New Workshop! Lighting 3 | Advanced Off Camera Flash

Tips & Tricks

A Fun Way To Create A Night Shot Of A Wedding Venue | Justin and Mary

By Chris Nachtwey on December 10th 2014

Many people associate wedding photography with gorgeous images of the bride and groom, along with intimate, photojournalist style images documenting the day. The truth is, as important as it is to capture the people and moments during a wedding, we need to capture everything, from the fine details such as table settings, to the important details like the cake, and the venue itself should be no exception to this. So many times, myself included, I see full weddings shot beautifully by photographers, but many times I don’t see a beautiful image of the venue itself. Having a beautiful image of the venue helps to give the final delivered wedding a sense of place. If you think about how much thought your client put into choosing a venue, you will quickly realize you need to create an amazing image of it.


In the Profoto sponsored video below, wedding photographers Justin and Mary, show you how to use long exposure and off camera flash to create a beautiful night shot of a wedding venue that is sure to compliment all of your other beautiful images from a client’s wedding day.


Canon 5D Mark III
Canon 35mm Lens
Profoto B1 500 Air TTL
Profoto Air Remote TTL-C
Profoto Zoom Reflector
Profoto Magnum Reflector


I’ve done long exposure images in the past of the venues I have shot, using ambient light to illuminate the venue, but to do something as simple as walk around and use the test button on my strobes to fire it and ultimately light the building just never crossed my mind! The technique seems very simple, set up your camera on a tripod with a wide lens, focus in on the building, get an ambient light exposure reading to dial in your setting, and once you hit the shutter, have your assistant walk around firing the strobe to illuminate the venue.



I have to say I think this is a great technique that I might just try myself in the future. It’s fun, fairly simple, and the end result is a beautiful image of the venue for my clients and possibly the venue itself to showcase.

Via: Profoto USA Youtube page

Images captured via screen grab.


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Chris Nachtwey is a full-time wedding and portrait photographer based in Connecticut. He is the founder and creator of 35to220 a website dedicated to showcasing the best film photography in the world. Chris loves to hear from readers, feel free to drop him a line via the contact page on his website! You can see his work here: Chris Nachtwey Photography

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Basit Zargar

    Nice pictures !!

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  2. Rafael Steffen

    Great quality article on lighting! I am really loving this site more each day.

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  3. robert s

    nice technique.

    first time I flash painted was in 1980 when I was in Switzerland and shot the lion monument at night with iso 100 film. there was no water in the middle and I walked around flashing it. beautiful country.

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  4. David Wilkins

    I think if you use just the ambient light and light from the windows you would get a better shot as it would also contain some stars, it looks to artificial to me

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    • robert s

      I agree. the technique is nice and can create great outcomes, but the picture itself is too blown out for me and overdone a bit.

      I would have loved to see a more bluish twilight sky with more ambient of the building and a bit less flashing. the balance is off here.

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  5. robert raymer

    You can do the same thing to get high end results when you want to shoot a car but only have one flash/speedlight.

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  6. Brandon Dewey

    Great tip, ill have to try this!

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