Engagement & Wedding Flash Photography

March 30, 2023

What You Need to Know About Incorporating Flash Into Your Session

When it comes to wedding photography, there is a lot to consider. Quality is paramount, as are cost and style. This is why many wedding photographers, including myself, are experienced in flash photography, as it ensures the highest quality image.

Flash photography can provide a more creative, crisp, and unique look to every shot.

In this blog post, I’ll go over what flash photography is, its benefits, and how I can use it to capture the special moments of your big day.

What is Flash Photography?

Most of us have likely experienced getting our picture taken with flash, often accompanied by the notorious red-eye effect.

Flash photography has come a long way! When used correctly, it can produce some beautiful, crisp photographs (without those annoying red eyes).

So, what is flash photography? Simply put, it’s a photography technique that uses a brief, intense burst of artificial light to illuminate your subject and capture an image.

This light source (flash) is usually attached to your device. Think about how your iPhone back camera flash uses the LED flashlight to illuminate the scene.

You’ll also commonly see professional photographers attach an external flash (sometimes called off-camera flash) to the camera. This is what I use to capture galleries with flash!

An external flash can be mounted onto the camera’s top or attached to a light stand – if you’ve ever taken school pictures, you might know what I’m talking about.

Off-camera flash functions similarly to your phone flash, although professional-grade flash does a much better job and lights up a larger area.

Flash photography is usually used in dimly lit or indoors to provide additional light and capture brighter, sharper images. So, if your engagement or wedding venue is indoors, this might be a good fit for you!

What is flash photography?

Flash or Not: The Benefits of Incorporating Wedding Flash

Flash is a fantastic tool for when the lighting isn’t ideal where you’re taking your pictures. For example, I would use flash if it’s a particularly rainy day or the venue has poor lighting.

The beautiful thing about using flash is that I have complete control over the lighting despite the quality or amount of natural light. If your venue has minimal natural light or I’m shooting your event at night, flash helps me achieve well-lit, beautiful images.

Engagement or wedding photography with flash also helps give your photos a more candid, carefree, and wild look. The images can appear more spontaneous and dramatic or even vintage-looking.

I enjoy using flash to capture sharp, clear images of faster-moving moments during your engagement or wedding day. For example, I might use it to photograph you and your partner running through a field or your wedding guests on the dance floor.

Flash photography can also help highlight fine details and create depth in the images, such as detail shots or a close-up of your engagement ring.

Flash can ultimately make your final engagement or wedding gallery look very unique and polished!

Making the Most of Flash During Your Session

As a documentary wedding photographer, direct flash photography is perfect for capturing images with a creative, timeless feel.

Say, you like the look of flash photography but don’t want your entire engagement session or wedding captured this way. You can always request the photographer for images with and without flash.

Here are some examples of where your photographer could use flash during your engagement session:

  • Close-up photos of your engagement ring
  • Portrait shots
  • Poses with lots of movement (i.e., running or dancing)
  • Studio or indoor shooting location

Also, remember that your outfits and location are crucial for completing the flash photography look you want. For example, choose a more urban location if you want that “paparazzi” or dramatic feel.

If you’re in the Portland area, check out the Ace Hotel for your engagement session. You can also use my recent photo shoot here as inspiration!

Here are some examples of situations in that your photographer might opt for using flash throughout your wedding day:

  • Your flat-lay detail shots
  • Bridal portraits
  • Indoor, nighttime, or rainy ceremony and reception
  • Your table decor and cake
  • The dancefloor and group photos

Instead of capturing the whole session with flash, your photographer will know they can leverage the natural lighting instead. It’s always helpful to have inspiration photos on-hand to help inspire the session!

Tips For Choosing the Best Wedding Flash Photographer 

If you want to incorporate flash into your engagement or wedding day coverage, ask your photographer about their experience and comfort with using flash. You’ll want to ensure they’re familiar with this technique so you’re not left with many red-eyes or overexposed images.

If you’ve found someone you love, don’t be afraid to ask about their equipment. Ensure they have the equipment to capture high-quality flash photos in different lighting conditions.

And if they can’t answer this question, it might be a good clue that they aren’t experienced in flash photography.

Beyond all else, make sure you love your photographer’s typical style since your final gallery will likely combine flash photos and their normal style. Review their portfolio to see if their past work matches your preferred flash and non-flash photos style.

Flash photography is an excellent option for capturing your engagement and the special moments on your wedding day. Hiring a photographer versed in flash photography will help you make the most of flash to achieve the unique, creative shots you’re looking for.

Flash photography weddings

Now that you understand the benefits of flash photography and why you should hire an expert in wedding flash photography, it’s time to start looking for one.

With over 100 weddings shot, I am versed in documentary-style, fine art photography and when it is best to use flash during my session.

Let’s chat if you want to incorporate flash into your engagement or wedding day coverage! Submit a contact form to learn more about how I can capture your special occasion.

For more flash photography inspiration, check out the rest of my captures from my recent urban engagement session at the Ace Hotel in Portland, Oregon!

What is flash photography?
Wedding photography with flash
Auburn Photography
Wedding photography with flash
Wedding flash