As passionate about photography it often happens to be questioned by relatives or friends to capture the “most important day of life”, that of their marriage. The wedding photography is a genre not easy because it requires a good knowledge of your equipment and lighting techniques, considerable operational readiness, a certain creative capacity. But there is no need to be distressed by the “responsibilities”: a marriage is not just a sequence of ritual moments, but a succession of gestures and elusive expressions, unexpected situations, shouted and whispered emotions.
It is an extraordinary stage that offers the opportunity to try, within a few hours, in the most varied photographic genres: reportage, street photography, still life, portrait, architectural photography.
And if you do not feel like being involved as “official photographers”, you can always document the event by moving “behind the scenes”: a fun way to spend the day without … .doing too much!!
Here are some tips:
1. Adopt THE “modern” style of the reportage
The most famous wedding photographers are chosen by the spouses because of the stylistic imprint that characterizes their work, but in most cases, the photographer must somehow “comply” with the client’s requests, without upsetting his style.
Meeting both spouses in advance and knowing their photographic tastes is a fundamental step to ensure that you are on the right path. A posed, classic style does not necessarily mean to force the unfortunates to 2 hours of poses or contortions, far from the rest of the guests. It simply means spending 15 to 30 minutes in their company – choosing the most suitable moment – to create a series of shots in the best environmental and light conditions, helping them to adopt natural attitudes and making them feel at ease.
The reportage, on the other hand, is not limited to surprise photography (candid camera) but aims to “capture” with the complicity of the spouses and guests the atmosphere of the day, to make it live again every time they see your images.
2. Choose the equipment accurately and check before use
Since marriage is a unique and unrepeatable event, one must put oneself in the condition of not making irretrievable mistakes. Always check the operation of the equipment the day before: cleaning the sensor and optics, battery charging status, autofocus operation, availability of memory cards in adequate quantities (for a total capacity of at least 64GB). A second camera body will avoid having to constantly change the lens and protect from any faults.
Wedding photography does not require particularly high resolutions: 12-16 megapixels may be sufficient.
It is important that the machine has a good speed of response and writing of RAW files, which is quick and intuitive to set up and comfortable to hold. If you want to use a single lens, a bright zoom of excellent quality is preferable (24-70 mm F.2.8). To this, it is possible to combine a tele zoom (70-200 mm) and some fixed focal lengths, which thanks to the high brightness will allow greater control of the blur.
An external cobra or bracket flash with a guide number of at least 45 (and equipped with a diffuser) will complete the equipment.
3. Use the environment light as possible
Try to use natural light as much as possible, and use the flash only in combination with natural light, as a function of lightening (mixed lighting). This will make your photography more natural, spontaneous and exciting. The modern full frame sensors are able to produce images of excellent quality up to 6400 – 12800 ISO, while the best “apps” reach 3,200.
The flash as the main source of lighting should be used only when it can not be done without. Natural light is warmer, enveloping, exciting. Also, you will not run the risk of losing the background, which often falls into the darkness when you use the flash. To avoid this it would be advisable to use at least 2 flashes in combination: not to forget the possibility of some recent models to command a second wireless external flash unit – in total automatism – using the built-in flash or a cobra flash mounted on the slide. But a simple trigger can be enough to operate a second manual unit, to project a lateral or “effect” light on the scene.
4. Variate the iso according to the needs
You have to be ready to vary the ISO sensitivity very quickly. A classic case is that of entering the church, with the bride suddenly passing from the sunlight of the outside to the faint illumination of the interior. Or vice versa, at the exit of the spouses. Thanks to modern sensors, sensitivity has become a perfectly usable variable, like time and diaphragm, when a few years ago the ISO was increased only in case of emergency. Working indoors you can start directly with 400-800 ISO, while in external 100-200 they are great. In particularly dark churches, or in the case of evening refreshments, you can get to shoot at ISO 3200-6400, then take part in the photo-editing phase to reduce digital noise. The important thing is to expose the image correctly: an underexposed image taken at high ISO has limited recovery margins in post-production. If desired, you can set the time-diaphragm pair that you think is most correct, given the scene you are about to resume – leaving the automation on your machine’s ISO to adjust the exposure.
