, please read this paragraph. These photos do not all represent my current work but are used to show you lighting I’ve used in the past for receptions. Some of them are from when I first started out (even from my first wedding) and do not necessarily use an editing style, shooting style, or technique that I would currently use. To see my current work, please view my 2011 weddings category by clicking here and my 2010 weddings by clicking here.
I was very grateful when a photographer I recently second shot for (posts will be coming soon) mentioned that she had been talking to a friend about me before I had shot with her for the first time and while he was looking at my work, he told her that I couldn’t shoot receptions. At first when she told me, I was thinking, “Why would he say that? I can shoot receptions!” Turns out it was because I really didn’t have any photos of receptions on my site. I’m glad she told me because, to be honest, I never even thought about it. I always thought people wanted to see the details, the pretty brides, the handsome grooms, etc. I never really thought about pictures of receptions (excluding reception details) as part of my portfolio. Well my fellow blog readers, thanks to Lindsey, I will be posting reception photos to my portfolio website and you’ll be seeing more of them on my blog when I post photos. I never realized that when brides and grooms look for a photographer, they actually ARE interested in seeing those photos.
There are a couple of ways I shoot receptions. It all really depends on the lighting, the size of the room that the reception is in, if it’s inside or out, and if I’m primary shooting or second shooting. My favorite lighting set up is with one flash on a stand, one flash on my camera, and my triggers to set them off. I NEVER point flash directly at what I’m shooting. My on camera flash stays pointed towards the ceiling in most cases and my on camera flash shoots at an angle that allows the light to be shot out directly in front of the flash, but because it is hoisted in the air on a stand, the fall out from it hits the people I’m photographing, so it’s a nice, soft light and it’s directional. I love directional light. I also like to shoot into that flash to get a nice lighting effect. Here are some examples of directional flash.
Another type of lighting I did recently was to play off the lights of a videographer’s video light. This particular wedding I was along as more of an assistant than a second shooter so I didn’t take much at the reception. I bumped up my ISO pretty high and took these. It really was representative of what the room felt like and looked like, though if it were my own wedding I probably would have done it differently. Click here to view photos of H&J’s vow renewal.
Then there are the outdoor receptions. These are probably my favorite because the light is from the sun instead of an electronic light source. I love shooting in diffused sunlight or on a cloudy day.
Then there are some photos where you drag the shutter speed to get a certain effect or shoot into the flash to get a flare.
This particular photo was interesting. Everyone was watching a slideshow that was put together of their wedding which occurred in Colorado. They had a reception only in Illinois for the guests that couldn’t come and they were showing photos from that wedding. I wanted to get the “star” look with the lights in the background so I took my tripod and did a long exposure. I had my husband (my second shooter) flash them in in the bottom right area which froze their movements, lit them nicely, and still got the starry effect I was looking for.
And to end, here are my favorite reception photos from D&ML’s wedding that I posted a few days ago. Click here to view photos from their wedding.