One Flash Wedding Photography, with Cliff Mautner

Internationally recognized wedding photographer, Cliff Mautner walks you through challenging wedding photo scenarios and explains how to use a single speedlight for impressive effect.

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.

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Intro Plus Necessary Speedlight Gear (Duration 05:16)

Cliff walks you through the gear he takes with him on wedding shoots and why.

Lesson 2: The "Why" Behind Cliff's Lighting Methods (Duration 07:31)

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.

Lesson 3: When Cliff Uses Flash (Duration 03:08)

Cliff uses speedlights at very specific times during wedding shoots, and there's solid logic behind his decisions.

Lesson 4: Mixing Light with Ambient (Duration 03:41)

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.

Lesson 5: Assessing the Venue (Duration 06:27)

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.

Lesson 6: Shooting the First Dance (Duration 11:06)

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.

Lesson 7: Blessings & Toasts (Duration 09:05)

Cliff has a great setup suggestion for toasts that might involve talking with the DJ a bit, but there's a great payoff.

Lesson 8: Formal Family Photos (Duration 06:10)

Again with the 70-200 lens and a single off camera flash, Cliff explains his strategy for quick exposure accuracy for formals.

Lesson 9: Texture, Dimension and Mood (Duration 02:40)

The single speedlight approach allows for fast moving versatility.

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…


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Absolutely fantastic lesson. Cliff makes things very simple and to the point. I think everyone will definitely benefit from these lessons. Thanks

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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?

  14. 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!

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