Mobile lighting in wedding photography

Mobile lighting in wedding photography

Mobile lighting in wedding photography
The 2022 wedding season is already underway!

With another spring in our calendar, a new intensive season for wedding photographers has also arrived. Beautiful weather is definitely conducive to organizing the most important day in the life of the bride and groom - the days are getting longer and temperatures are rising, making it possible to plan a wedding not only in a party room but also outdoors. People who start their adventure with wedding photography most often use the existing light, however, very often it is not enough to take beautiful, impressive photos, to which the client would like to come back often while recalling their special day. The key to success in this industry is to develop your own unique style of photography, which will distinguish you from the numerous competitors. However, it's hard to do this by working solely with ambient light. Using speedlights will definitely help - thanks to them you will be able to take clear and energetic photos, also using creative effects.
This article is addressed to people who want to enter the wedding photography market or work in it, but want to gain knowledge about advanced flash solutions. We will explain all the issues related to lighting - based on the knowledge contained in this guide, you will be able to make an informed decision regarding the purchase of flashes for wedding and outdoor photography.


Why do you use flash?
Photographing with ambient light very often comes at the price of photo quality. By adjusting only the parameters of the camera, the images may come out too dark, blurred, or full of noise. Natural light does not accompany us during the whole wedding ceremony either - the best fun at weddings starts only after dark, when we can no longer count on the help of sunlight. Using a flash will effectively solve all the above mentioned problems - if used properly, it will guarantee perfect exposure and allow to capture all the important moments.
A good solution for the beginning will be a speedlight mounted on the camera hot shoe. Its unquestionable advantage is the fact that the source of light is always with us. If you decide on a flash unit supporting automatic flash, it will be very convenient and easy to use. The disadvantages of such a solution include little or no control over the direction of light - pictures taken with one flash may look flat and unattractive, if there are no proper conditions to bounce the light back.
Professional wedding photographers usually use the whole lighting system based on 4 or even 5 flashes, triggered remotely by radio, using an appropriate transmitter. This solution gives you much more control over the light - the flashes placed all over the hall will precisely illuminate every part of it and will give your photos more dynamics and the impression of spaciousness. When the lighting in the room is not effective and it is dark - a set of lights can save the mood of our reportage. The final effect, however, depends on the photographer's skills and style. In order to fully explain all the issues related to lighting a wedding reportage, we will discuss lighting solutions for each stage of the ceremony.


Every wedding is preceded by the preparation phase - the bride and groom put on their outfits and spend their last moments with the family before the ceremony. This is a stage that you should definitely capture in your reportage, so that it is consistent from the first to the last photo. The lighting for photographing the preparations for the big day should be chosen according to the rooms in which the bride and groom will be located and the people accompanying them - bridesmaids, best man and witnesses. Although the natural light coming through the window at home is often enough, it is worth having a speedlight to illuminate photos in darker places or when we feel like taking pictures against the light, for example against the background of a window. For outdoor photography on a sunny day, such as group shots in front of a house or in front of a church, it's worthwhile to use a more advanced model, such as the Godox AD200, or other outdoor lights from this mobile series. Their light will even out the exposure in the photo, illuminating shadows. Before leaving for the place of the ceremony, it is also worth complementing the reportage with photos of details, such as wedding rings, flowers, or parts of the bride and groom's clothing - having a flash light, the field of possibilities will be much wider. In the Godox offer you will find specially designed solutions for macro photography - MF-R76 or MF12. To illuminate details, instead of flash, you can also use additional steady light, such as pocket LED panels. Models such as the Godox R1 or M1 enjoy extremely compact dimensions and will easily fit even into your pocket, and are also equipped with RGB light so that you can add a touch of color to your photos.


Church ceremony
The next stage of the wedding is the ceremony itself. It can be one of the most difficult for the photographer during the whole day - when taking pictures in the church, he often has to rely only on the ambient lighting. This is connected with the fact that not in every church can you use the flash. So it is necessary to find out in advance the rules of the specific church where the ceremony is taking place. However, in our opinion, it's a good idea to have a safety precaution in the form of a speedlight, just in case.
If you decide to use a flash, use it carefully - point the flash head upwards and soften the light with a diffusion. Try to bounce the flashes off the walls and ceilings instead of aiming them directly at the bride and groom and the participants of the service. Remember, however, to choose only white surfaces - the light reflecting off a wooden ceiling or a colored wall will cause discoloration in the picture, which is hard to get rid of later in the processing.
Accessory kits for flash lights, such as the AK-R1 or SA-K6, may be useful here.


