Tampa Wedding Photography Flash Guide

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Booray Perry Photography

Tampa Wedding Photographer

Tampa Wedding Photographer Guide

Perfect Florida Beach Wedding

Tampa Wedding Photographer Flash Guide

provided by Booray Perry Photography

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Tampa weddings require special skills from your photographer

All wedding photography requires special skills but Tampa is unique because so many of our weddings take place outside. All this bright sunlight makes it easier to take good pictures but harder to take great pictures.

Why is flash important for Tampa weddings?

If you picked 20 Tampa wedding photography websites at random, I’ll bet you would notice a trend. There will be a lot of pictures of outdoor weddings.

Do we have more outdoor weddings in Tampa than anywhere else? I don’t think so. The reason you see so many outdoor weddings when you look at Tampa Photography websites is that, generally speaking, outdoor weddings are easier to shoot. This results in better pictures and so, naturally, these pictures are the ones featured on the website.

Last year I shot one outdoor wedding. One.

Most Tampa weddings take place indoors and that means dark churches and dark reception halls. A photographer who knows how to use flash will mean the difference between bland pictures and amazing pictures.

Indoor flash at Tampa Weddings and “Bouncing”

tampa wedding photography 2The way that you can spot a wedding photographer that knows how to use flash indoors is by looking at the light in their pictures. For example, look at this picture of a bride getting ready for the ceremony. Notice the light on her face? It looks like it’s coming from the window but it’s not. If you look closely, you can see the window light at the very edge of her face (Notice how bright it is? We call that a “rim light”)

No, the light on her face isn’t coming from the window and it’s not coming from the camera either. You can tell it’s not from the camera because the left side of her face has shadow. If the light were coming from the camera her face would be lit evenly. We call that “flat lighting” because it makes the person look flat and uninteresting.

Well, guess what? The light IS coming from the camera, it’s just not pointed at the bride. For this shot I swiveled my flash around so that it lit the wall to the left. That light bounced off the wall and hit the bride in a big wash that looks much more natural and dynamic than if she were lit with flat light pointed right at her. This is called “Boiunce Flash Photography” and it’s the secret to truly great candid pictures.wedding photography tampa 1b

Let’s take a look at another one. It’s pretty obvious where the light is coming from in this shot but again you would never guess that it’s actually being bounced off the far wall. Weddings are fast, fun affairs and there’s little time to waste on a photographer who can’t look at a room and figure out immediately how to use his flash. This picture was taken in about 15 seconds.

Outdoor flash photography at Tampa weddings

tampa wedding photography 3Here’s a picture that is a good example of what we call “fill-flash.” Remember I said at the top of this article that all this Florida sunlight can actually make it harder to take pictures? That’s because harsh sunlight creates harsh shadows and a good photographer has to know how to add flash to his subjects that’s enough to eliminate the shadows but not so much that the people don’t look like they are being lit by the sun. You can tell you’re looking at a good outdoor photographer’s work if you can’t tell for sure if there is a flash being used.

Off-camera flash photography at Tampa weddings

Now we come to my favorite kind of flash photography: Off-camera lighting. A Tampa wedding photographer who uses off-camera lighting is easy to spot because he’ll have a tripod nearby with a flash attached to it and possibly a big umbrella. Hetampa wedding photography 1 might even have an assistant who simply carries it around all day.

The big advantage of off-camera lighting is that it gives the photographer the ability to create dynamic portraits on location. This is especially beautiful when you are shooting inside a church, like the picture you see here. For this shot I have a second light on a tripod to my left that is creating the dynamic light you see on the bride. No flat lighting here!

It’s not all dynamic portraits when it comes to off-camera lighting, however. It’s also very useful at the reception, provided your photographer knows how to do it.

Reception can be dark places and dance floors especially so. This is a perfect opportunity to use off-camera lighting so that you can actually see the party.

It’s especially useful during the special events, like the garter toss. In the picture below I am using two flashes; One to light the groom and one to light the “catchers.” This picture would have been impossible with just one flash.

 

wedding photography tampa 2

The bottom line

As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, I’m a wedding photographer in Tampa, FL. However, I’m certainly not the only one who is capable of using flash lighting at a wedding. Feel free to browse my website and see how you feel about my ability. If you like what you see, call me at (813) 728-7110 and we’ll schedule a consultation. Regardless of what you finally decide for your wedding, you’re definitely better prepared now to select a great Tampa wedding photographer!

Want to know some questions you should ask at your consultation? Check out my Tampa Wedding Photographer Guide! For more articles on Tampa Wedding Photography be sure and read my blog.

[Tampa Wedding Photography Flash Guide]
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