A Post By: Andre Smith
Wedding photographers are in high demand, and standing out in such a crowded field is essential to landing lucrative clients. To do that, you’ll want to have a portfolio that stands out from the pack. Read on for four simple and effective tips to help make the wedding photos that you take look amazing.
1) Look past the classics. It’s tempting to plan for the so-called classic wedding moments like the blushing bride marching down the aisle. Keep your eyes open for moments to capture that tell the emotional story in a new way. The only way to find those shots is keen observation. In wedding photography, what is important is not only capturing an iconic image, but how you capture that image. Experiment with depth of field and composition, and aim to capture an emotion instead of just an image – this will make your photo more than iconic. You’ll also make it elegant.
2) Be unobtrusive but stay close. While an inconspicuous style might seem to lend itself to the use of a long lens, that’s not always the case. Weddings are a crowded space by their very nature. Long lenses are great for garden weddings, but they are not the end-all and be-all tool for capturing guests standing shoulder to shoulder or setting up a shot of people admiring the bride’s wedding ring.
It’s best to get in tight with a fast and flattering 50 mm lens. If your camera sensor is smaller than full size you’re basically working with the rough equivalent of a 65 mm lens set up on a 35 mm camera. Save your wide angle lens for special situations because most of the time, wide angle lenses aren’t flattering to the figure.
3) Work quick and work loose. The best wedding photos are those that capture real moments. The best way to capture real moments is not forcing them. Even taking group shots of the wedding party shouldn’t take more than 11 minutes. 11 minutes is really about the longest amount of time a group of people can stand and pose – any longer than that and the group will start to look bored and artificial. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the real. Give just enough direction to help your subjects relax. There is an art to helping make people feel comfortable. For example, try speaking in a gentle, almost Alec Baldwin-like sotto voice. Try putting people at ease by giving compliments.
4) Keep the eyes sharp. When you shoot in low light you also get a low depth of field. That means you want to take care as to what you keep sharp. The most important thing to keep sharp when photographing people is a person’s eyes. For example, if you are shooting a couple where one person is closer to the camera than the other, make sure that you aim your lens about a third of the way or so behind the nearest point that you want to keep in focus.
Photos courtesy of Darin Collison Photography, Melbourne wedding photographer.
About the Author
Andre is a writer and an amateur photographer traveling the land Down Under capturing images of the National Parks. He admires Ansel Adams and likes to learn and write about different ways of expressing creativity.