Although there is much to learn and think about when setting up your equipment at a reception and figuring out your settings in order to get great exposures, the good news is that once you do this, there is very little thinking involved for the remainder of the night. Especially when it comes to shooting on the dance floor. The environment is fixed and very little changes (besides the room lights going up, which you have to pay attention to if you want to drag your shutter) so you don't have to worry about fiddling with anything once you get your set-up dialed in.

It's very freeing, really. So much so that you don't even have to look through the viewfinder.

Yep, that's right. Once open dancing gears up, you will find me in amongst the guests, camera overhead, shooting away, feeling the music and probably looking a tad bit goofy. But I'm having fun! And these are the shots I'm getting.
The low-light focus trick frees you up to not have to lock focus for every shot. So I just put my 24mm 1.4 lens on my camera, lock my focus using the back-button on a distance about 4 feet away, and then shoot with the camera over my head. It takes a little getting used to, but once you do it for awhile, you know how close you need to be and at what angle you need to point the camera in order to make your desired subject the focal point of the image. And that's really the only trick. It's easy to get an overhead shot of the entire dance floor. But what you really want is to choose a couple or a person to be the focal point of the image. Here are a few more examples:
I'm just under 5' 4" so I love the perspective I'm able to achieve with the added height. So fun!

If you found this post helpful, and are interested in learning more, click here to opt-in for my free video series -- 6 Hacks to Eliminate Boring Low-Light Photos and Get You Creating Reception Images you LOVE! In it I share my best 6 tips for shooting with flash. If you are intimidated by flash and wanting to conquer it once and for all, this is a great place to start!
learn flash for wedding receptions

Equipment used for above photos:
Canon 5D Mark III // Canon 24mm 1.4 lens // 2 Canon 600EX-RT Speedlites // MagMod Bounce // 2 Battery Packs // Light Stand with umbrella bracket and cold shoe
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