The post we’ve been waiting all year to do! We had a lot of fun shooting dance floors at weddings this year and wanted to share some of the ways we capture these moments! This isn’t comprehensive – we just wanted to share bits and pieces of how we work and some tips for you if you’re learning how to shoot the d-floor in a way your brides and grooms will love!
OUR FREAK OUT MOMENT.
Earlier this year we were shooting an out of state wedding and we realize that each of thought the other had packed our flashes. It was 1 hour before we needed to leave for the wedding and we panicked! We didn’t have the funds or the time to go out to a store that had the fancy expensive canon speed lite flashes, so Camron dashed into a store and bought the best one he could find. It was $50 and we were pretty sceptical. But we ended up loving its performance so much we each used it for the rest of our wedding season!
It’s called the Neewer NW-670 and is available for $52.94 on Amazon. All the photos in this blog post were taken with it. Obviously, if you can afford it we’d recommend looking at higher end flashes with off-camera flash options and better performance. However, for us with this season we were so happy with our little $52 flash!
DANCE FLOOR TIPS.
1. Shoot TTL – this means through the lens. It’s where the flash guesses everything for you – much easier than manual!
2. Shoot with a wide lens – we tried to use our Sigma 24mm f1.4 as much as possible. The context it gives is incredible. Also, you’re getting quite close to the people on the d-floor and so you need a wide lens to capture their flailing arms and the expressions of those around them
3. Shoot creatively – we sometimes bring along battery powered fairy lights, prisms, mirrors, strobe lights etc. Here are two images where we used fairylights (with NO flash).
Above: Sigma 85mm f1.4, ISO 1600, Shutter 1/200th.
Above: Sigma 24mm f1.4, ISO 3200, Shutter 1/200th.
4. Shoot the oldies and the kids – gravitate towards any kids or older folk on the dance floor. Not only are they hilarious, it’s important to capture them as they’re either new on the scene (kids) or its shocking their even on the floor (oldies).
5. Use lights in the background. Try and shoot with any lights in the background. You can lower your shutter speed and drag the camera after you’ve clicked the shutter and it will open long enough to drag the lights!
Above: Sigma 24mm f5, Shutter 1/4, ISO 125Above: Sigma 24mm f4.5, Shutter 1/5, ISO 200Above: Sigma 24mm f5.6, Shutter 1/4, ISO 400 Above: Sigma 24mm f5, Shutter 1/4, ISO 125 Above: Sigma 24mm f5, Shutter 1/4, ISO 125 Above: Sigma 24mm f5, Shutter 1/5, ISO 125 Above: Sigma 35mm f9, Shutter 1/8, ISO 400Above: Sigma 24mm f5.6, Shutter 1/4, ISO 125 Above: Sigma 35mm f9, Shutter 1/8, ISO 400
6. Never miss a moment. Don’t sit down (even though it’s tempting!). If you have a second shooter, take it in shifts. Camron and I swap out during a lot of the dance floor photos but it means one of us is always there to see a special/hilarious moment! The craziest moments happen when you might not be looking…
^ Yes, this is a photo of a backflip mid-air. See? Don’t sit down or close your eyes even for a second!
7. It’s ALL about lights. If you can get lights INTO the hands of the dancers, that’s ideal! Suggest to your bride and groom to have glow sticks or strobe foam lights. They look incredible in the hands of the dancers but you can also use them with a slow shutter speed to drag them across your glass and create an amazing effect!
8. Keep your aperture high. We always have it at least at f4 but can sometimes go up to f9. Your flash will light everything, and you’re better off getting a lot of context in these images. This is NOT the part of the day you need beautiful creamy bokeh in the background (ha). You need sharp focus and great emotions.
9. Don’t be afraid to be a little uncomfortable. Some of the most hilarious moments on a bride and grooms wedding day are usually on the dance floor. There’s obviously a limit, but if something makes you a little uncomfortable (like half-naked firefighters dancing around the bride or the groomsmen dropping their pants to Eagle Rock (only australians haha!), don’t look away. Get right up in there and shoot away!
10. Have fun. Dance Floors can often be the most relaxed time of the wedding and a space where you can try new things and be creative. Keep your head sharp (maybe avoid the alcohol everyone else is drinking!) and eyes open because these moments are irreplaceable and will be laughed at for generations to come 😉