Indoor Scenes | Reception: Shot with Bounce Flash

Bounce flash does not work in every situation, but it provides a great solution for indoor venues with low, neutral or bright ceilings. If the ambient light in the room is an unusual color, such as blue, try using daylight colored light (flash without a gel, temperature set to 5500K) to more naturally light the subjects in the scene. Otherwise, if you use a gel and set the temperature to 3200K, the subjects will look yellow or orange, and after adjusting the white balance in post, the blue lights will turn a deeper shade of blue. Ultimately, gel (or don’t gel) to match the dominant light color in the room.

Our approach for shooting receptions with bounce flash includes the following:

  • Expose for ambient light
  • Add flash
  • Flash gel (to match dominant light)
  • Bounce modifier (bowl, disc)
  • Bounce back at angle
  • Watch shutter speed
  • Highlight alert is critical

Exposure goals for shooting receptions with bounce flash:

  • Maximum dynamic range
  • Bias: preserve shadows
  • Temperature: 3200-4000K