I decided to write this brief article after asked; "how would I freeze action or motion during weddings? Well, it's a skill, I jokingly replied. But again, it's all about how you set up your camera settings( a good blend of the "exposure triangle" components), plus the other stuff hidden within your camera's menu system. And how you find your ambient light
Aside from using a faster shutter speed(e.g.1/1000 or higher) to freeze the action at daytime and NOT using a flashgun, another thing you can do is by using "the ring of fire" - a nickname for the focus points around the main point, becoming active if the object moves away from the main point. Think of a bride dancing to Pop music or spinning around - the photographer might not able to follow instantly but the extended focus area allows focus to be retained, as it expands via adjacent enabled AF points. But make sure to change the dial of your Focus Mode selection to AI Focus or AI Servo Focus operation. Unfortunately, such feature is only offered and shared by few high-end DSLR cameras.
Nothing to do with freezing the subject, but we need to have a well-focused subject too. How do I focus on my subject? Most photographers use the "half-depress shutter button technique" to lock the focus and full-depress shutter button to capture the shot, when focus is achieved or the subject becomes clear in your viewfinder. The downside with such technique is we have to re-focus every time we take the succeeding shots. Instead, I use the “AF On” button, found at the rear of your camera. Through your menu settings, you can set this button as your focus trigger. Select and set the focus points you want for the type of shots you want., then fire off as many shots you desire. The focus point or points will stay the same through all the shots. That convenient. Canon was actually the world’s first camera maker to incorporate such a feature, launching it back in 1989 with the EOS 630 (35mm film SLR). All current EOS digital SLR models have this feature in the camera’s Custom Functions, including the EOS Rebel models, going back to the Rebel XT and XTi.
Another reason why you need to have a great camera to handle the job. The new auto-focus systems that are found in Canon’s 5D Mark lll and 1DX are the best that the company has yet offered. Both cameras offer an accurate, stable and fast auto-focus that is state of the art. Both cameras share the same AF sensor, with its 61 point layout. In the 5D Mark lll, AF is driven by the camera’s Digic 5+ processor, as well as a second, unspecified AF processor. Actual auto-focus performance is very, very impressive, (comparable to the Canon 1D Mark iV). In the 1DX, a pair of Digic 5+ processors assisted by a Digic 4, combine the AF function with a more advanced metering system. You'll be amazed with its AF performance in terms of speed and accuracy.
If you're camera hasn't got this feature, don't worry. Simply use the "Single AF Point Mode, or Single Spot AF, then you can disregard this luxurious parameter.
To conclude, that's how I freeze the action without using a flashgun. Trusting the technology offered by my gears. But if using a flashgun, I can still freeze the action at slow shutter speed(via slow shutter synch). The fact that, it's the flash that freezes the action. Just be careful for chances of overexposing. Be mindful in using a flash. It could either be a friend or enemy.