Wedding Photography Lighting Tips: How to Take Unique Wedding Portraits

Multi-award-winning wedding photographer Ky Luu is good at bringing a bit of action into his photos and developed his action wedding photo style. Wedding photographers usually instruct the bride to stand in front of a wall or sit in a cafe to take some beautiful photos. While he likes to add some craziness to the wedding photos. For example, he will get the bride, groom, groomsmen, and bridesmaids a little drunk, let them have a food fight, or try to replicate famous paintings to bring more actions into the photos.

Ky Luu was booked for a wonderful wedding. He will show us how to interact with new couples, groomsmen and bridesmaids during the shooting process, and how to guide them to do crazy and dynamic actions so that he can take better photos. More importantly, He will show us how to shoot with natural light and flash, and how to control the light so that he can shoot well in any lighting condition and any location.

01 Groom getting ready

After arriving at the groom's house in the morning, the first thing was to find a good scene to take a single photo of the groom. I made a scene where I hung the groom's suit up and let the groom stand in front of the suit and do some getting-ready postures.

Since the passage was a bit dark, I asked my assistant to hold the Godox V1 flash with a soft filter attached to it to add light to the scene and trigger it using the Godox X2T to create a moody yet nicely lit image.

02 Groom and groomsmen preparation and interaction

Although the light in the room was sufficient, I still wanted to use flash to make my photos more punchy, bright and clean, with as little noise as possible. Again I pulled out my Godox V1 but this time I attached it to the camera and bounced the light off the ceiling to create a large yet even light source across the room.

03 Groom’s single portraits outdoor

At that moment, the sunlight was extremely bright. In order to expose the super bright background perfectly and also capture the beautiful blue sky and fluffy white cloud, I needed a light with much greater power. Here comes the powerful yet portable Godox AD200pro Flash Strobe which is super handy for actual wedding day shoots. I asked my assistant to grab it out and simply point it directly at the groom’s face to balance out the overexposed sky in the background.

04 Bride getting ready

I turned off all the lights in the room as I wanted to have full control of lighting before I started shooting. I was again going for a bright and clean look in the photos. I shot with the Godox V1 on camera + Dome Diffuser and bounced the light off the ceiling to create a nice soft light across the room.

Next, I took a photo of the bride spraying perfume. In order to better capture the moment when the perfume was coming out of the bottle, I had to add light to the spray. To achieve this, I asked my assistant to hide behind the bride to backlight the bottle of perfume with the Godox V1 + Dome Diffuser triggered by the X2T.

05 Bride in pre-wedding ceremony traditions

Since the environment was tight and the light was insufficient, using Godox V1 on camera was a great choice. I quickly attached the V1 on top of my camera to capture the precious moments.

06 Couple at the wedding ceremony

The wedding ceremony was at a Greek church. I kept it very simple and all I did here was having the V1 on camera throughout the entire ceremony.

07 Celebration location

The celebration was held in a cool cafe in town. The first photo I decided to do was my action bridal party shot. In this shot, I asked my assistant to backlight the group with the AD200pro and the dome. The reason is that I wanted all the mist from the ceiling featured in the photo to give that extra wow factor.

For the photos of the girls and the boys, I used the AD200pro again to backlight the group but I added a purple color gel to the flash for a completely different feel and effect.

Next, I noticed this amazing-looking gold curtain with interesting shapes, I knew straight away I would get some cool effects if I put the Godox V1 behind the couple and the curtain.

08 Reception dinner

When the couple entered the room, fireworks were set off on the aisles on both sides. In order to ensure that the faces of the couple were not too dark, I again used the V1 on camera pointing directly to the ceiling.

This is all for today. Hope you find photographer Ky Luu's tips helpful. If you would like to see more of these tips and tutorials, please subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook

About photographer Ky Luu

Ky Luu started his first wedding shoot 8 or 9 years ago when he shot a Greek wedding. Since then his name has spread among Greeks and gradually became known to more Italians. He has won 5 SA AIPP Wedding Photographer of the Year awards in South Australia and 1 AIPP Australian Wedding Photographer of the Year Award.

Products featured:

Godox V1 76Ws 2.4G TTL Round Head Flash Speedlight- US $259
Godox AD200Pro 200Ws 2.4G Flash Strobe- US $349

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