Wedding Photos: Make an Indoor Location Look Like It’s Outside

As a wedding photographer, you’re expected to give your clients amazing photos no matter the weather. So you have to be prepared to tackle whatever Mother Nature throws at you. Wedding photographer Vanessa Joy with Adorama shares tips for using off-camera flash to make it look like golden hour—indoors:

There are just two important things that you’ll need to make it look like you’re outdoors even when you’re shooting indoors: foliage and lights.

Place the foliage behind the bride and the groom so that it appears as if you’re shooting in a garden. The photo won’t look great yet.

indoor wedding photo without flash

Next, point one of the light sources (a Profoto B1 in Joy’s case) toward a large reflective surface in the room. Make sure the reflected light leaves no color cast on the couple. For this, something like a bright white wall usually works well. This will bounce the light off of the strobe and make the bride and the groom appear brighter. As far as metering is concerned, you can simply leave the light on TTL and let it do the work.

indoor wedding photo with flash

The aim is to add a golden touch of sun to the image. Put an orange gel on a second light (Joy is using a Profoto B10) to mimic the sun and point it at the foliage from the back. To set the exposure on the second light, turn the first light to manual and turn it off. This allows the flash to retain the values that you had metered earlier. Then, with the first light still off, switch the second light to TTL and adjust your exposure for the background. Once happy with the second light’s exposure, turn both of the lights on and take the photo.

indoor wedding photo with warm backlight

“This is what we got. Beautiful light on their faces, gorgeous light coming from behind them.”

Compose your photos so the back light highlights the couple from behind. Or even include some flare to make it appear as if the sun is peeking through the foliage. This truly gives a feeling that’s usually only possible outside.

indoor wedding photo

With this simple and easy to follow technique, you can now guarantee the sun on any given wedding day.

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