How to Photograph Reception Details with Off Camera Flash: Breathe Your Passion with Vanessa Joy

Hi this is Vanessa Joy with AdoramaTV, and today I’m going to show you behind the scenes of how I shoot reception details. Shooting reception details is extremely important not only for the bride because after all she’s worked really hard on choosing, selecting, crafting. Sometimes even building all of the details throughout the wedding day, but especially at the reception, but in addition to that getting published in prominent magazines and blogs really relies heavily on the detail pictures because most magazines and publications, are looking to have weddings feature that have a ton of unique details, which will help them attract more brides to their magazine, or their website. First lens choice, I like to use either a 50mm
or 85 mm f/1.2 lens. I like this because of the compression, and it helps me in addition to the typical depth of field that I use, which is usually around 2.2 to 3.5. Focus in on an area of detail and enhance the bokeh and softness of everything in the background. The 50mm especially lets me get a little bit closer to the object that I’m photographing, but the 85mm I just love using it, especially for cake shots and full shots of the centerpieces in the table. When I’m shooting I’m always looking for a lot of depth and background in the images. When it comes to my settings I’m always exposing for the ambient first. If it’s a dark hall then my ISO is probably going to go up to about 1600, 2000, 2500. I try not to go any further than that. I’m definitely not a fan of a lot of noise in my image. Then I’ll set my aperture to roughly about f/2.2 to f/3.5, depending on what I’m photographing, and how much of it I would like to be in focus. And I set my shutter speed to what it needs to be to get a proper exposure. Sometimes one or two stops darker. After that I’m adding in my off-camera flash. Typically I’m using a Profoto A1 or B1, and I first set it to TTL. This helps me get around about exposure for the correct amount of power that’s coming out of my light, and then I flip over to manual. Depending on the room I’m either using, one light at about a 45 degree angle, or two lights, One on either side of the detail that I’m photographing. I’m also often using a grid light shaper to focus the beam of light and eliminate most of the spill off, that would potentially fall onto the tablecloth, which very often is white so it tends to overexpose pretty quickly. After everything is set up, I’m taking pictures of the entire table, as well as zoning in on different little details throughout it. Because my exposure is set up and my lights are off camera I usually don’t have to change much, and can photograph the entire table both close up, and far away fairly quickly. I’ve even had to do whole reception rooms in five minutes or less with this method, and it works great. Make sure that you hit the subscribe button below, so you don’t miss a thing here with Breathe Your Passion on AdoramaTV and I will see you next time!

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