I really like this photo of the bride and her father during their dance at the reception. It represents a special time for both the bride and her father. It symbolizes the change in her life, and give the father one last chance to be her Daddy. Of course, in modern times, that’s not really the case anymore, but the tradition continues on.
Of course, I also want to comment on the lighting. Receptions can be very difficult to manage. Normally, the lights are down very low and the people are moving quickly. The traditional approach is simple flash on camera, and that produces a usable record of the events. But, it doesn’t capture the depth of the feel of the event.
My approach is to set up a “room light” which is a studio strobe mounted high on a light stand and positioned at one end of the room. Then, my assistant provides a mobile light from the opposite direction, and I fill in the shadows with a third flash on my camera. All of the strobes are linked by a radio signal so they all go off at once.
In this image, the room light (coming from camera right) did a perfect job of highlighting the brides face. The direction of light also gives some form to her dress by creating highlights and shadows. The father’s face is in the shadow, but frankly, he’s just not as important.
Another big advantage of the room light is called “depth of light.” Since the light is rather far away, the light doesn’t fall off nearly as much as if it were placed close to the action. The big advantage is that the background is well lit as well. In this example, we can clearly see the crowd in the background, so they’re not just dancing in a black void.
I also used a relatively slow shutter speed to pick up the ambient light. In this case, the lights from the DJ’s setup create beautiful patterns of shadow and light on the floor and help recreate the mood of the dance.