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Wedding Photography Tips for Crappy Lighting

Finally getting booked for your first wedding gig ? Maybe you’ve been shooting for a while but you’ve lucked out and gotten some beautiful outdoor venues or morning weddings with gorgeous natural light?

Only a "natural light shooter?" Well, sugar, after 55 weddings, we have seen it all, and only a handful have been in natural light situations. So you better put your big boy/girl pants on and be ready for Off Camera Flash (OCF) lessons and investing in that gear for the future!

I’m gonna tell you right now that I had to overcome crappy wedding lighting situations pretty soon into the game. Shooting in a barn, a winery, a hotel, a dimly lit venue, under a tent, and incandescent lit house or pretty much any other situation where crappy lighting will occur will be your nemesis sooner or later- unless you have these tools.

Here's an example photo of a wedding that we shot this year. We were literally OUTSIDE at 10 pm in the pitch black.

We brought in our video lights and used the model light on our external flashes to create our own light scene.

We usually bring at least four light sources (flash, external flash, mini strobe or video light with us to EVERY wedding. We don't rely on ANY natural light to be there at all!

First, Watch my video about what equipment I use in wedding lighting situations:

my list of gear that Use:

My flashes and lighting:

My favorite pro strobes on the go are my godox ad200 with my Nikon trigger, but of course my on-camera flashes are these rechargeable godox flashesNeed a great and cheap Video Light

I’ve done over 10 weddings where the dance floor is SOO dark and there is no DJ lights, so having some video lights on the floor help to set the mood!

My modifiers and accessories:

I love these S Type Brackets to hold all my flashes to go with my umbrella octobox. So what do we do about lightstands? I want everything to fit in a check bag for when I travel and 9 foot lightstands just don’t travel well in a compact way. So I came up with this crazy idea. First you need a basic sturdy tripod with good balance. And then you need these male/female converter pieces to make every tripod head a lightstand on a budget.


📷Have other ways of conquering light in tricky situations? I would love to hear how you do it!

Christal Marshall is the owner of Virginia Photos and Films, Virginia Marketing and Media and Virginia Beach Photobooth Company. and Be a marketing geniusShe lives, breathes and does media and marketing pretty much 24-7 for over 14 local business through social media management, website design, photo, video or media coverage or graphic design. She is a homeschool mom of three, cat lover, sushi eater and poke fan! She started her business in 2011 with nothing but a $400 camera from Amazon, now she is has been published in over 60 different blogs and websites for her media work and rank top Wedding Photographer in Virginia Beach.

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