After the ceremony in the church it is time for the biggest attraction of the whole event - the evening party at the wedding reception. It is at this stage that you will capture most of the action and spontaneous emotions that accompany the participants. At the beginning the atmosphere may still be a bit formal, but as time goes by it should loosen up to give you a chance to find perfect moments and interesting shots.
It is possible to make an attractive and impressive wedding reportage using a single light, but it gives less scope than a set consisting of several units. Large wedding halls are usually very spacious rooms, which cannot be covered by the flash of a single light. That is why, apart from one speedlight mounted on the camera hot shoe, it is worth having a few more units, which will be placed on lightstand. However, not everyone knows that Godox flashlight, in addition to the flash function itself, can also control other units! And here we mean not only triggering the flash but also full control over the mode and parameters of other units.


Mobile lighting in wedding photography
A set often used by wedding photographers consists of a transmitter mounted on the camera's hot shoe and 4 flashes placed on lightstands in the corners of the hall. Their exact number depends on personal preferences of the photographer, the size of the room and the lighting conditions. A radio controller, such as Godox X2 or Xpro, will allow you to remotely control the parameters of the flashes, so that their light is always matched exactly to the situation. Experienced professionals often work with Godox AD-series lamps - models ranging from the compact AD100Pro, to the well-known AD200, AD300Pro, to the often-used outdoor AD400Pro. A very popular one is also a unique speelight with a round head - Godox V1.
People looking for more budget solutions will also find something for themselves in our offer. Classic flashes are able to fulfil their tasks at a wedding equally well. Among them we can recommend models such as Godox TT350 and TT685, powered by classic AA batteries, or flashes from the Ving series - V350 or V860III using dedicated rechargeable batteries. Each is equipped with both a radio transmitter and receiver, so they can be triggered by X-system controllers or other Godox speedlights without the need for additional kit components. Photographers who also care about camera flashes can mount any Godox flash on the camera hot shoe and use it as a MASTER device, thus gaining the ability to adjust flash parameters on other devices.
Professional photographers sometimes use two cameras, often also from two different systems - in such a situation they need to use two transmitters, dedicated to a specific camera model. However, the Godox X system allows you to mix systems - using, for example, Canon with the X2C controller, you will trigger flash devices dedicated to the Sony camera. So you can mount on light stands any version of flashes - for Canon, Nikon, Sony, MFT or Fuji, the only important thing is to have on the camera shoe a device dedicated to your system, it's that simple!


Outdoor photoshoot
The vast majority of newlyweds, in addition to photos of the ceremony and wedding, also want a personal photo session for two, where they can enjoy the beautiful surroundings and their presence. This is the moment when the photographer has the most room to show his skills - he has the opportunity to create controlled conditions to capture or create the most beautiful frames. The final choice of location for the photo session belongs to the bride and groom, but try to prepare a few suggestions for them. In their choice you are limited only by your own imagination and budget. Before taking the bride and groom for an outdoor photo session, be sure to check what time the sun will set on a given day - this will allow you to plan the entire session carefully.
For outdoor photography you can use the same speedlights - Godox TT series, V series or you can decide to use more powerful AD series outdoor lamps - AD200AD400Pro or other power of your choice. It is also worth to choose an appropriate light modifier - an umbrella or a softbox will disperse harsh light from the flash head. The whole set should be comfortable and fit into a backpack or a photographic bag. After completing a particular part of the session, you can stow all the equipment and freely move to the next location. We recommend ready-made outdoor kits, which include a softbox with an adapter that allows you to mount both speedlights and outdoor AD lights.
In the summer, in the middle of the wedding season, the sun rises high above the horizon, shining with a very intense and harsh light. For this reason, organizing the session in the afternoon hours is rather not advisable, unless it is the photographer's intentional intention, which will be complemented with additional blending or flash light. Harsh light can cause problems for amateurs, but for advanced photographers it can also be an ally! For professionals, we offer really powerful units that are able to overpower the power of sunlight or use it as a counter light. Remember that natural light changes its color and properties over the course of the day. Be sure to take advantage of the golden hour as well, which occurs before sunset is complete. The light then has a wonderful golden-orange color and looks attractive in photos.



