The dancing is one of my favourite parts of a wedding day, as everyone lets their hair down and I can get some really kick-ass shots. And lately several photographers have asked me how I got these shots.
So for any wedding photographers who would like to know how I get my dancefloor photos, here are some tips!
Camera settings (it depends on how dark the room is so play around with this):
♥ First of all I have my camera on manual focus so I don’t waste time trying to focus (for the love of god don’t forget to change it back before your next wedding)
♥ Focus on a point in the distance that is roughly how far you will be from your subject in most photos
♥ My shutter is usually set to around 1/6th of a second (if you want more ambient light or if it’s very dark, go slower)
♥ My aperture is around f11
♥ My ISO is low, but play around with this if it’s too dark/bright
♥ Pop your flash on manual, dial it to around 1/32 (again, try different intensities if it’s too dark/bright)
♥ Stick the flash on your camera and point it forwards so you’re blasting your subject in the face and momentarily blinding them
♥ Zoom the flash as far as it will go (I use around 180-200mm)
♥ Use a wide-angle lens – anything from 24-35mm will work. A 50mm lens won’t work. I use 24mm and get in reaaaaaal close
♥ Get in close. Closer!
♥ Study the dancefloor all the time and be ready to pounce when something happens
♥ Listen to the song – if you know it has certain moves or rocking choruses then be ready to shoot people making those moves
♥ Watch people’s habits. If a person dancing has a habit of pointing their hands out or flicking their hair, don’t worry if you missed it, chances are they’ll do it again so keep an eye on them
♥ Shoot loads – jump in for the shot and shoot several frames.
♥ Don’t look through the viewfinder – know what your focal length covers and just point and click – don’t waste a single second composing!
♥ Shoot from above, below and head height
♥ If anything happens like a smashed glass, don’t help clean up, take photos of the reaction!
♥ Take a peek at your shots every so often to make sure you haven’t knocked the focus ring
♥ Be in the thick of it instead of standing on the outside looking in. And dance like a mad person
♥ Warp perspective with your wide-angle lens – so if someone has their arm outstretched, shoot from their hand
♥ If you want movement from the lights (streaks etc) move the camera across the lights the instant you take the shot Shoot-flip! Shoot-flip! The slower the shutter the more light streaks you’ll have
♥ Look for weird things that look out of place, like a fancy dress prop or someone yawning
♥ When choosing which photos to include in your gallery, look carefully at the background – you’ll spot some hilarious things!
And here are some photos I’ve taken on the dancefloor!