Using Off-Camera Flash to Create More Interesting Wedding and Engagement Photos

Using Off-Camera Flash to Create More Interesting Wedding and Engagement Photos

There are several ways to create more interesting photos, one way is to use off-camera lighting to help separate your subject from the environment or even making them the main focus of the shot. Carsten Schertzer shares 10 flash techniques he uses in his wedding and engagement photos to make them more interesting. These technique do not have to stop there, some of them can be used in other portrait sessions or even shooting products.

With any portrait, you want your main focus to be on the subjects. The techniques listed below will help you separate your subjects and draw your attention to them and help you create a more interesting shot. 

  1. Highlighting Against Shadow to Isolate Your Subject
  2. Silhouetting Against Highlights
  3. White Balance Throw
  4. Dragging Your Shutter
  5. Shoot Through
  6. Backlighting Suspended Particles
  7. Reflections
  8. Framing
  9. Up-lighting the Dance Floor
  10. Multiple Exposures

One of my favorite’s techniques from the list is dragging the shutter in combination with flash to freeze your subjects in the action. In the main image above, you see the crowd of people walking by to help frame the couple in combination with the use of flash to highlight and freeze them for sharpness. All of these are great techniques to use and are explained in detail with a few example shots on his site, Ilumina Studios. Which technique is your favorite off the list? Do you have any additional flash technique you use?

Log in or register to post comments

8 Comments

All great ideas but a few of the examples were a little overdone in my opinion.

Ummm... that guy is 23. I quit.

William Howell's picture

Twenty three years old and has a D4 and over ten thousand in lenses, how does one do this?
At twenty three, I had a beater and lived with my parents.

They are pretty good photos and a good idea to bring the eye to the subject.

When I was 23, I had two kids, lived in a beat up trailer, qualified for the Earned Income Credit and fed the "Warm Morning" stove with poor quality coal, discarded from a local mine. It's been a while! :-)

Hey! It's me, the writer of this article haha. I'll tell you exactly how! Lots and lots and LOTS of hard work. I've been looking through a lens for over half of my life, was homeless at 16 and shot my first wedding when it was 17. I started off with a Nikon d40 over 10 years ago, worked really hard and slowly but surely worked my way up to my shiny new d5 and lenses. Even today I work 100+ hours a week and reinvest every dime of profit back into my company, my passion and my future!

paulo Sousa's picture

depending on where you live, life costs changes a lot, as with incomes, so the cost of adquiring material may be more expensive or less.
I live in portugal and the average income of 700 buck make for a more difficult aquisition rate, of lenses cameras priced 2000 and above.
Nonetheless hard work dedication and struggle will always pay, and life always works differently from one person to another.

Interesting read. There are some great techniques outlined in the post.

Great work Carsten, many thanks for putting the time in to getting it together. I was reallylooking forward to this write up after reading your double exposure tutorial. It makes it easy to reverse engineer many other similar photos I have seen. If you got time to add in the basic exif data it would be great, it would help even more to understand how the shots were created. If not no problem, thanks again.