FAQ: Wedding Reception Flash Lifesaver ~ Chicago Wedding Photographer

Hey friends!!!

We are headed out to shoot our first wedding of our 2015 season in Baltimore this weekend and I can’t believe I still haven’t shared this post!!! I’ve been meaning to mention this since we added these battery packs to our arsenal last year – and somehow it just kept getting pushed to the back burner!!!

One of the number one complaints I hear people mention about shooting with flash (other than not knowing how to use them) is that they aren’t reliable because they don’t recycle fast enough when you’re shooting and will fire blanks repeatedly! (Essentially you’re missing key moments because the flash can’t recharge fast enough and doesn’t fire – which means your photo comes out black!)




Anyway – this same issue was driving James and I crazy as well, and since I tend to shoot fast (I have the patience of a small child, let’s be real) – my flash was constantly overheating and burning out! So I researched some options and ended up adding four Bolt CBP-C1 Compact Battery Packs from B&H to our gear and I am SO HAPPY I did!!

We slide one onto each of our off-camera light stands and plug them into our flashes, and each keep one on our on-camera flashes as well! I screw mine flat right onto the bottom of my camera using the attachment that comes with it (like so – in this random behind the scenes pic of me talking to a guest – haha)…




… and James wears his on his belt in the soft case they provide (like so)…




They each take 8 AA batteries, and the flash pulls its power from the pack instead of from itself. (**Make sure to change that setting in your flash so it pulls from the exterior source instead, or it will pull from itself if not! For Canon 600 EX-RT flashes you can find this setting under Custom Function 12 “Flash recycle with external power” – choose setting #1 “External Power Only”). Then if for some reason your battery pack does overheat because you’re firing like a maniac – you can quickly unplug it from your flash and the flash will pull from the batteries within itself – which is like starting with fresh batteries until you can get those in your pack changed! (No more panicking in the middle of the First Dance because your flash is slowly dying on you!!)




For the most part – if it isn’t too long of reception coverage – we never have to change our batteries all night! Amazing!! And we’re getting more consistent results (waaaay less black shots) and the flash power output stays more consistent too!! I can’t recommend these enough – and I’m pretty certain they have a Nikon equivalent as well – for all your other siders out there! 😉

Happy Weekending, everybody!! Make sure to follow us over on Instagram for all the Baltimore wedding & trip goodness! xoxo!

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**If you haven’t already checked it out – I did a very extensive off-camera lighting post a while back HERE!! Our gear has changed some since then since that was 3 years ago (no more Pocket Wizards for us since we use four Canon 600EX Speedlites, which have built in radios) – but you can still get a great base for where to start for off-camera lighting at weddings with a super easy set-up!

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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!