The 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.
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.