Justin and Mary have just launched an free ebook with several go to lighting diagrams. They share one of the diagrams on the Engage blog and you can grab the free guide here.
For an indoor shot of a large group like the family photos or an indoor bridal party shot, we want to use a much more narrow angle of light than we use the rest of the day. That is because if the light starts to come too much from the side, then one person’s head will cast a shadow on the person next to them. And so on down the line. Plus, if we want our light to have a nice even throw across a large group, a narrow angle works best. In this case, we prefer to move the light around frontally until it is somewhere in the 30-35 range. This creates a beautiful frontal light, while still having some dimension. Note that we never use a second light on the opposite side, even with a very large group. That’s because we will end up with two sets of shadows and that second light will water down the beautiful dimension (highlights and shadows) that was created from using just one light. You can play around with adding a reflector to the shadow side, but we have always found that one light is plenty as far as the flash is concerned.
Justin and Mary are also launching a webinar on Lighting on the Fly, How to to Rock Your Flash Fast as a Wedding Photographer. Read more about and register for that here.