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Lowlight wedding.

1natalieD 6 8 England
4 Oct 2015 2:23PM
Not sure if this is the right place.


Ok for all the wedding guys.
Iíve been asked at relatively short notice to shoot a wedding. Weddings are not my usual thing, however I have done a number over the years (more than 10). I do know the couple and Iím meeting the bride at the venue in a couple of weeks time.

The wedding is 3:30 PM in November. But the time I get to the group shots it will be very lowlight or even dark depending on the weather. The bride knows where she would like these done. This is outside.


How do I do this? All my previous weddings have been in the spring/summer months with good light. No problem.
A quick google search ďwedding lowlightĒ. No group shots.
I canít see the bride & groom and small groups being a problem. But the larger groups will be something of a problem with the light fading fast. Shadows may also be a problem.
I have just the one flashgun.
Maybe Iíll just have to take the Groups inside.

Anyone with experience of this? Tips, links that would be helpful to me would be very much appreciated.


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BobbyK 9 27 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2015 6:26AM
Hi Natalie,

I would suggest taking the flash off camera and using an umbrella to spread and soften the light. You will need to be able to trigger the flash off camera, and also a stand or an assistant to hold the flash and umbrella. Hope this helps.


JackAllTog Plus
10 5.7k 58 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2015 12:49PM
Using a Tripod and asking the groups to stand very very still might help a bit.

Would it be cheating to use some big bright workmen continuous light flood lights, if you can safely use them outside.
If you can't get the cheap mains powered ones, then these 20W ones may help - 3-4 hours apparently. Recharge them from a Car cigarette lighter charger nearby?

Personally these look terrific to me.
keithh 15 25.5k 33 Wallis And Futuna
5 Oct 2015 1:08PM
But they're hideous to use on people.

To be honest, you need to get out in the dark and have a go with what you've got. With a large group in near darkness then one flashgun sat on your camera is going to struggle to give an even light across and is unlikely to be flattering and once you start diffusing you have to allow for an amount light loss.

What you'll get is an obviously flash lit and very amateur looking image. A 3.30pm November wedding needs somewhere indoors all ready and waiting to use for photographs. You could well be having to cope with not just poor weather conditions but pretty cold temperatures. Photos of bridesmaids with their shoulders all hunched in the cold don't look great in the photo album
thewilliam 11 6.1k
5 Oct 2015 1:10PM
When using lights for professional photography, you need to check their Colour Rendering Index as well as the colour temperature.

Some low power lamps don't give a full spectrum and so will do strange things to some colours. Wedding clients tend to be fussy about such things, especially when the bride has spent 4 figures on a wedding gown of a particular colour!
JackAllTog Plus
10 5.7k 58 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2015 1:10PM
There are also loads of these on ebay, seem to be mostly cool white arount 6 to 7000 K.
Two or more of these from different directions would reduce shadows.
READ the above warnings about how this might look.

keithh 15 25.5k 33 Wallis And Futuna
5 Oct 2015 1:44PM
Those work lamps are very likely to have an uncontrollable hot spot plus you'll have to make some some wide snoots to stop stray light hitting your lens as they give 120 degree coverage.

Wind up the iso, stick the lens 2.8 and give a shot of your flash at about 1/2 to 3/4 power. I'd make an A4 sized bounce card and put the flash on full power.
thewilliam 11 6.1k
5 Oct 2015 2:26PM
A work lamp is designed to illuminate building work whereas a photographic lamp is designed for the photographic process. The prices are very different and for a sound reason!
JackAllTog Plus
10 5.7k 58 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2015 3:41PM
From the above comments Its a shame that these LED lights won't migrate into portable continuous light solution.
Just to test the idea I've ordered a cheaper mains version ( which i'll use later as an external flood light). In a few weeks i hope to try this in a brolly/soft box guise. If its any good I'll share the results.
pink Plus
16 6.1k 7 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2015 4:04PM
I used 2 LED light panels, they are very good, you also get diffusers and barn doors with them.
They are rechargeable using Sony camcorder batteries, put them on tripods and wind the power up or down to suit your needs, they have worked many times for me when in similar situations, make sure you have plenty of charged batteries as they do get through them.
pink Plus
16 6.1k 7 United Kingdom
5 Oct 2015 4:07PM
1natalieD 6 8 England
5 Oct 2015 7:24PM
Thanks for the replies.

I donít like the idea of work lights. I donít know because Iíve never used them. Iíd imagine that Iíd need more that two to give even light. Also they would not work sat on the floor. The light would be too harsh. Not sure how I would be able to use them.
As for the LED light, good idea but I donít want to start spending money on lights, tripods, batteries etc on equipment I may well never use again.

I think my best bet is to shoot as much as I can indoors.
The wedding is to take place at a big hotel so Iím sure I can find somewhere well lit to use.
I know the bride has somewhere in mind for her photos. Maybe I can make a deal with her when I meet her at the venue.
Bride & groom together outside. I now have the use of two flashguns. I can get a couple of helpers to hold them for me.
Everything else will have to be done inside.

The couple of course know that Iím not a wedding photographer. However Iím sure for the vast majority of their photos I can deliver a high standard. Maybe the large groups may not turn out as well as hoped for. I'll try my best and see what happens.

thewilliam 11 6.1k
5 Oct 2015 7:44PM
Modern DSLR cameras are capable of ISO figures that we could only dream about in the days of film, although you sometimes have to accept some noise.

Some photographers, such as my wife, can "see light" and she prefers available light so very rarely uses flash.

A flash-gun is small and light so it doesn't get in the way when you're not using it. The batteries have an easier time because they don't have to provide continuous light. I wouldn't want to lug either a work light or video light, plus its battery pack, around during a wedding.
peterjones 17 4.9k 1 United Kingdom
6 Oct 2015 10:36AM
Agreeing with William, I have had to use settings up to 9000 ISO at weddings with more than acceptable results especially being able to mitigate noise with modern software.


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