Minimal Reception Lighting With Maximum Results with Esteban Gil
“I hate the way my reception lighting looks.”
“I don’t know what settings to use on my flashes.”
“How many lights should I use?”
These are all questions that we, as wedding photographers, have asked ourselves at some point in our careers. I have never met a photographer that hasn’t struggled with their reception lighting setup and after years of trying to come up with the perfect setup, I’ve slowly realized that like everything else, less is more.
With that being said, I want to cover three different types of lighting setups that I use throughout a wedding reception. All three use minimal equipment and all three yield excellent results!
Let’s dive in…
Lighting Equipment That I Bring To Every Reception
One AD200: This light is one of the most versatile strobes you can buy and it is extremely affordable. This is what I generally use as my main light.
Two AD100s: I use these tiny lights as kickers when I want to use a triangle setup (which I will explain in a bit).
One small modifier: It could be a MagSphere or a portable softbox. Keep in mind, the bigger the light source, the softer the light. I have been a big fan of using a MagGrid and MagSphere stacked in order to create some soft light with very accurate direction! The modifier will go on my AD200.
Voice-activated light stand (VAL): This is the most game-changing thing you can do to your reception lighting game. A voice-activated light stand! When you’re only using one light and it’s limited to a light stand, you’re pretty limited to light positioning. Having a voice-activated light stand or an assistant following you around makes everything so much easier! Try it! I promise you it will make your life so much better!
Impact QuickStik+: This is a very helpful piece of equipment when you have an assistant holding your lights! It’s a very easy way to get your light and modifier on a stick. It also comes with a belt that can be used for proper support.