Sunset Wedding Portraits Tutorial with Strobe Lights

Sunsets are a great time for portrait photography, especially wedding portraits. What’s better than capturing an important moment in someone’s life along with the dreamy backdrop of a sunset? But not every sunset turns out to be as expected. That said, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll need to forego the opportunity. As professional wedding and portrait photographer Vanessa Joy with Adorama demonstrates in this video, you can easily recreate sunset lighting using some strobes. This way you can take sunset portraits of your clients even if it’s dark outside or when the lighting is unfavorable:

Joy uses two Profoto B10 for this purpose. With the first one that she uses as a backlight, she uses an OCF II grid and a full CTO gel. The grid helps to ensure that the strobe focuses the output on the subjects and that there’s minimal stray light (if any). The CTO gel, on the other hand, adds a warm tint to the light and mimics the sun.

The second B10 that she uses is for lighting the subjects’ faces. This is why you can see that she uses an OCF beauty dish as well with the strobe. This creates a soft light that wraps around the subjects’ faces beautifully. If you like, you can use a grid with this as well. She also uses a half-green gel with the second light to match the evening light.

Technicalities aside, by watching this video you can gain a lot of great insight into how Joy works with her clients. You can learn a good deal from the way she directs and poses her subjects. Also, towards the end of the video, she also shares with you the way she edits the wedding portrait that she took. So, be sure to watch the complete video.

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