This is Vanessa Joy with AdoramaTV, and today I’m going to show you how I photograph a nighttime portrait in 9 seconds. At this wedding in New York City, naturally I wanted to get a nighttime shot featuring the city lights and right around Twilight, when the sky is still blue. Typically when I am setting up a nighttime shot I’ll let the bride and groom know that we’re going outside in order to set up our lights and then we’ll come back in and grab them when they’re ready.
This way we have the lights all set up and the bride and groom only have to come out for a couple of shots. I can promise that they’ll only be outside for a few minutes and they’re happy with that so they can get back to the party. It also gives me time to set up the nighttime shot using off-camera flash. We did just that and we walked outside to start setting up and we were greeted by a Maitre d’ who informed me that the bride and groom so I did just ask previously if they wanted to come out, no longer wanted to come out, so I asked him if he could just double check that because I had spoken to the bride only minutes before but understood maybe she approached the groom about the nighttime shot and maybe he decided that he didn’t want to go outside, which is always perfectly fine to me after all I’m there to serve my clients.
So instead of setting up the lights I decided to wait for the Maitre ‘d to come back, just in case the bride and groom truly didn’t want to go outside. I wouldn’t be setting my lights up in the middle of the street for absolutely nothing, instead of the maitre d’ coming back with the answer if the bride and groom were going to come out he came out with the bride and groom themselves leaving me completely shocked and scrambling in order to set up the lights. Figure out what we wanted to do and get the picture done as quickly as possible because at this point I definitely knew they didn’t want to spend a lot of time outside. Thankfully I was using the Profoto B1, two of them, and they have a TTL function that makes getting your power settings from your off-camera flash super easy, and most importantly in this case super fast. I instructed my assistant where I wanted her to go with the backlight in the middle of the street and then place the light that would be hitting the bride and grooms face over to the left-hand side while I was instructing the bride and groom to walk into the middle of the road I quickly got my exposure on my 1DX II using live view.
And set my transmitter to TTL. I took one shot but it was just a little bit too bright and a little bit too warm so then the next shot, I cooled down my Kelvins and adjusted the exposure from there I took just two more shots to make sure that I got at least one focus as even sometimes with the modeling lights on the Profoto strobes, it can be difficult to focus, especially with the lower aperture that I was using. With just three pictures and nine seconds, I was able to get the nighttime photo done and the clients absolutely loved it.
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