As much as weddings are about capturing the moment as is happens, in our photography studio, our clients expect us to challenge ourselves and create something extraordinary out of ordinary scenes. This is especially true for the couples session of the wedding day. One technique/tool we have to help achieve this is the concept of mixed lighting, such as the lighting you see in the image below. Let’s go over how to create this.

Final Image


Before Image


The Lighting Set Up

– 2 ungelled pocket strobes about 5-7 feet behind the subjects at 1/2 power and off center by about 3-5 feet
– 1 tungsten video light as the main light directly on the subjects



Canon EOS 5D Mark II
15mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens
Pocket Wizard II (x3)
Nikon SB80 (x2)
Tungsten Video Light


ISO 1600
15mm Fisheye Lens
Kelvin: 3500

The Execution

Video Light vs. Flash – We used a video light directly on our subjects instead of a flash for the main light to avoid killing shadows in the scene. I suppose a carefully snooted flash may have been acceptable as well but would have taken much longer to set up and test.

Gelled vs. Ungelled – We are using ungelled flashes in the back to create the blue light in the scene. You’ll see this as a common theme in our photography.

Posing and Placement – We placed the flashes far enough behind the subjects as to not cast strange shadows on the sides or front of the subjects. As for the pose, we went with a simple sitting kiss with a few standing variations that we also delivered to the client.

Lens Choice – We chose a fisheye lens to add that additional distortion around the edges to really take you out of the room and add that additional “cool” factor. A wide angle at 16mm would have been our second choice, but keep in mind that the short length of the room played a big factor here as well.


You can see more shots from this New York Wedding on our Blog. As you can see from the rest of the images, the primary focus of the wedding was the couple, their families, and the emotion of the moments throughout the day. For 90% of the day, we sit back and let it happen; we anticiapte the emotion and make sure we capture it with great composition, lighting, and creativity. But for the rest of the 10%, our clients expect us to deliver something different and unique, and playing with mixed lighting in scenes such as this wine room is one way of doing that.