Photographing the dance floor in wedding receptions

Lets face it - photographing wedding receptions can be lot less exciting than ceremonies. Complete absence of daylight in most cases, long speeches,  starving bellies, too much fiddling around with smartphones and an obstruction course full of circular tables with white table cloth...all untill alcohol takes effect and dancing starts. While a room full of wild dancers amped up by thumping music can make up for lost excitement during the first half of the evening, it also means hundreds of RAW images filled with awkward dance poses. So here goes my top 10 list to make the best out of dance floor photography.

  1. Shoot like crazy and be prepared for all the extra time you are going to be spending in post production. Be brutal when it comes to editing out pictures. 
  2. Avoid direct flash at any cost. Its one thing that can decimate even the best dancer in the party
  3. Work with backlights. They are some of your best friends when it comes to capturing the contours of bodies in motion.
  4. Keep moving. You will be surprised how different the same dancer may look from a different vantage point.
  5. When you see too many 'behinds' in your viewfinder, it time to move on
  6. Watchout for those good dancers - there will always be a few. When they start dancing, those who are sober enough to realize that they are terrible will stop and start making space for the those who can move . You may even get  more breathing space to compose your frame
  7. Even bad dancers can deliver an awesome dance photograph. Its all about the timing and lighting
  8. Work with black and white. Its lot more forgiving
  9. Experiment with remotely triggered strobes and pocket wizards. They can be a lot of fun
  10. Make sure to get something healthly to eat before the reception. And dont forget to have fun even if you have to empty a glass or two!!


Here is a selection of dance photographs from Priyanka & Sai's wedding in Boston this summer.