Wedding Photography at reception (too dark)?

I have just started doing weddig photography and I am using a Canon sx10 IS and when I am trying to take photos at a reception they come out like newspaper photos if I dont use a flash they look aweful. I used an external flash for some of the photos and they come out ok but are very bright. I just want to capture what the room looks like when I see it. I have tried to over expose the photo but still have a grainey look to them. Nothing blurs but looks aweful. I have edited some on the computer but I dont think I should have to edit everything that I took!! Seems to be ok out side. What do wedding photographers do In a case when they need great photos but have aweful lighting??

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    you will need flash for sure in this situation.

    I was taking pics at my sister's wedding recently. I was watching the pros very carefully. At dinner service, the lights were very dim. ALL of the pros had their flashes pointed straight up towards the ceiling, to bounce the light....none of them had their flashes pointed directly at the people the were taking pictures of.

    MOST of them also had what seemed to be some sort of diffuser on their flash as well.

    It takes a lot of practice to get the flash settings just you have flash compensation??This allows you to dial up or dial down the flash power as needed...

    Also, I recently read a good tip for shooting people indoors. If you set your settings to SLOW FLASH SYNC, this option allows you to capture more of the ambient light in the scene, which prevents the brightly lit foregound with a very dark background look.

    Also, wedding photographers do not use point and shoot cameras, because they are waay too limited in low light situations.

    You really need to think about investing in

    a digital SLR for sure.

    One of the things about NOT using a flash in low light means you need a HIGH ISO setting....your camera might say it can shoot at ISO 1600, but really, ALL point and shoot cameras are totally crappy at high ISO settings.....grainy newspaper looking images, as you say.

    Digital SLR cameras are EXCELLENT for being able to shoot at high ISO settings.

    That's what I mean...just from one respect. A point and shoot style camera...such as the one you have just doesn't have what it takes to produce the images you want. As a TOOL, its severely handicapping you.

    Just in case you are thinking you camera is NOT a point and shoot.....sorry, but it is.

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  • Tammy
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I just answered your other identical question and then saw this one. So I'll say a bit more. All the people who shoot weddings, from the hack with a new dSLR to Bambi Cantrell, Monte Zucker and Jeff Ascough had a first one. The ideal way to begin shooting weddings is to have a very good basic understanding of technique and the art of photography, whether that comes from formal education in the classroom, or the school of self-study and hard knocks. On top of that, assisting or interning with an established pro is an immense help. Then add in having the right tools to do the job and knowing how to use them. When all three parts of the wedding photography equation are there, the chance for success goes wayyy up. Take away a piece and the odds of great images fall quite a bit. How much the dip is depends on how much is missing. So, you are missing experience and equipment. Maybe skill, and knowledge too. None of us know how much you have learned in the few months you've been a hobbyist. You may be a great photographer, some people take to it quickly with an innate grasp of light and composition. Then it's a matter of learning how to translate their vision to film (or sensor). Others plod along at novice snapshot level for years, never understanding that a better camera will not make them a better photographer. I don't have a problem with the amateurs who come here asking how to better shoot their first wedding. Most of these first wedding photographers are pressed, cajoled, browbeaten or bushwacked into duty because they are either the family shutterbug, or they have a decent camera, perhaps the only dSLR among the circle of friends. Not every wedding has a budget of thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, and often the B&G would have nothing but disposacam snaps from table cameras if someone refused to do the photography as a favor. Although I am a firm believer in "It's the photographer, NOT the camera", the reality remains that unless he really screws up, he will get shots better than a bunch of kids with a disposables or Aunt Edna with her five year old Kodak Easyshare. Now, if he presented himself asking something like, "I am starting a wedding photography business next week, what camera and lens do I need and what should I name it?", then he deserves whatever raking he gets. But here, this is not the case. He is just a friend trying to help. Plenty of amateurs shoot weddings. Sometimes that ends in heartbreak for everyone, but sometimes it's all OK, even if not perfect. I hope this one will be OK! Good luck, and read those links I sent in the previous answer.

