One Flash Wedding Photography By Cliff Mautner

55 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

Internationally recognized wedding photographer, Cliff Mautner walks you through challenging wedding photo scenarios and explains how to use a single speedlight for impressive effect. Working with, rather than trying to overpower ambient light, allows Cliff to capture critical wedding elements in less than traditional fashion. And by moving the flash off camera, his need to constantly reset his camera as he moves from one position to another, is kept to a minimum. Even if you’ve been shooting for years, you’re sure to gain some new insights that will save you time and make your wedding photography even better.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Cliff walks you through the gear he takes with him on wedding shoots and why.
Cliff starts with a little lighting theory and moves to camera and speedlight settings that compensate for various lighting situations where the camera might read the scene incorrectly. He also explains that sometimes Exposure Compensation is really Flash Compensation.
Cliff uses speedlights at very specific times during wedding shoots, and there's solid logic behind his decisions.
Unlike some shooters, Cliff doesn't try to overpower ambient light with his speedlights just to get a good picture. He explains how he sets his speedlights to compliment ambient light.
Looking at ambient light, Cliff explains how he will work to make his flash contribute to the exposure without overpowering it, and mentions compensating for videographer lights too.
Cliff's insights start with getting the flash off the camera, then consider using a longer lens than you might think. He moves through camera and flash settings and even insights on working with an assistant.
Cliff has a great setup suggestion for toasts that might involve talking with the DJ a bit, but there's a great payoff.
Again with the 70-200 lens and a single off camera flash, Cliff explains his strategy for quick exposure accuracy for formals.
The single speedlight approach allows for fast moving versatility.
Profile photo of Cliff Mautner

Meet your instructor

Cliff Mautner


Recognized by WPPI as "one of the top photographers and educators in the world," Cliff Mautner's 28-year career in photography includes 15 years and 6000 assignments as a photojournalist with the Philadelphia Inquirer, and work for an eclectic array of commercial clientele ranging from Comcast to Subaru. After launching his wedding photog...

Cliff's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of kontakt kontakt

    I assume that Cliff uses his 70-200 mm with VR so 1/50 is enough to freeze acction and VR can reduce shaking. Do this settings still work if someone uses a lens without VR. Is the flesh light capable to freeze handshaking ??

  2. Profile photo of toddmyra toddmyra

    I am confused by the section of metering ambient light with the flashes. It says “set it two steps under the ambient reading.” So I will go from 1/15/ f2.8 to 1/30 f4. Ok that is great but what is the flash set to ??? Yes, please post my feedback and answer my question. Thank you!!!!

    1. Profile photo of BillC777 BillC777

      A great course with lots of practical information.
      Clear, concise and precise. I’ll be checking out some of his other courses right away.

  3. Profile photo of rexscofield rexscofield

    I’m primarily a landscape, cityscape, wildlife photographer, but was asked (last minute) to shoot a friends sisters Quinceañera. Having zero experience, I took a chance and watched Cliff’s “One Flash” tutorial and decided to try it. Indoor venue, really poor lighting (fluorescent strips along the walls, nothing else) and after a little trial and error, got some shots I’m really proud of. I don’t know how things would have turned out had I not watched this tutorial. Thanks Cliff and Kelby Training! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  4. Profile photo of Colin Farrell Colin Farrell

    I love this course – very informative and Cliff is a marvellous teacher, so much so that I wanted more… But the course seems to be cut short or there are sections missing – Cliff mentions shooting in the church but I couldn’t find these sections. Am I missing something? —- Yes, please post my feedback

  5. Profile photo of jeffbeer22 jeffbeer22

    One of my favorite courses. Cliff tells you what you need to know, why you need to know it, how to do it, and then moves on to the next lesson. His content is excellent and rich with knowledge, and he is a great communicator. Everything is clear and concise, and I really appreciate that.

    He makes one-light off camera flash look easy, because he goes manual. He says over and over that consistency is key, and manual is the only way to be consistent. I’ve been scared of manual flash. Now I have enough information to go practice, practice and practice some more. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  6. Profile photo of Chris Chris

    Outstanding, simple explanation of TTL and manual flash! This is a very great step by step instructional video! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of uemailit2me uemailit2me

    Good course, only problem, its called one flash wedding. Everything was covered, reception, first dance, family shot, except the actual wedding. I know its a short course and you can’t cover everything. Other than that its really great, I’ve learned a lot about light and single flash photos.

  8. Profile photo of glamar glamar

    This was tremendously helpful training. Often I tend to make things too complicated by adding additional flashes or other light sources which takes time, equipment and often yields a flat image. Know how to use your flash and keep it simple. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of Jean Vestuto Jean Vestuto

    Cliff Mautner is one of the finest instructors you offer. His teaching style is clear, concise and very engaging. I look forward to other classes.