Some tips on how to light - interesting tricks and settings
- Remember not to point the flash directly into the eyes of the bride and groom or their guests. When taking pictures of people, it is a good idea to point the flash upwards, and diffuse its light.
- You can bounce the flash light off walls or ceilings, but they are not always white. If the flash bounces off a wooden or colored surface, it will cause discoloration in the picture, which is difficult to remove during processing.
- Be sure to place the lights on light stands so that they do not interfere with your guests' movement or expose them to knocks and falls.
- Experiment with the capabilities of your lights - try shooting in 2nd curtain sync mode, combining freezing motion with the creative blurring of ambient light for longer exposures.
- Try to use a counter light - it's a simple but very effective way to emphasize the outline of a face or figure and give the impression of three-dimensionality.
- The color of the flash often needs to be adjusted to the color temperature of the existing lighting. The Godox CF-07 color filter set will be an invaluable aid in this regard.
- Shooting reflections in mirrors is also a great way to get interesting, unobvious shots - but remember not to catch your own reflection or the direct light of the flash.
- Don't be afraid to photograph against the light! While some may consider this an incorrect technique, it can also be used to achieve all sorts of interesting effects, especially if you incorporate a flash


Godox ready-made sets for wedding photography
To meet the needs of people looking for ready-made solutions, we have prepared several proposals of practical sets with several levels of advancement.
- Ambitious Amateur
As part of the first kit, aimed at those completing their first equipment for wedding photography, we have prepared:
2 ⨯ Godox TT685 flash
2 ⨯ Godox 260T light stand
1 ⨯ Godox X2T Transmitter
This is a very basic and easy to use set - the absolute minimum that every wedding photographer should have. TT685 flashes allow you to use automatic flash, which will further improve the work of a beginner photographer. One light can be set on the camera, and the second unit can be used as a control light. In another variant, after setting them up on 260T lightstands in two corners of the room, they can be triggered by the Godox X2T controller.
- Mobile Master
The second set was created for photographers who would like to start their adventure with wedding reportage from a slightly higher threshold, or are inclined to expand their existing equipment with additional lights. We have provided for products such as:
1 ⨯ Godox AD200 outdoor flash
1 ⨯ Godox V1 speedlight
4 ⨯ Godox TT350 speedlight
1 ⨯ Godox X2T transmitter
3 ⨯ Godox 260T light stand
1 ⨯ Accessory kit AK-R1
The Godox AD200 flash offers a slightly more powerful light than regular speedlights - for this reason, it can be used in many different situations, not only indoors but also outdoors. The V1 round-head flash model will work great on the camera hot shoe, especially with AK-R1 magnetic accessories. Several TT350 units are designed to be placed in key locations in the wedding hall to create three-dimensional lighting.
- Ingenious Professional
This is the most advanced proposal that will be best used by those with specific experience in this field of photography. Within it we offer:
1 ⨯ Godox V1 speedlight
1 ⨯ Godox AD600Pro outdoor flash
3 ⨯ Godox V860III speedlight
1 ⨯ Godox Xpro transmitter
1 ⨯ Godox CF07 Color Filter Kit
3 ⨯ Bowens mount for speedlights
4 ⨯ Godox 260T light stand
1 ⨯ Godox SB-UE95 octagonal softbox (95 cm)
2 ⨯ Godox SB-GUSW5070 rectangular softbox (50 ⨯ 70 cm)
Such an expanded set can easily handle all the tasks set before it, regardless of the conditions and constant light - you can use it both in the wedding hall and during outdoor sessions. The Godox AD600 is perfect even for shooting in full sunlight, and the V860III model will accurately illuminate the bride and groom's guests after setting up in the hall. With the help of the Xpro radio controller, you will be able to easily and conveniently trigger all of the devices in this set and adjust their parameters, without the need to approach each of the lights separately. A set of color filters will allow you to freely adjust the flash colors to the existing light. Especially for outdoor sessions, we have also included three softboxes with Bowens mounting and three special holders that will allow you to mount them with speedlights.
If you want to learn even more about how to use the lamps in practice, we encourage you to watch our newest video about wedding photography:

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