Flash Gear for Wedding Days | Tips for Photographers

flash gear for wedding days

Flash gear for wedding days are key to photographing the entirety of a wedding day and delivering beautiful images. I remember when I first started my photography business. It was difficult enough to learn how to photograph couples and families well in natural light. Photographing families in high noon was a nightmare. After learning through trial and error, I discovered what worked well and what didn’t in natural light.

Then, I began to photograph weddings. I absolutely adore the joy and beauty of wedding days. But when I started, I remember the anxiety I had associated with photographing wedding receptions. That is, I had that anxiety until I learned how to properly use flash. Read along for some tips on what I use, and how I use my flash gear for weddings days.

My Flash Gear for Wedding Days

Speedlites

I use the Canon Speedlite EX RT II flashes. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, I believe Godox has some great flashes. I love these flashes because they are easy to sync, and have the sensor to sync them built into the flash. This means less overall gear to lug around! These speedlites are extremely reliable and take AA batteries. I usually go through at least four batteries per flash during a reception, so to save money and care for the environment, I use rechargeable batteries with this battery charger. During a wedding reception, I usually use three of these total: two speedlites off camera and one on camera to achieve the desired look.

flash gear for wedding days

Flash Stands

If you are using speedlites for off camera flash gear, then you also need flash stands for your wedding flash gear! I like to use 8′ flash stands. While they can be a little flimsy if you extend them all the way to seven feet, you can use sandbags to weigh them down. I usually extend them to about 5 feet or 6 feet, and I don’t have any issues with them falling over. The flash stands I linked also come with a sturdy case to make them easier to bring on wedding days.

Lighting Diffusers for Wedding Days

flash gear for wedding days

I prefer to use a white umbrella over a softbox as a light diffuser for my wedding day flash gear. Softboxes prevent light bleeding out of the focal area, and umbrellas do the opposite. They diffuse the light and let it bleed into the surroundings. During a wedding day, that’s exactly what we want. We want the light to hit our subjects more softly, and to bleed into their surroundings for most reception pictures. If you are attempting a more dramatic look during toasts or a first dance, only then would I consider a softbox as opposed to an umbrella for you. There are other light modifiers to create a more dramatic look. For most soft, well light reception portraits, the umbrella does an excellent job.

flash gear for weddings
This picture was taken with an umbrella over a speedlight to the left, and you can see the speedlite on a flash stand on the opposite end of the reception area.

Don’t forget to attach a “Shoe” to your light stand

wedding day flash gear

A “shoe” is a super simple and inexpensive attachment for your flash stand. All you do is screw on the top of your flash stand, and attach your speed light! For the flash stand using the umbrella, you can insert it into the empty circle that has an external screw to tighten or loosen. Setup takes about a minute! I have linked a shoe that works here.

flash gear for a wedding day

And those are the necessities, friend! See some images below that I took with one flash on camera, and one off camera flash. I look forward to sharing more flash tips with you on my blog!

wedding day flash gear

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Helpful Tips

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February 23, 2021

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  1. Sara says:

    great tips for using flash on a wedding day!

  2. Zinette says:

    Thanks for sharing.your knowledge. This is very well written and your work is amazing!! 🔥

  3. Monica says:

    Thanks for sharing. Flash photography can be intimidating but is very necessary for receptions and night shoots.

  4. Jeanette says:

    This is such a great guide! I use the Yongnuo flashes as a cheaper alternative to the Canon ones and have loved them so far! Thanks for a great guide!

  5. Jen says:

    Excellent tips!! I just invested in the godox flashes and they’re amazing!

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