Royce Walston Utilizes Multiple Raven’s To Revolutionize His Wedding Photography Workflow
From candid photos to dance-action shots, there are always unique moments to capture at weddings and a plethora of lighting needs. Wedding photography is one of the most challenging disciplines for photographers with a broad skill set required. Royce Waltson and his company Walston Photo is a sought after wedding photographer in San Antonio and specialises in wedding flash photography. Royce and co has a unique approach to wedding photography with an exclusively manual and multi-camera workflow. Compared to many wedding photographers who shoot using TTL, Royce prefers the control and precision of manual camera & flash control.
Furthermore, Walston Photo shares an array of flashes among multiple photographers. This means that a group of photographers share the same flash kit during the event! Such a gear arrangement presents a quandary for most flash triggers as each photographer has unique power and timing preferences that need to be communicated to the shared flash kit.
Enter the FusionTLC Raven
Royce began his wedding business with the Nikon CLS “Creative Lighting System” with speedlights. He had issues with timing and reliability and then considered Westcott gear, but due to its limited feature capabilities and inability to send power setting on shutter trigger, he moved to Godox. But even with the optimal flash for his application, Royce still found much to be desired with the triggers.
“I have always found triggers lacking in functionality and robustness until I came across the Raven and started researching the promising trigger that was soon to become a staple in his studio.”
When Royce discovered the Raven, it wasn’t capable of sending power settings on trigger. “I contacted FusionTLC about my desire to use multiple Raven’s to trigger a set of shared flashes with different power settings.”
“In just a week they had rewritten the firmware to set power levels on trigger and I was blown away by the quick and attentive support. The customer support is amazing considering the fact that I haven't even bought the trigger yet!”
“I knew that if the Raven was going to be able to control the power level on trigger, then it was going to be a transformative investment for my business and so I bought four of them. We haven't used any other trigger since then” says Royce.
Ease of photographing with the Raven
Quite recently Royce found himself shooting a wedding at the luxurious La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio. It’s prestigious for any photographer to shoot at this venue. But Royce had quite the challenge in front of him: on the wedding day, it was bright and sunny and part of the event took place outdoors!
The Raven has allowed Royce and his team to shoot at different power settings throughout the day utilising HSS & SyncView as needed.
“We are constantly changing f-stop on the camera, power output on the flashes, and shutter speed depending on the conditions. My goal is to balance the background and bring in context to help tell a story while emphasising the couple” says Royce. He used Ravens’ ultra fast user interface to capture gorgeous shots at sunset, indoors, on the dance floor, and outside. “Not only did the Raven bring ultimate efficiency to my workflow, I also didn’t face any problems with accidental setting changes that I have with other triggers -- the auto zone deselection after setting a power level means I can let the camera hang around my neck and not worry when I bring it up to eye-level to take a quick shot.”
It's all about the process
Although most users of Raven make use of it’s TTL functionality to optimally light their subject, Royce prefers it’s manual power settings. Royces’ approach “is to first adjust for the ambient light to set the scene. I add a little fill here and there as necessary. Once I achieve that, I work on lighting the subject with focused light and add any artistic flair that I want.”
The gear choreography
For Royce, a typical wedding shoot will usually entail six Godox AD200 flashes and a few Godox speedlights. For the reception he puts flashes “everywhere” as reception areas are fairly large and then dials in the power settings on the various Raven’s he has on different cameras such as for a closeup and a wide angle shot.
This shot was captured with three lights covering the ceremony, guests and the couple.
Royce finds himself pushing his creative boundaries using the Raven by FusionTLC. The Raven brings a number of invaluable features to his business. “I simply can’t imagine a wedding without the Raven’s at the helm… and I know that there are so many additional features that I haven’t even tried yet. I can’t wait to keep playing!”