As we countdown the final moments til our first ever free Flash Webinar on “3 Secrets to Easily Unlocking Your Flash’s Potential,” I wanted to hit on a Flash topic that is often the most feared in the wedding photographer community: The Couple’s Exit. I get questions all the time about my best Flash exit tips, and am excited to share them with you!
Exit shots are some of the most challenging shots of the day. They sneak up on you quickly, and they’re over even quicker. However, it doesn’t have to be that way! Today I want to share 5 of my best tips for nailing the perfect exit photos for your couples!
The first flash exit tip picks up where my previous blog post on flash tricks that don’t slow you down left off. Typically, the night winds down a bit before the exit. This creates an opportunity to grab your gear and set up your exit shot with plenty of time to test and fix. I’ll often have my second shooter (or if I’m shooting solo, a planner/vendor or wedding guest), stand in as my couple for these shots. Dialing all my settings in before everyone comes out for the exit does wonders for my confidence when it’s time to start shooting the couple as they make their way out!
In most cases, exit will lack something to bounce off of, so plan to shoot your exits with your flash pointed direct at your subject, or semi-direct with a bounce card or MagMod attachment. Shooting your exits direct will mean you’ll need to shoot at lower power, so you don’t overexpose your subject’s faces as they leave.
This Flash exit tip is critical: you’ll need to keep a consistent distance with your couple as they exit (you’ll want to keep this distance matching the distance of your test shots in Tip 1 to get the most out of the time you spent on them). Otherwise, some shots will turn out brighter than others, and you’ll be left fixing in post. Ugh.
For all the Multi-Flash users out there, I love to backlight our exit shots for a little extra jolt of energy. These exits always have so much energy in the foreground, with people cheering and things getting lit/tossed/blown, so I like to have a backlight to match the energy in the depths of the image (this is especially effective for bubble exits! If I have one back light, it’s usually low in the middle. If I have two, I put them up high on each side of the exit line, for a more symmetric look!
This Flash exit tip is one many photographers miss. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the set up that needs to be done, however, we’re in this for the people we serve, right? Take a moment and think about the exit through the eyes of your couple. It’s been a long day. Emotional day. Exhausting day. The reality is just starting to sink in that they’re about to drive off in to the night and forever together as husband and wife. They’re going to run through a tunnel of sensory overload: bright lights, loud cheers, and flash’s poppin’. In a moment so big and glorious, things can be a bit overwhelming. So what does your couple need?
They need you to coach them.
Walk back in to the venue before the couple comes running out. Thank them for a wonderful day. And then let them know 3 things:
(1) When to come out (I tell them to wait for the crowd cheers, which I then initiate once I’m back in position).
(2) Where to stop and kiss (I pick a SUPER obvious spot like a line on the ground, or where concrete switches to brick, so they don’t have to try too hard to look for it)
(3) Have FUN.
Ok, you probably don’t NEED to include that last one, but I like to remind our couples that, even though there’s a lot to think about with their exit, the top priority should be enjoying the moment.
Exit shots are hard, but they’re not impossible. In fact, if you’ll start implementing these 5 Flash Exit Tips at your next wedding, I think you’ll find you might even start to really enjoy shooting these moments!
I hope you’ve enjoyed our Flash Blog series over the past few weeks. If you’ve enjoyed these posts, please grab a seat in our upcoming webinar. There are still a few seats left! Click the link below to register!