How to shoot in crappy light

Recently I had a wedding that was in the middle of the day. Usually I try to shoot formal couples shots at beginning or end of the day when the light is best. Unfortunately the schedule did not allow for this.

I’m always trying to light all my shots. As much as I like natural light it’s not great in the middle of the day, outside. So we used a flash. The trick with a flash is not to see its effects dramatically. This was a dark scene opened up with a flash. The trick is to place it away from the camera and off to the side, slighty.


I try to set the exposure so the flash is 1.5 stops down from the brightest part of the scene (sky here) and 1/4 stop down from how the camera is set. Then use the shutter to open or close the background. You can always adjust it later in the computer but it looks better if you shoot it properly.

A more challenging shot was the couple in bright open sunlight. The camera was set to expose for the background and the couple was flashed. On commercial jobs I would have been plugged into a generator with a super strong lights and 2 assistants to help with the gear. We had no time to set this up so I needed it to work with one battery-powered light.


I hope this help you determine whats best for your big day!



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