Wedding Photography Tips

Wedding Photography

The most important thing that a wedding photographer needs to have in mind is that he can’t immortalize a moment later, after it has happened. As a wedding photographer you have to feel each moment in order to take the shoot at the right time. Therefore it is very important to know some tricks and tips that professional wedding photographers use.

If you feel you are not ready to become a wedding photographer and to be financially rewarded for your work I advise you to make the following experiment. When you see a wedding take your camera and start shooting. Don’t forget to ask for permission from the happy couple. They will be happy to have two photographers at their wedding while paying just for one. Once you are at the wedding, there are some tips you need to know and use if you have to shoot in darker places.

Decide your course action. A wedding photographer always uses a tripod for his wedding shootings. But there are some situations when you have to move very fast and a tripod would be in your way. So how do you take some great photos of the wedding in the church? There are two possibilities. You either increase the ISO speed to 400, which will allow you to take perfectly clear photos while holding the camera in your hands, or you use high speed lenses (f/2.8, f/1.4, or even f/1.2), which will allow more light to enter into the camera.

Wedding Photography - Church

Wedding Photography - Church

When to use the flash light. Once you decided the ISO speed you are going to use, you have to learn when to use the flash. Most of the times, if you choose to use the flash while taking photos in a room, you will obtain pictures with strong shadows and strange light. In order to avoid that you should cover the flash with a light diffuser.

For example Vello Mini Softbox produces noticeably softer shadows and it matches most of the conventional flashes (Nikon, Canon,  etc). These light diffusers can be use for external or internal flashes.

Flash Softbox

Flash Softbox

An external flash has a very high advantage: it allows you to change the angle and the direction of the flash so that the light can be reflected form the ceiling. This works only if the ceiling is white and isn’t more than 40 feet high. You can also direction the flash over the shoulder of the person you are going to photograph. This way you will obtain a perfect outline of that person.

I recommend you to use the flash outdoor too. Even if it is sunny and you don’t really need the flash, by using it you remove the shadows from the people’s faces. Get a 45 degrees angle and use a flash diffuser.

Be prepared with backup memory cards. A wedding photographer taxes an average 750 shoots per each wedding, which means that he need a lot of space. No matter if you use CF, SDHC or XD cards, you should always have a few back up cards. You don’t want to risk running out of memory cards during a wedding photo shooting. So keep the backup memory cards very close so that you can replace the used one fast enough. You don’t want to miss anything during the wedding.

How to take group photos. At a wedding it is very important to make sure you photographed everyone. But how can you do that with all the craziness that is taking place there? Group photography is one of the most difficult ones because there will always be an uncle, or an aunt, or a nephew who runs late and people will get impatient. What you should do is get everybody together and when you are sure that no one is missing you call the happy couple. You should take a picture with the bride and groom by themselves and then with the rest of the wedding guests. If you could take this picture before everybody goes to his sit it would be perfect, because now people are relaxed and will have more patience.

Wedding Photography - Group Photo

Wedding Photography - Group Photo

It is very important that the entire group to be in focus so I advise you to use f/11 for a better depth of field. But who do you focus on? If you have a group where people who are arranged on several rows you should focus on the people on the first row. If you are not satisfied with the result you should use the burst mode.

How to avoid closed eyes. A very common problem when talking about wedding photography is represented by people having their eyes closed when you actually take the photo. In order to avoid that you should use the “3 seconds rule”. You will count to three, and when you get to 3 everybody will make sure they have their eyes opened. It may sound simple but it is also effective.

Wedding Photography - Decoration

Wedding Photography - Decoration

Get creative. A wedding involves more than just people. There are so many details that you can photograph, so why not got creative. Here is a list of details you could photograph at a wedding in order to prove your creativity: bridal shoes, the wedding cake, bridal dress on a hanger, bridal jewelry, wedding invitations, champagne glasses, rings, bridal bouquet, firs dance.

Wedding Photography - Bridal Bouquet

Wedding Photography - Bridal Bouquet

 









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