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I get asked ALL THE TIME about lighting setups, and I love it! When people ask questions it means they are willing to learn, grow and have a wealth of knowledge. Just about every wedding some sort of off camera lights are always used. Whether its for photography or videography. Lighting will literally make or break a shot. I've been doing this long enough and when I first started out I was simply clueless; luckily, I decided to read and watch others and now I'm ready to share some knowledge for those interested.
Here's the easiest way I can break this down. This is for videographers, even though our camera bodies are the same our functions are a bit different.
Here's the scenario. Beach weddings. You love the rich toned backgrounds where you can see the water, the sky and the sand; however, your camera just shows an all white background and a well lit couple. You think to yourself, I'll just crank my shutter up to 4000, now everything just near pitch black. Most likely your ocean is beautiful and you can see a perfect sun and blue skies yet the couples are shadows (yikes) I run into this time to time. So the question I get is... How do I incorporate the backgrounds to show my luxury location and my beautiful bride? Answer. You must use off camera lights. Before you even begin shooting use your camera settings to establish whatever you want your backgrounds to look like. Keep in mind, the closer the light to your source the brighter the subjects will be. So lets expose our backgrounds, bring in our couples and simply add light to them. Now don't panic! If you have your shutter at 4000 and you have them lit and they are still too dark there's a few options you can do. You can boost your camera's ISO (stay native of course). You can just boost them up in the post processing side of things. You can add the light source a bit closer to them.
Whichever method you chose, I can promise you the overall product will have that luxury feel. I see way too many photo's in this tropical locations and 90% of the value is just erased. Why? Too many people don't understand light and everything is all white behind the couples. Why would a bride choose a beach spot for her engagement or her wedding? What value do these locations have to her, or the groom? Was there a certain spot they used to hang around when they dated? Did they have a little bench, or a swing they would talk on when they dated? Build part of the story in your products. If your style is all white backgrounds, then just ignore this, I personally think each location that you choose have some value to them. You rarely see a masterpiece that isn't properly exposed. This same technique applies to the entire day, bridal party preperations, up until the sparkler exit.
1. Know your camera settings. 2. Expose your backgrounds 3. Add some light. 4. Find your style 5. Make a masterpiece.... I'll tackle more questions down the road.