3 Ways to Shoot Backlit with Flash

For a long time I just wasn't interested in flash. I didn't think that I could get the illuminated portraits that I wanted with flash so I would just crank up my ISO and embrace that amazing grain! After some experimenting, I feel like I have finally found my voice with flash. I love the grainy images but now I also love working with flash during the reception! Today I am sharing 3 ways to backlight your subject at the reception! 3 Ways to Shoot Backlit with Flash - The Jordan Brittley Blog (www.jordanbritleyblog.com)

3 ways to shoot backlit with flash

The gear you need

Your camera, a light stand, and two flashes! I use the Canon 5D Mark III (typically paired with the 50 L 1.2), this light stand, and 2 Canon 600 EX RTs.

Off-camera flash setup

I like to extend the light stand so that the off-camera flash is about 5 feet off the ground. Point the flash directly at the couple. You won't ever want to do that with the flash on your camera, but you can do this with your off-camera flash to create more directional light behind the couple.

On-camera flash setup

The flash on my camera is typically pointed straight up for this set up (no white card or diffuser). I like the contrast that I get from firing my on-camera flash at the ceiling.

3 Ways to Shoot Backlit with Flash - The Jordan Brittley Blog (www.jordanbritleyblog.com)

Method #1 (120 degrees)

Once you have your flashes synched and ready to go, position yourself so that you create 120 degree angle with your off-camera flash. This shot sometimes works better with a tighter lens if you don't want the flare. I like to shoot it both ways and love the light in these photographs!

3 Ways to Shoot Backlit with Flash - The Jordan Brittley Blog (www.jordanbritleyblog.com)3 Ways to Shoot Backlit with Flash - The Jordan Brittley Blog (www.jordanbritleyblog.com)3 Ways to Shoot Backlit with Flash - The Jordan Brittley Blog (www.jordanbritleyblog.com)

Method #2 (180 degrees)

This is the easiest method! Move so that you create 180 degree angle with your off-camera flash. This will mean that it will be on the opposite side of the dance floor as you shoot. To take the photo, I block the off-camera flash with my subject so that there is no flare. Although sometimes I do take a few with the flare because I like the effect!

2 Ways to Shoot Backlit with Flash_0001

Method #3 (180 degrees)

The setup for the off-camera flash is the exact same as method #2! The only difference is that I turn off the flash on my camera. This creates more contrast since the subject is only being lit from behind. I typically like these images converted to black and white.

3 Ways to Shoot Backlit with Flash - The Jordan Brittley Blog (www.jordanbritleyblog.com)3 Ways to Shoot Backlit with Flash - The Jordan Brittley Blog (www.jordanbritleyblog.com)

I hope this helps you as your find your voice with flash! What have you found helpful when shooting receptions? What's your go-to setup?

 

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