Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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So I will be shooting a wedding reception in a gym in August. I haven't really done to much shooting in gyms. What would be the best lighting? Would just having an on the camera speedlite with a green gel on it be fine for moving around and off camera flash though an umbrella for portraits? If anyone has had experience shooting weddings in gyms I would love to here what you did.

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If it were me, I'd probably try to talk to whoever runs the Gym, explain the situation and see if it was possible to have a look around, scout out the lighting situation and ideally take a few test shots. – forsvarir Jul 10 '12 at 14:31
The problem is its out of state so I only have a couple of hours before the reception starts to set up and get ready. I just want to know what lighting equipment I should bring, because if I don't have to I don't want to bring everything just the equipment I need. – Jonathan Jul 10 '12 at 14:44
One speedlight in bad indoor lighting is unlikely to provide even coverage for a full bridal party. – rfusca Jul 10 '12 at 14:51
It is hard to say if a CTO or CTB gel is going to be the right gel, it depends on the gym. You will want to bring both options. Basically you can't bounce I'm assuming, so you need to look at direct flash options, potentially even trying out a ring flash if you like that look. Other than that this isn't really very different from any other reception venue. Shooting without the ability to bounce is pretty common for big venues. – dpollitt Jul 10 '12 at 16:18
@Jonathan Perhaps you could have someone else scout it out for you? – chills42 Jul 10 '12 at 17:12

What I've done is to use a speedlite on the camera and a couple speedlites on a lightstand which is manned by my assistant. (I use a Redwing Quickstand. No longer made, but this is very similar:

I use the lights on the stand as my main light, with fill provided by the on-camera flash.

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Right now I only have one speedlight, would using it though a satin umbrella be enough for the formal portraits? – Jonathan Jul 11 '12 at 13:36
You can rent speedlight/speedlite, stands, softboxes, umbrellsa etc from the usual lensrentals, borrowlenses, etc. Strongly agree with having an assistant supporting off camera flash. On camera flash is ugly. – Pat Farrell Jul 12 '12 at 19:55
I have tons of equipment i.e. speedlites, stands, softboxes, umbrellas. All I was asking is what would be the best things to bring since its out of state and I don't want to bring everything – Jonathan Jul 18 '12 at 13:34

You could add a bounce/diffuser to your on camera speedlite for a softer effect:

However it sounds like you might be underequipped in which case you need to be honest with whoever is booking you. If it's a favour for friends let them know too as they may want to spread their bets. Don't turn up unprepared thinking you can do the job flawlessly in a situation where you have little control over the results and people are relying on you.

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I have shot several weddings before and have plenty of equipment, I just have never shot any real thing in a gym before so I just wanted to know the equipment I should bring. The wedding is out of state for me so I don't want to bring everything just the things I need. – Jonathan Jul 18 '12 at 13:36
Cool. You didn't say much about what the gym is like though - what sort of lighting does it have flourescent/sodium/something else and what colour are the walls and ceilings - wood, painted, etc? – user9817 Jul 18 '12 at 14:27

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