Big wedding group shots in difficult light with the Elinchrom Quadra

For those of you that know me and follow my work, then you will know i love to use flash for the group shots, it just adds that little pop back into the image and where possible i will always find shade so i can control the light. My light of choice the absolutely amazing Elinchrom Quadra light kit and usually shot with just one head. I have been using the Quadra kit for around 4 years now and it just suits my needs completely. Especially for those bride and groom low light images that i just love!!!

For shots like the one below, there was no shade to be found, very little height to capture the 100 or so guests and we literally had 5 mins to get everyone into the shot and then head for the reception.

So i had to put everyone with their backs to the sun, that stops the squinting, but to expose for everyone in the photo and keep the detail of the sky and trees behind them i had to use some flash. 

Next problem is to make sure everyone is sharp from the front to the back, this means shooting at around F8, the larger the F number means the less amount of light that comes into the shot so everyone was very dark!!!

I started with 3/4 power to try and light everyone but due to the conditions it quickly became apparent that i needed max power from my Elinchrom Quadra single head. Due to the amount of people there i also needed to get the light up as high as possible to make sure everyone had managed to be lit. I then had to try and get everyone to be able to see me so a min of moving people around and then hey presto, image in the bag. Everything done within 4 mins and no faffing about for the guests as they made their way into the reception.


Here is the start and finish shots....Without the flash this image would just not have been possible... 

Time - 4.39.54 seconds - The group started to take their places, quick flash tester

Time - 4.30 and 45 seconds - Slowly getting everyone closer to me to get into the shot

Time - 4..43 and 02 seconds - We now managed to get everyone into the shot and moved as many people around as possible so i could see them. A couple were still hidden away but under such time constraints if we can only see the top of their hear then so be it. 

Look at the harsh shadow at the front of the group caused by the sun. I would need to remove the telegraph pole and building in post production too 

From the guests starting to gather, move into position, adjust lighting as required and of course the people from start to finish - this Large group picture too just 4 mins to create!!!!!  I don't do faffing around, 

David ScammellComment