{Feature} How to nail dancefloor photos


© Anna Pumer Photography www.annapumerphotography.com

The dancing is one of my favourite parts of a wedding day, as everyone lets their hair down and I can get some really kick-ass shots. And lately several photographers have asked me how I got these shots.

So for any wedding photographers who would like to know how I get my dancefloor photos, here are some tips!

Camera settings (it depends on how dark the room is so play around with this):

♥ First of all I have my camera on manual focus so I don’t waste time trying to focus (I use back button focusing anyway so I don’t need to change any settings for this. However, if you do need to switch your camera to manual focus, for the love of god don’t forget to change it back before your next wedding!)

♥ Focus on a point in the distance that is roughly how far you will be from your subject in most photos

♥ My shutter is usually set to around 1/6th of a second (if you want more ambient light or if it’s very dark, go slower)

♥ My aperture is around f11

♥ My ISO is low, but play around with this if it’s too dark/bright

♥ Pop your flash on manual, dial it to around 1/32 (again, try different intensities if it’s too dark/bright)

♥ Stick the flash on your camera and point it forwards so you’re blasting your subject in the face and momentarily blinding them

♥ Zoom the flash as far as it will go (I use around 180-200mm)

Shooting tips

♥ Use a wide-angle lens – anything from 24-35mm will work. A 50mm lens won’t work. I use 20mm and get in reaaaaaal close

♥ Get in close. Closer!

♥ Study the dancefloor all the time and be ready to pounce when something happens

♥ Listen to the song – if you know it has certain moves or rocking choruses then be ready to shoot people making those moves

♥ Watch people’s habits. If a person dancing has a habit of pointing their hands out or flicking their hair, don’t worry if you missed it, chances are they’ll do it again so keep an eye on them

♥ Shoot loads – jump in for the shot and shoot several frames.

♥ Don’t look through the viewfinder – know what your focal length covers and just point and click – don’t waste a single second composing!

♥ Shoot from above, below and head height

♥ If anything happens like a smashed glass, don’t help clean up, take photos of the reaction!

♥ Take a peek at your shots every so often to make sure you haven’t knocked the focus ring

♥ Be in the thick of it instead of standing on the outside looking in. And dance like a mad person

♥ Warp perspective with your wide-angle lens – so if someone has their arm outstretched, shoot from their hand

♥ If you want movement from the lights (streaks etc) move the camera across the lights the instant you take the shot Shoot-flip! Shoot-flip! The slower the shutter the more light streaks you’ll have

♥ Look for weird things that look out of place, like a fancy dress prop

♥ When choosing which photos to include in your gallery, look carefully at the background – you’ll spot some hilarious things!

And here are some photos I’ve taken on the dancefloor!




Ambr and Josh Back Garden Wedding-80

Prince-Albert-Wedding-Camden-London-67Prince-Albert-Wedding-Camden-London-68Prince-Albert-Wedding-Camden-London-69Prince-Albert-Wedding-Camden-London-72Prince-Albert-Wedding-Camden-London-73Prince-Albert-Wedding-Camden-London-74Zoe and Paul London Wedding at The Peasant-83Zoe and Paul London Wedding at The Peasant-82Zoe and Paul London Wedding at The Peasant-81Zoe and Paul London Wedding at The Peasant-80Zoe and Paul London Wedding at The Peasant-79Zoe and Paul London Wedding at The Peasant-76Zoe and Paul London Wedding at The Peasant-65Julie and Dave Mykonos Wedding-177Julie and Dave Mykonos Wedding-169Julie and Dave Mykonos Wedding-168wedding dancing having fun at cambridge weddingwedding dancing having fun at cambridge weddingwedding dancing having fun at cambridge weddingFun-relaxed-documentary-quirky-wedding-photos 88wedding dancing party photoswedding dancing party photos

Rainy Cripps Stone Barn Wedding © Anna Pumer Photography

Rainy Cripps Stone Barn Wedding © Anna Pumer Photography

Rainy Cripps Stone Barn Wedding © Anna Pumer Photography© Anna Pumer Photography www.annapumerphotography.com

© Anna Pumer Photography www.annapumerphotography.com

© Anna Pumer Photography www.annapumerphotography.com

Claire and Sean Wedding 23© Anna Pumer Photography www.annapumerphotography.com© Anna Pumer Photography www.annapumerphotography.com

Peasant pub London Wedding © Anna Pumer Photography

Peasant pub London Wedding © Anna Pumer Photography



  • NicolaOctober 23, 2016 - 9:39 pm

    Great blog, I love some of the expressions you have captured!ReplyCancel

  • SarahJune 27, 2015 - 5:56 am

    Wicked blog! A friend linked me to this as I was struggling to know how to rock the shots at the reception. Can I just ask how your getting your light trail shots? Are you slowing shutter speed even more and still hand holding? And how are you creating them, iPhone torch etc? Sorry if these questions are dumb…..that’s me ReplyCancel

    • Anna PumerJune 28, 2015 - 3:36 pm

      Hi Sarah, thanks so much! The light trails come from any lights that are in the venue – from disco lights to fairy lights – even fire exit signs! If the wedding doesn’t have many lights, press the shutter and quickly spin the camera around to any light source you can find before the shutter closes 🙂 My shutter is anything up to a second long (usually 1/6th of a second) and I’m hand holding and moving the camera on purpose – with direct flash the subjuct is frozen and sharp 🙂

  • Julie MichaelenMay 28, 2015 - 12:43 pm

    Anna this is an awesome post and really helped me at my wedding last saturday, I always felt like my dancing shots lacked something! Thank you! xReplyCancel

    • Anna PumerMay 28, 2015 - 6:11 pm

      Fantastic, I’m so glad it was helpful!x

  • beckuMay 5, 2015 - 12:22 pm

    WOW Anna!!! Amazing photos that totally capture the awesomeness of that night!! I love them all!ReplyCancel

  • Philips JamesMay 2, 2015 - 7:28 am

    AMAZING post lady! Photos are stinking hot, so gutted I didn’t come, big hugs xxxxReplyCancel

    • Anna PumerMay 2, 2015 - 9:26 pm

      Thanks! You missed a great party, dude!x

  • KathrynMay 1, 2015 - 3:17 pm

    AMAZING photos. Great tips. Thanks. What a fun night!! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Anna PumerMay 1, 2015 - 3:20 pm

      Thanks! It was an awesome night! 🙂