For me, reception lighting is the trickiest part of my job. Most reception halls are usually long and rectangular, dimly lit w/ low hanging chandeliers, high ceilings with beams, and LED lights from the DJ. Most of the time, everywhere I turn there's a different light scenario to expose for. For someone who loves shooting in natural light, receptions can be a beast. A couple of years ago, I decided to face the challenge head on, and learn how to control lighting situations, instead of having them control me. The greatest thing I did was invest in 4 flashes on light stands, instead of using an on-camera flash that I bounce off the ceiling or walls (Mike Larson showed us this method at For the Love Workshop). I like the look of ambient lighting, so having four flashes at low power fills up the space, without being glaringly obvious. This approach improved my reception lighting by leaps and bounds, but I still struggled with harsh shadows when photographing a packed dance floor. It wasn't until this summer that I found a product that I absolutely can't live without. It's called the Rogue Master Lighting Kit. It comes with a softbox that mounts easily onto my flash, and several Flashbenders. There are also gels (to help unify color temperatures) and a grid. My favorite parts of these kits are the Softbox and Flashbenders....I can't live without them. The softbox smooths out the light, creating soft, even light without harsh shadows (this has been a life saver). The Flashbenders allow me to bend and spread the light to where I need it. I love that I can hook them up to my flashes in a matter of seconds, which is brilliant because I usually have less than 5 minutes to transition from portraits to announcements.
The set was so easy to use and learn. Believe me, I am not one of those lighting gurus who has come up with a mathematical approach to lighting. I am a wedding photographer who spends 90% of her time shooting in natural light. However, due to my field, I HAVE to use off-camera lighting during the indoor portions of weddings. I'm just thankful that ExpoImaging came out with an amazing, user friendly product that can make artificial lighting easy for a natural light photographer.
With all that said, I'm excited to announce that ExpoImaging is giving away a free Rogue Master Lighting Kit to one of my followers this week (valued at $199.95). To enter, head over to my FB business page, and tag yourself in the Giveaway Photo. Leave a comment on the photo, tagging both ExpoImaging and my business page. You can even copy this: @Ginny Corbett Photography and @ExpoImaging are giving away a free Rogue Master Lighting Kit. I gotta have it! (Tip: In order to tag a page in a comment, you have to first "like" the page. So, here's a link to "like" ExpoImaging's Page as well.)
I will announce the winner this Friday. Also....ExpoImaging is so generous to offer all of my friends a 20% discount on all Rogue and ExpoImaging Products. Just enter: GINNYROGUE at checkout. (If you don't already have the ExpoDisc, I would get it ASAP...that's how I get all the beautiful colors in my images.) The discount code expires on 12/15/13. So, don't delay!
Below are some example images from my receptions, with a little explanation of what the lighting scenario was.....enjoy!
This wedding was outside on a patio during sunset. I wanted to be able to see the mtns in the backgroud, so the softbox was perfect to provide softlight.
This wedding was at a winery in VA. The cellar was dimly lit, but I didn't have any trouble creating beautiful light. The main light is using the softbox. The hairlight is using the Flashbenders.
For this shot, we only had 5 minutes to shoot the rings. We grabbed a flash with a softbox and lit up this shot beautiful. It only took one flash, and about 3 minutes.
Before using the Master Lighting Kit, this shot would've had harsh shadows with this many people on the dance floor, but with the softbox and Flashbender, we were able to create soft, even light that highlights the emotions on the dance floor.
With first dances, you have only a few minutes to get it right. I no longer spend most of the first dance guessing about the right place to stand for all the flashes to work together...the light is evenly displaced making it easy on us from the star
Rose Hill is one of my favorite venues, but it's tricky to light. The room is long and rectangle, and there are tons of chandeliers. It used to be a challenge to photograph the person giving the toast AND the audience, but now it's a breeze.
With using 4 flashes, I can position them all over the reception site so that I can sit back with my 135mm lens and capture what's happening during cocktail hour. With 4 flashes, I don't worry if I have enough light.
You can see how our flashes are set up in this shot. Before using my lighting set up, this reception would've been a nightmare. It's outside, under the stars. But with multiple off-camera lights, I can create dimensional, soft light everywhere.
Head over to my fb business page, and tag yourself in this pic, then leave a comment tagging both my page and ExpoImaging's page in a post. Winner announced Friday.
When I think back on my journey as becoming a full-time photographer, I get overwhelmed with joy at the beautiful adventure I embarked on. The sacrifice of weekends and evenings were nothing compared to the amount of freedom and creativity I felt as a photographer. However, the hardest process for me has always been in finding the balance between having a life and a business that are both flourishing at the same time. From my experience, it's easy to have one or the other, but having both takes a lot of work. That is why I created Renew Workshop. I wanted to create a space where photographers could get away for a weekend, hang out with other really cool, like-minded photographers, reflect on their dreams, ask me questions, and discover steps to get from point A to point B.
For example, there was a long time where I would come home from teaching, cook dinner for Shane, then go to my computer and edit until midnight. I would photograph $50 sessions at the park all day Saturday and Sunday, and I would literally edit sessions in every second of my free time. When I look back, I am amazed at how my love for photography and people sustained me enough to stick out the sacrifice of figuring out the simple stuff of being a photographer (like editing, pricing, etc). But, what if I had a chance to sit with another photographer for an entire weekend; watch how they edit, manage files, photograph a session...then I would've shaved hours of my my editing process, and would've had a life outside of photography. That is the driving passion behind Renew. I want to see photographers achieving balance, because I know what lies at the end of sacrificing time away from family and friends......depression and burn-out.
So, that's a little personal synopsis of what Renew is about. I'm excited to have the next Renew at my home in Raleigh. Registration is now open, and there are only 5 spots left. Grab yours before it's too late.
Three weeks ago, I had a Renew Workshop in Dallas. Here are the beautiful faces of those who attended. I had some major life changing experiences in Dallas with these girls. I can't wait for what Raleigh holds.
Two weeks ago, I flew to Seattle for the fifth For the Love Workshop. It was one of the most life changing weeks of my life. But, as much as I would love to sit here and pour out my heart to you, telling you the infinite details of how my heart was flipped upside down, I simply can't, because truthfully, I'm still processing all of it. Plus, I find it hard to summarize my heart into concise paragraphs. Regardless, I wanted to share with you some of the images that I took during the week. Hopefully, you'll be able to feel some of the freedom I've experienced.
A few days before For the Love, I met up with Jeff and Erin Youngren (two of my very best friends who have helped plan and organize the past 3 FTLs). We drove up to Vancouver and ventured around Lynn Canyon Park and attempted to drive the Sea to Sky Highway (it was WAY to foggy to see anything). Throughout my trip to Seattle, Vancouver, and Union, WA....I made a video with my iPhone and iMovie app documenting the trip. It's sometimes easier to see life in motion to fully remember the beauty.
Here is my little video of the trip:
I loved Lynn Canyon Park. We had thought about visiting Capilano state park, but then we heard this suspension bridge was FREE!
I couldn't get enough of these big leaves!
I love these two so much!
It rained every day that we were in Seattle. Hearing the rain on the leaves was so relaxing.