On Shooting Wedding Reception Photos
MY STYLE & APPROACH TO WEDDING RECEPTION PHOTOGRAPHY
A client recently pointed out to me that I don't feature much reception work on my site. This is true and there's a reason for it. Although I do have many great reception photos and a particular approach when I shoot receptions (I typically use flash with certain settings), I do realize that most prospective clients only spend a very limited amount of time on my site before making a decision. The thing is, if I had to pick a main course I offer, it would be natural light wedding portraiture. If I only had three photos to get people interested in my work, it would be those types of shots. Nevertheless, I do have some great wedding reception photos & today is all about featuring those shots and my style & approach when shooting receptions.
How Reception Wedding Photography Differs from the Rest of the Day
Though I am primarily a natural light photographer, there are times when I absolutely love flash. I use it a lot wedding receptions, due to the lack of available daylight. For that reason, many of my wedding reception photos have a slightly different look. Flash (with the right settings) can make subjects appear more glamorous. It gives a lot of lively pop to the photo, which I like. Having shot as a nightlife photographer in the past in NYC, flash can give your photos a professional polish and a vibrant glamour, which would be lost if was just shooting at a high ISO.
USING LONGER EXPOSURES
Creating a Dynamic Sense of Movement
In order to give a sense of energy and ephemerality to my reception photos, I will sometimes rate exposures at 1/15 or 1/30 of a second. This creates a slight motion blur within the frame. I like this because I think it matches the mindset of people at the reception. Typically most everyone here has had a few drinks and the dynamic whirr of feeling and energy is perfectly captured by the lower aperture. You can see examples of this above.
on being a fly on the wall at the reception
My #1 aim at wedding receptions is to seek out genuine candid moments. I love disappearing into the woodwork at a reception. Maybe since most often people are having a few drinks by this time, they tend to forget you're there. This allows me the opportunity to get genuine and fun reaction and in-the-moment shots. I also find at receptions people tend to be more playful with the camera - a good thing!
In conclusion, this should give you a sense of my approach to receptions as a wedding photographer. Ultimately my goal is to capture definitive, unrehearsed, carefree and genuine moments. And I want the pictures to convey the joyous mood of the night in a way that the couples and guests I work with will find special for years to come.