Last spring I did a quick shoot of a couple, they liked the results and asked me to shoot their wedding. But prior to that I decided to make a test because I felt I didn’t have enough experience of shooting couples. I divided the test into two stages – the first with a speedlight through umbrella and a reflector, posed images and the second without the flash, in more relaxed way, capturing moments.
Speedlight through umbrella + reflector: works well when both persons are facing the same way, otherwise they are lit in different ways and that results in longer time in Camera Raw correcting highlights and shadows. The flash makes the couple to stand out, but the presence of lighting equipment and an assistant made Ed withdrawn and tense.
Ambient light: worked quite well, it was cloudy so the light and the shadows are very soft. The couple felt more relaxed and naturally. They weren’t limited in space and movements and that allowed them to express themselves more effectively.
In the future I will use a flash (at least 2 speedlights for even lighting) to produce staged couples’ portraits. I won’t use a flash in those cases when the aim is to capture couples’ relationships.
On the couple’s wedding day I’m planning to shoot without the flash for two reasons. The first is that the groom gets really shy in front of the lighting equipment and the photographs look unrealistically and tense. The second reason is that I will have only about an hour to shoot them, that means I won’t have time to set everything up and to capture the couple in different locations.