Wedding Photography in Dark Venues: Whitney & Austin's Wedding at Double K Ranch, Gainsville TX
The end of 2017 was a big one for us. By the end of it I knew where I wanted to take my style, had a vision for the evolution of our brand, and the nerves before each wedding had turned into excitement with a dash of butterflies in the stomach. I was feeling confident in my ability to produce high quality work consistently, and knew how to place lights to get exactly what I wanted.
Which is a good thing because when I walked into Double K Ranch, I was hit with just how dark this venue actually was. Now let me tell you, I love the dark. In fact our living room has black walls. Our office has dark purple and gray walls. My closet is mostly black. So a dark venue is NOT a bad thing in my eyes. With that being said, I had never had to shoot in a venue that was quite this limited in light. Windows in the Bridal suite are limited, and light sources aren't optimal. The dance floor is under the stars, and has string lights to bring a sense of whimsy but not enough for our cameras to really be able to rely on them.
Thankfully at this point I had become incredibly comfortable with Off-Camera-Flash (OCF) and after the initial moment of panic, I knew I could do it. All of a sudden I was moving the bride to where I knew the light was going to be best (up until this point I preferred to be in the background and just capture the action). I was making sure the DJ knew to not start until all our lights were placed perfectly for the reception. And after a few tests at each location, the rest of the night went by smoothly. After that wedding I wasn't afraid of the dark anymore. When I looked at the photos, I was absolutely in love with how the light wrapped around them. And it gave me confidence to walk into 2018 with a full utility belt for every single Wedding Situation.