Don’t say you’re a “natural light photographer” that is basically saying you don’t know how to use artificial light.

Yes, in a perfect world the only lighting scenario a wedding photographer would encounter is an overcast day but that is not reality.

I’m not going to breakdown how we light the entire day, instead, here is a quick guide at how we light at wedding receptions using a very inexpensive but effective setup.

Generally, we will have two lights on opposite sides of the dancefloor on 12′ light stands, with sandbags on the bottom aimed towards the middle of the dancefloor.  WE DO NOT BOUNCE THESE!  They are aimed towards the middle and when high enough offer a nice even light source.

Many venues do not offer a place to bounce… i.e. Toledo Club or outdoor dance floor.

In some instances, we will place one on the other side of the room to offer a rim light for toasts or cake cutting.  It really depends on the reception layout and expansiveness of space.

Toledo Country Club Wedding Photos

The basic flashes on light stands are your starting point… but to bring it next level, we bring in a more powerful light source.  This is where my lovely assistant gets to be the star of the reception while holding a large light and staying at my 8:00 or 4:00 (I am 6:00)  This gives the subject some depth and allows the corner lights to act as a fill and rim light.

So that’s basically it!

I sold all of my expensive Canon gear to switch to this system… very affordable but it is good to have backups just incase!

Once you feel confident with this, doing legit sunset portraits will be a no brainer!

Lights in the corner:
Godox V850s (I have 4)
Godox XPro-S Wireless Flash Trigger
12′ Light Stands
Flash bracket for your light stands
Sandbags (put water bottles in them!)

Travelling light on a stick:
Godox AD-360
Godox AD-360 Wireless Trigger
Boom arm
Power Pack Adapter (for faster recycling time)
Power Pack clamp… so you can hook your power pack to your pole or light stand
Spare flash tube (do it!)