Written by Chuck Jackson
During wedding receptions, I always try to use off-camera flash in addition to no flash and/or on-camera flash. For me, this varies the look and feel of the images so everything isn’t looking exactly the same. Furthermore, some effects can only be achieved with an off-camera flash/light source. Without a light source emanating away from the camera, it is impossible to capture images like the above or below.
If not for any other reason than adding texture and depth to the images using light and shadow, this is a good option to have. It is also a wonderful technique for mixing it up a bit by adding partially silhouetted images to the shot list (see shots below of the Bride and Groom and Bride and her Father).
The other HUGE advantage to using off-camera flash units (studio strobes in particular) is that their power can light up the room and subjects to such a degree that you can still shoot at ISO 100 or 200 without any problems. This may be harder to do with less powerful speedlights (on-camera flash heads used off-camera), but still a viable option for adding dimension to your images using light and shadow.
Chuck Jackson is a wedding photographer for PhotoActive Photography in Tampa, FL. Check out http://www.photoactivephotography.com to see wedding images and samples from other photography genres, as well!