Reception Lighting Workshop

One of my favorite parts of the wedding day is the reception – just an incredible celebration of people who matter to the bride and groom on their wedding day. And it’s usually without stress – no more schedule to think about.

But we have it rough out here in the midwest: a lot of our reception halls are super dark. And if it’s not here in Chicago, it’s the same when I’m in California under the dark night of an outdoor reception or out on the east coast under a reception tent late at night. Often the “fancy” lighting that a reception hall sets up is generally poor for a digital camera to focus and capture. Add DJ up-lighting on top of that and you have a total mess of photography challenges.

A few years back I found myself disappointed at my end of night images during weddings. And if anyone knows me, they know that I’m not one to cave into my disappointments. I will tackle them straight on.

It’s been a fruitful adventure. Reception lighting is now one of my favorite parts of the wedding because it’s no longer scary to me. And it shouldn’t be for any photographer!

Just a few nights ago I got to speak to a group of 50 Chicago wedding photographers at a Reception Lighting mini-Workshop. I joined wedding photographer Wes Craft ( and photojournalist Brian Powers ( in a 2 hour discussion about helpful lighting systems to use at receptions.

The feedback has been super positive, and my hope is to continue spreading the good word out to photographers all over! Better lighting opens up inspiration! And challenges are an invitation to new opportunities!

Thanks all!



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