A lot of new wedding photographers seem to be obsessed with the latest tricks and gimmicks to achieve “cool,” award-winning couples session shots, focused only on the bride and groom.

They may cater their budgeted time, their equipment, and their training for these moments and neglect the all important traditional group portraits. However, if you don’t focus enough time and effort on the traditional portraits during a wedding, you’re undoubtedly going to experience angry phone calls from the parents and relatives at the wedding who are wondering why there aren’t any good shots of them during the wedding.

Lighting for Wedding Formals

Lighting is one of the most challenging aspects of group formals. Often times your subjects are elevated, so you might be shooting on a slight upward angle. Often times they’re stacked, so you have to mind the shadows that they cast on one another. And the last common issue is the dim lighting and dark walls inside of dark churches and other wedding venues.

Lee Morris of Fstoppers takes us through his lighting setup in this short video clip. This is an excerpt from their video How To Become A Professional Commercial Wedding Photographer DVD. In their DVD, you’ll get a full tutorial and learn everything about running a wedding business, from lighting and posing to marketing and planning. Read our Full Review.

Watch the Video

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The takeaways from this video are to make sure you bring the right equipment for the scene. In this case, it was a full strobe. Another takeaway is to make sure you have mastered your understanding of white balance, especially if you’re bouncing light off of non-while surfaces. You can’t just assume that you can color correct any scene in post production just because you are shooting RAW.

Be sure to check out the Fstoppers DVD: How To Become A Professional Commercial Wedding Photographer DVD.