  10. Profile photo of rockyd1 rockyd1

    This course was an eye opener. Too bad I didn’t watch this before I took my first wedding reception photos. I had my D3S with SB900 mounted on camera and two other SB900s way in the back of the hall on tripods. They were aimed at the low white ceiling for bounce. Of the 400 frames I took that evening, my friends received about a hundred acceptable photos. Unfortunately most of the 100 photos lacked the ambiance Cliff talked about. I can’t wait to try some of his techniques at my next event. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  11. Profile photo of Don Zandbergen Don Zandbergen

    Very good to the point course. Great insights in his approach and how and why. Thanks! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  12. Profile photo of albertalamo albertalamo

    I Finally found a course that will help me be a great wedding photographer. I’m lovin it! Thank Cliff! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  13. Profile photo of gStrader Photography gStrader Photography

    Cliff Mautner is without question the finest wedding photographer today. I am an avid fan of his work. This course also shows that he has a great ability to teach. Great job Cliff!

    If there is anything that I do not like, and this is in general;you should allow your pupils to download the videos for later referral. A lot of what is given in these courses will not be retained thus reducing the value of the online training course in general. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  14. Profile photo of megan1367 megan1367

    I love cliffs no nonsense approach. Very easy to understand and easy to put his suggestions into practise. Give us more !!!!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  15. Profile photo of Michael Rammell Michael Rammell

    I just signed up to Kelby Training today and Cliff Mautner’s ‘One Flash Wedding Photography’ was a great introduction to the course material that clearly has on offer.

    Cliff is not just a photographer (an obviously experienced photographer to boot!) but is also a superb presenter. He speaks with rhythm, keeps me engaged and makes his points in a descriptive enough fashion to keep me focused.

    In particular I really do appreciate the way that Cliff acknowledges that his method’s “aren’t necessarily the right way, but are his way” – this tells me that Cliff is just the same as most photographers I have come across (Myself included): despite a wealth of knowledge and experience he still insists on doing what he thinks is best and works for him. When I say despite, I mean that it’s maybe not what the books say or what those taught in school would do. To back that up you get to see the resulting images within the video footage and you can clearly see where that light came from, how the power of the light made the image look and then also gave differing settings to show how he progressed to get the effect he was actually showing.

    Draws you in, keeps you engaged, makes you learn. Thanks KelbyTraining and thanks Cliff!

    Michael Rammell

    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  16. Profile photo of Doug Doug

    Absolutely fantastic lesson. Cliff makes things very simple and to the point. I think everyone will definitely benefit from these lessons. Thanks —- Yes, please post my feedback

  17. Profile photo of Bamma Bamma

    This tutorial is amazing. Practical and definitely on my favourites list. Truly a master. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  18. Profile photo of Steven Escamilla Steven Escamilla

    Between Cliff Mautner & Jerry Ghionis- You are taking wedding photography, to a new & higher standard. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  19. Profile photo of bradlymcclendon bradlymcclendon

    Lots of great tips on using the flash off camera; I am looking forward to trying some of them.
    Your commentary & sample images helped me understand the concept of creating texture with the speedlight. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  20. Profile photo of Paddy Phipps Paddy Phipps

    Man this is gold fodder!! To see this man do what he has done and imparted such information during this course is on the money. I have had a lot of training and completed some courses, but this man cliff does it best. Great stuff Cliff, you are the man. PaddytheIrishman —- Yes, please post my feedback

  21. Profile photo of maribiasco maribiasco

    Excellent course. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  22. Profile photo of easymaths easymaths

    Thank you very much. I do weddings but only for friends. Recently I read few books bought from Amazon with very high ratings and they are very very.. useless compare to this.No hidden secrets here everything is upfront —- Yes, please post my feedback

  23. Profile photo of cparedesb cparedesb

    TERRIFIC, A TRUE MASTER. SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE —- Yes, please post my feedback

  24. Profile photo of Thomas Martinelli Thomas Martinelli

    What a great course. One of the best.All of the details were explained and I learned how I can improve my images. I do not shoot weddings but I got roped into helping a friend. This course will be put to good use tomorrow. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  25. Profile photo of jmundo1217 jmundo1217

    I like the content, the instructor explains in a very objective way. however, I feel there are sections of the course missing, some of the videos start way after the instructor has been explaining a concept and you are instantly lost. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  26. Profile photo of Ray Warren Ray Warren

    Thanks Cliff. Another great course. It’s a pity the segments were cut off mid word and mid sentence. —- Yes, please post my feedback

Loading your account dashboard