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  • 3 years ago


    Source(s): Become Professional Photographer
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  • Ara57
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    First of all, I hope you are #1: Not taking taking money from unsuspecting couples, and #2: Not the primary event photographer. That sounds harsh? Maybe. Not as harsh as a family who is not satisfied with their wedding "photography".

    Photographers know how to use light and their equipment, have the experience and gear for the job, and more importantly the knowledge. You have "just started doing wedding photography"? With a point and shoot? Probably on the green auto button as well? Well, maybe not, this camera does have manual control, but the timbre of your question leads me to think you don't know much about the craft of photography in general. Certainly not enough yet to begin shooting weddings as a business or a side line.

    Your camera is inadequate for event photography overall, but especially in dark rooms. The tiny sensor creates major difficulties that really will be hard to work around. Although the lens is f/2.8 on the wide end, it is getting pretty dark and slow at the tele end. The high ISO performance is pretty dismal, especially for wedding work, and not usable over ISO 400. So you are limited. Of course, we shot ISO 400 film for years at receptions and did fine.

    You mention you are using an external flash. Are you bouncing and/or diffusing? If not, you need to be. Another technique that you need to learn is called dragging the shutter. The basics entail determining exposure for the background, using shutter speed to control ambient, and using aperture, manual flash, or compensation to control flash output and exposure on the subject. This requires manual exposure, and will avoid the deer in headlights look that auto flash often produces. This technique will work on your camera just the same as a SLR. Do you understand the connection between aperture and flash output? More research for you. A great place to read more about beginning wedding photography is Go to the wedding and event forum, and click on the archives for newbies, also there are many forum posts on technique. Enough to keep you busy learning for months.

    I highly suggest backing off from shooting any more weddings until you get the proper equipment, and a much better grasp on basic photography, and assist with an established photographer for some amount of time. These are once in a lifetime memories. Of course, having mediocre snapshots is better than having no pictures at all, and perhaps you are not really "doing" wedding photography, but are just snapping at friends' weddings. If so, disregard my dressing down in this post. If you *are* shooting for pay, you are asking for trouble in the future. Do you have photographer's liability insurance? You may want it when you get your first angry and disappointed bride who happens to have a lawyer involved. There is more to shooting weddings than pointing the camera and hoping the pictures are OK. Learn the stuff before starting.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It's clear that you need to learn the basics of "Photography 101" before you are ready to become a wedding photographer. Please don't disappoint any more brides with bad wedding photography until you have some understanding of how your camera works!

    "Yahoo Answers" isn't the best place to learn how to create consistently beautiful wedding photographs, indoors and out. I recommend that you find the best wedding photographer in your area and ask if you can assist them at weddings to learn how a professional does it. As an assistant you may not take any pictures, but you will learn what equipment is required, and how it's used. After a season as an assistant, maybe you can "graduate" from assistant to "Second Shooter" and begin taking pictures under the guidance of the Principal Photographer.

    You should also take as many formal photography classes and workshops as you possibly can to learn your craft. Read every book on photographic technique that you can get your hands on, and join the national trade organizations - Professional Photographers of America and Wedding and Portrait Photographers International, as well as your local chapters and camera clubs.

    I wish you much success and happiness as a wedding photographer, but please, please, learn the art and science of photography first, before you jump into the professional end of the pool!

    George Delgado

    Certified Professional Photographer

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Wedding photography with no experience and on a point and shoot? Oh crap. That's a recipe for disaster.

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  • Bean
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Unfortunately I almost always have to use my external flash at indoor receptions, their just isn't enough ambient light in alot of reception halls or it's at night in low lighting. I use a flash diffuser which helps make the lighting softer and more even. I got mine on ebay, and I like how it works.

    Source(s): Professional photographer.
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  • 3 years ago


    Source(s): Develop Your Photography Skills
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  • 1 decade ago

    You have to use a dSLR, and very fast lenses.

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