Tag Archives: technical

Headshot- Katie

St Louis Photograher

St Louis Photography


St Louis Wedding headshot photography Illinois photographer

Posted in headshots

Flash Photography- The Reception

St Louis Wedding Reception

St Louis Wedding Photography

Wedding Recpeption St louis

St Louis Photographer Wedding

Most photographers can get a solid picture when the conditions are perfect-  plenty of natural light.  It’s hard to mess up a picture when you have the perfect amount of natural light and you put the camera on Program Mode.

But when lighting conditions get tricky then a photographer with the correct equipment and experience in low light and flash photography is worth their weight in gold.

Balance Rule:

This is the most important rule with flash photography.  The flash should not be noticeable or should not be the obvious source of light.

How many times have I seen a reception photograph where it’s obvious the photographer blasted the scene with flash in ETTL mode and the camera in Program Mode.  The whole scene is a white (or blueish if they were too lazy to white balance) glare.  Tons of shadows and strong contrasts in the picture which looks terrible.

The above images were taken in a reception that was really dark.  But the beauty of the images lies in that you cannot tell if a flash was used.  Lots of soft shadows and the warm glow of the ambient lights.

Balance the flash with the ambient light and the image will look amazing!

The Settings:

Camera-  Manual-  it’s easier than Program mode!

f 2.8-3.2-  controls the light from the FLASH-  the lower the number  on the F#, the the brighter the image because more light goes through aperture.

1/50- 125-  Controls Surrounding light-  Slower shutter speed = more surrounding light.  Ambient surrounding light is preferable.

ISO 400-  The higher the ISO, the brighter the image.  ISO affects light sensitivity.

Flash Setting –  I use Canon Speedlites 600.  I start with 1/32 power and adjust from there.

The Steps:

In a dark reception, you will need to adjust settings constantly to get the perfect exposure.  This is not as bad as it sounds- IF you understand the relationships between F stop, shutter speed, flash output, and ISO. 

If you know the above, then you can make quick adjustments in a blink of an eye.  Most tweaks are a simple shutter change, or aperture change.

1-  Set camera to F3.2, 1/80. ISO 400 and Flash output to 1/32.

Angle the flashhead to 45 degrees.

Take picture and look at it.

2-  Make adjustments based on what you see.

Too Dark-  you need more light-  How?  Raise ISO, or Increase flash Output, or make aperture smaller.

Too Bright-  You need less light-  How? Lower ISO, or lower flash Output, or make aperture larger.

3-  Take another picture and repeat.

With A LOT of practice, you will know exactly what adjustments you need to make quickly.

If you need any help or want me to critique an image taken with flash and you are not sure what happened, I’d be happy to help

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Ashton – Headshot


Photography St Louis Missouri

Headshot Photography St Louis Missouri Illinois Wedding Engagement


Canon 5 D MK3

85 mm 1.2

f 4 1/500 ISO 200

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Bridal Party

SMALL (29 of 56)

St Louis Wedding Bridal Photography Engagement Photographer Missouri Illinois

There are a couple of ways I like to pose the Bridal Party.  My favorite is to create a pyramid style shape with the peak being the brides head.

It is a very pleasing shape and one that can be achieved even if the bride is shorter.  Have the rest of the bridal party lean in and forward to help offset the height difference.  This can work large bridal parties as well.

Canon 5d Mk2

24-70 2.8 L

F4 1/250 ISO 200 +2/3

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Wedding Details Reflections and Rings



Reflections Reflections

Wedding Details Reflections and Ringss

To get this you need a macro lens-  Canon has a fantastic 100mm 2.8 L with IS.  I’ve never been a macro kinda photographer but this lens can take you to a whole new level of creativity.

As a Missouri wedding photographer, I  photograph plenty of still life in the form of wedding details.  Flowers, shoes, cakes,  , and rings .    Photographing engagement and wedding rings are so much fun to play around with.

I’m enjoy with the challenge of taking a ring and photographing it in a way that adds depth. The stones on the ring    are beautiful  , so it can sometimes be difficult to set them in a scene that amplifies that beauty without detracting from it.

Canon 5D Mk2

100 mm f2.8 IS L

f 2.8  1/500 ISO 200

Wedding Details Photography St Louis St Charles Missouri photographers Engagement Family Portrait Reflections Illinois  Kansas City Chicago

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Bride, Groom, and a Horse

Bride and Groom

St Louis Wedding Photography

St Louis Wedding Photography Engagement Family portraits photographers Bride


Some images just beg to be tweaked a little more than others.

The reflection is real-  I just made it stronger by running a direct Sharpening brush over it.

The clouds are real- I just made them pop with a purple hue.

The sky is orange-  I just made it bolder.

The Carriage is real LOL-  I just made it standout from the darkening landscape with a little direct light brushing.

Canon 5D MK3

70-200 IS 2.8 L  Mk2

2.8  1/500 ISO 3000


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The Groomsmen

Shari Photography St Louis

wedding photography

Wedding Photography St Louis

Photographing the Groomsmen is easy:

–  Keep the background clear and cool looking.  For large groups your going to be closing the aperture down (f 5.6 or smaller)  so the background will be in focus.  So keep it clean and cool.

–  Just let em huddle-  guys like to be in a pack.  Don’t try to pose them too much.  Just put the together and let them be goofy.

– Prompt them a little-  their playfulness will be the best shots.  In this shot I could have photoshopped the beer bottle out-  but this is who they were-  a fun drinking kinda group.

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Rings and Weddings


Hermann Hill Wedding


Wedding Missouri


Ring in Grass


Wedding St Louis

Weddings and Rings St Louis Wedding Photography

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How to get the Veil Blowing in the Wind Shot

How to get this

How to get this

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Rogue Lightbenders and the Bride


Shari Photography


The photo of Brittany was made with one of my favorite tools-  the Rogue Lightbender.  In this case I used it as a snoot to direct the flash at the bride to create a dramatic  image.

There is very little work done in post production with this image.  The Bride is light by the Canoon 600 with the Rogue attached.  My assistant is aiming the flash at Brittany while standing to my left.  She’s holding it up pretty high and directing it down.

The flash is being triggered with a Pocketwizard TTL system which I also love.

The reflection on the tile is from the light that is streaming in from the doors behind her.  This was taken at around 6 pm so the sun was perfectly placed for this shot.  I doubt the mirroring would have been as sharp 2 hours earlier or later.

There was no photoshoping of this image.

I am really pleased with this image mostly because I “saw” the potential as we were walking through on the way to the reception.  I was  in front of the couple and turned to make sure they were still with me.  What I saw made me drop everything to get the image- the beautiful curve of the wall, the lovely overhead lighting, warm colors, and the light pouring in from behind.

In an instant I knew what I had to do to create the image. Without the Rogue this image would not have been possible.  A Flash would have spilled too much light out.  I wanted to isolate Brittany in a narrow beam of light.

I kept my shutter speed slow to bring as much ambient light as possible.  The lovely warm colors are all natural-  no filter or editing.  Initially my ISO was about 800 which was too high.

Canon 5D Mk3

24-70 IS 2.8

f2.8, 1/80

ISO 400

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