Dramatic Off-Camera Flash Nighttime Couple’s Session

In the hubbub and chaos of a stressful wedding day, it can be challenging to gather your thoughts long enough to come up with a game plan on how to create thought-provoking imagery. We are here to be your savior in times of need and offer you a first-hand look at how to implement off-camera flash to produce outstanding images. Here are three different ways we have applied.

Gelling Your Flash For Creative Effect


Playing around with colored gels can yield exceptional results, and it is common to use an off-camera flash with a CTO (Color Temperature Orange) Gel to add a pop of light behind your couple while simultaneously working as a means of separation between them and the background.

In this specific scenario, we wanted to showcase the eclectic wine storage room located at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Hotel while still having the viewers focus on our couple. Gelling the off-camera flash with a CTB (Color Temperature Blue) Gel to contrast the warmth from the couple’s skin tone is a perfect example of creative color balance. In order to preserve the true color of their skin, shift your in-camera white balance by using the Kelvin Temperature setting – this will give the closest accurate reading of color balance in your scene when shooting RAW.

Whip Pan Technique


Taking your flash off camera not only allows you to add strong direction to your light but also gives you the capability to freeze motion for a longer exposure. In order to assure that our couple has enough light on them to be illuminated, we used a back-flash to bounce the light off of the Groom’s white shirt, essentially acting as a reflector. Once we click the shutter, the flash freezes the subjects in place while we pan the tripoded camera to produce motion blur in the final image.

Since the shutter is open for a longer duration, it is imperative to advise your subjects to remain as still as possible in order to prevent any blur.

[REWIND: 6 Artistic Photo Effects Using Tripods ]

Creative Effects Using Prisms


So far we have discussed manipulating your off-camera light source, but how about if we wanted to transform the purpose of the ambient light. Prisms have become a popularized item in a photographer’s toolkit, contributing rays of glorious light to images otherwise lacking in interest. In this mirrored hall we wanted to create one more point of reflection to showcase the ethereal light flowing through the room. To provide contrast and push the couple further out from the background, we placed a backlight a few feet directly behind them.

[REWIND: 5 Everyday Items for Creative Photo Effects ]

Understand how to shape and form your light to enhance the beauty in your scene and elevate your imagery, and let your light work for you and reap the glorious benefits in return. This has been a behind the scenes look at Earl & Jillyn’s wedding, just one chapter from our Unscripted | Photo Shoot BTS Premium Workshop, where we take you behind the scenes on engagements, weddings, and portrait photography sessions to give you access to hands-on client experiences that encompass photography techniques, on-the-spot problem-solving, and more. Gain access to this workshop and so much more by purchasing a Premium Subscription to SLR Lounge!