Tips to Improve Wedding Photography Skills
Ever wondered what the best wedding compliment is? “We didn’t remember you were there!” A compliment most gracious for a wedding photographer of course! The best shots are indeed captured when the wedding photographer seamlessly blends in with the crowd, subtly and deftly capturing the best moments of the day, the fun reactions, the broad smiles, and the happy tears.
Looking to improve your wedding photography? Master your art with the help of these timeless tips.
Every bride and groom has a couple of choice locations in which they wish to have themselves photographed on their big day. It would be inexcusable for a professional wedding photographer to not go scouting with the ‘main couple’ to discuss some key shots for the day. While doing so, the safest route to take is to always have backups handy – plan C will definitely work out in case of inclement weather for plan A (you get the drift).
Alex Oat, a professional wedding photographer based in San Diego swears by scouting, saying, “Scout it out! Know the venue, the light, the cool spots for photos.” This takes off a lot of the pressure on the day of the event.
Know your gear inside-out
It takes no special intelligence to understand that the wedding day is NOT the day to experiment with new equipment or their adjustments. Never practice on your clients; all of that needs to be done in advance, whether you want to try out new flashes, new lens, or other camera basics. Sure, you can experiment with new poses, lighting conditions, or colour, but as far as the hardware is concerned, know them better than you know yourself. After all, no advanced camera or lens can make up for lack of expertise or experience!
Experimenting with lighting does not negate its knowledge. Meaning, sure the lighting aspect of photography offers endless possibilities and every professional wedding photographer has their unique approach to this principle; however, light is the basis of all photos, and life for that matter, and hence must be taken seriously.
Vilson Lleshaj, New York-based professional wedding photographer, suggests, “Use multiple light sources. Know and be good with available light, but know how to balance ambient light with artificial light.” On the other hand, Ohio-based Nicki Hufford urges amateurs to “learn off-camera flash (like yesterday).”
Practice the pause
It is natural for the wedding day to be one filled with fun, drama, and also chaos. However, this does not mean that you can slack off or fast-forward your shoots. You will be expected to take multiple photos of the bride and groom and their loved ones in different poses and in multiple locations. Sure the couple will trust your discretion and allow you to take the lead, but they will certainly have some custom shots in mind. Amidst all the hustle, remember to ‘practice the pause’ mantra to stay composed and clear-headed. Don’t be in a hurry to achieve all that you had planned for the big day; take it slow and easy!
Focus on capturing the firsts ‘first’
Out of all the key shots, some will be extra-special by being milestones. This could include the couple’s first dance together, the couple’s first look of each other, etc. It is your responsibility as the camera-guy of the day to successfully capture all these moments the best you can. And since opportunity never knocks twice, the best strategy to seize such shots is to set your camera on high shutter speed. That way, you can take multiple, quick shots without missing a moment. Also, don’t forget to capture moments from multiple angles.
A wedding photographer is trusted with the most important day of someone’s life, and the importance of wedding photography courses in shaping a master photographer cannot be stressed enough.