Creative Night-Time Wedding Photography

If you have ever read any of my wedding blogs, you will notice I love spending some time later in the evenings at weddings doing a little creative lighting photography using off camera flash. So, here is a little blog about how I do these on a wedding day and below are some of my favourite photos.

a bride and groom kiss in front of a white barn door with a pretty summer evening sky above them
a bride and groom are close under a fairy-lit wooden arch
man and wife stand in a lit up wooden structure in black and white
bride and groom are back lit in a vinyard in the rain
bride and groom are silhouetted against a white door with a blue evening sky above them
newlyweds kiss infront of a barn wedding venue being back lit with balloons either side
a black outline of a barn wedding venue, a blue evening sky and the bride and groom are silhouetted against one side of the barn
newlyweds hug and laugh being lit and lights lead in towards them
a bride and groom are backlit standing in front of a black door and the venue sign abive
a bride and groom are framed between festoon lighting bulbs in the foreground in the dark
a bride and groom are lit up as they dance in front of large lit up love letters
newlyweds stand in a wooden pergola which is being lit up
a bride and groom are silhouetted against a window next to a staircase with a chandelier
newlyweds stand on an outdoor staircase in a symmetrical building with a blue evening sky above them
a bride and groom are on a stairway between arches being back lit
a bride and groom are silhouetted against a wall on a staircase with birdcage lights next to them
a bride and groom are in the distance being lit up and fire torches are lining the path towards them
a bride and groom stand in an archway being back lit with lights against a wall above them
a symmetrical photo of newlyweds being back lit against a white wall with a glass done ahead of them
bride and groom are silhouetted against the front of their wedding venue Pitt Hall Barn
a bride and groom are silhouetted by an orange light with wood panels behind them

When I started training as a wedding photographer and first saw a wedding photo using off camera flash at night I was intrigued. The effect was so stunning, I was super keen to do learn how to do this for myself.

I did some training courses as well as lots of research online regarding off camera flash. I also did lots of second shooting with other wedding photographers, which gave me a good insight into how others do it. But most importantly I did lots and lots of practice. I roped my husband in to help me practice at home, practicing with settings on my camera and the different effects I could achieve. He was my reluctant model!

When it came to equipment, I had heard and seen in actions MagMod light diffusers and modifiers on one of my training courses, and I loved how quick and easy they were to use. The magnets allow the user to quickly snap on and off different pieces for different effects so effortlessly. I was super impressed and ordered myself some items and sets the very next day.

On a wedding day I am always on the look-out for an interesting spot to do a night-time photo. For example if the bride is getting ready at the wedding venue on the morning of the wedding I might have a little scope out of the potential spots for a photo that night, then later on when it is dark, I will investigate further and practice, before asking the newlyweds to step away from the party to get the photo.

The location could be indoors or outdoors, on a staircase, in an archway or incorporate lighting already at the venue i.e. festoon lighting or fairy lights. One of my favourites is a wide-angle outdoor shot where I silhouette the bride and groom against a door or a building at their wedding venue when the sun is setting, and the sky looks pretty. So, as well as looking for a nice spot for the bride and groom to place them, I am also keeping an eye on the sky.

Rain can also make a good night-time photo as the raindrops will be lit up by the flash. At one wedding at Stanlake Park the rain was pretty persistent all day and I knew I wanted to do a photo in the dark in the vineyards. My second shooter for the day Becky was a trooper and stood behind the bride and groom holding the flash in the dark, wet grass while I took the shot. The bride and groom were also super cool about getting a little wet and it made for a great photo.

Some weddings I will have a second photographer with me which is really useful for doing these photos as they can be my helper and light stand! Other weddings it will just be me and I will do it by myself which is also no problem as I have lots of equipment to help me.

As much as I love creating these photos and I have had some lovely feedback from brides and grooms on how much they love them, the most important point for me is to only do them if the couple are happy to go ahead. I always get the shot set up and practice it to make sure I am totally ready, for the newlyweds to just step in and it will take a few minutes of their time. But ultimately if they don’t want to go outside on a chilly evening, into the rain, or just away from their guests, then I will absolutely not do the shot and respect their wishes.

As I said previously, I love being creative with these shots and getting something a little different for the bride and groom.

Below I have shared some of my favourite night-time off camera flash photos from weddings.

If you would like to learn a little more about the person behind the camera, please see Fiona's 'About Me' page here.