Wedding Workshop Eight | Photographing The Reception: Bounce Flash
While using a bounce flash requires a minimal setup time of under a minute, it also requires a neutral-color ceiling/wall, which makes it less ideal than pinned OCF. Rim lighting can be added if using the on-camera bounce flash as a master, and setting up the rim lights and stands will add a minute or two to the overall setup.
Because your light source is on-camera, your range of movement is limited. If you back away from your subjects, for example, then less light will reach them. At the same time, the subjects closest to the light source will be brighter than those in the background. In the instance of capturing a bouquet or garter toss, this means that the bride and groom (if positioned closer to the camera) will be brighter than the group of participants in the distance who are trying to catch the bouquet or garter. This is fine if you’re focusing on the bride and groom, but it’s less than ideal for lighting the group when it is time to focus on them for catching the flying objects.
Hopefully, the bounced light will be strong enough to adequately light the group. You can aid this by bouncing the light up and to the side so that it doesn’t fall as strongly on the closer subjects (usually the bride or groom).
Here are some key tips for capturing the bouquet and garter tosses with bounce flash:
- Bounce = higher power (1/4th to 1/8th)
- External battery recommended (for faster recycle times)
- Higher ISOs (allows for lower flash power & faster recycle times)
- Bounce to cover back group
- High action = more clicks
- Watch shutter speed/ambient
- Toss bad expressions
Even though these moments are candid in nature, photographers can (and should) guide the couple and participants into a position that is going to look great in the photos. Here’s how it should happen:
- Choose the direction you want to shoot
- Place the bride and/or groom (or both)
- Place the group