5. Pay attention to white balance
This is a very important aspect if you want to maintain a natural shade of the complexion. The thing is not easy in the presence of mixed light (natural and artificial): in these cases, I recommend setting the daylight. Always shoot in RAW, which allows you to adjust the white at a later time, before converting files, sitting comfortably in front of your computer monitor.
6. Looking for not to be banal
The greatest difficulty consists precisely in proposing – in addition to the classic shots – even non-ordinary images: some shots that are different from all the others. We observe on the web the images of the most quoted wedding photographers, looking for ideas and/or ideas that we will then try to put into practice on the field, putting our own. To risk is never easy, but if we feel confident enough we can risk some unusual outlook, try to create a new game of lights using a remote-controlled flash, use the creative blur to introduce a sense of dynamism. The important thing is not to improvise in unrepeatable situations: it must be creative techniques that we have already had the chance to experiment successfully.
Check This Out: Ideas for The Transportation of the Bride and Groom
7. Looking for not being monotones and repetitive
We often change the poses, the cuts, and the shots, both in the report and for the most posed shots. We alternate horizontal, vertical and diagonal images. Let’s play with the perspectives, the points of recovery, the out-of-focus. If we know a priori the size of the album (square or rectangular) and how we intend to set it, let’s take it into account. Alternating does not mean creating a patchwork but knowing how to offer a representation of the event that is as varied and interesting as possible, full of panoramas, set situations, close-ups, details. Static and dynamic situations. Faces, expressions, gestures. Let’s get used to going around the subjects, in order to change their lighting and background. We try to lower ourselves, to give momentum and eliminate any disturbing elements.
8. Reply to selective focus
To make the subject stand out more, we use selective focus. By resorting to the more open diaphragms we can completely eliminate a disturbing background, slightly blur the background elements to establish a hierarchy between the primary and secondary elements of the composition, to focus on the subject or on a detail. As an example, we can blur the faces keeping them still legible, with the hands and the rings in the foreground perfectly in focus. Or we can play with the wings, elements of the foreground that surround the main subject, putting it more in evidence.
9. Attention to details
The details are important, because they enrich our story: the flowers that decorate the tables, the favors, the presentation of food, the mise en place, the embroidery of the dress, the cufflinks of the shirt, the names engraved on the wedding rings, are the fruit of careful research by the spouses: if we are able to highlight them, we will certainly do something pleasing to the couple. Train your spirit of observation, and go in search of everything you can find beautiful, original, witty: the details contribute significantly to make that day a very special day.
10. Cogliet the actual
We carefully observe the behavior of the “actors” that surround us, from the protagonists to the “extras”, ready to grasp a gesture, a smile, the expression of a face, an amusing or unexpected situation. We do not limit ourselves to intervening in the ritual or cutlery phases. These moments, immortalized in their freshness and spontaneity, will give more strength to our story, making it truly unique. To do this, you need to move naturally, trying to go unnoticed, and know how to frame, focus and shoot very quickly.
11. Describe the environment
The bride’s residence, the church or the town hall, the location chosen for refreshment, are just as many scenarios in which the event we are going to represent takes place: we strongly recommend that you carry out an inspection, to choose the best positions in advance. shooting, analyzing the characteristics of lighting, identifying interesting “scenic objects”. Why not describe these environments before, during and after the spouses pass?
12. Include in your story the non-protagonist actors: invited, celebrants, musicians, staff
Every wedding comes alive with subjects that characterize the event with their contribution of sympathy and emotion. They can be the guests, who manifest in the intoxication of the event all their personality, artists called to animate the day with their performances, the same celebrants of the ritual.
Children cannot miss in a wedding. Many children who participate expressing their feelings with the utmost spontaneity: joy, fun, liveliness, boredom, enthusiasm. amazement, tiredness. Let us remember to always put ourselves at their height , in photographing them.
14. The “magic” of white and black
With the advent of digital we are no longer forced to choose between color and black and white, before shooting. Some of our best shots, however, lend themselves to converting to B & N, which adds atmosphere and a slightly retro flavor. Once the contribution of color is removed, the attention will inevitably be focused on the composition, the expressions, and the plays of light.
15. Adopt a correct behavior
It is essential not to lose the main steps of the ceremony and to know well the sequence of events that characterize the day. We always try to establish a dialogue with the spouses, which make them feel at ease and help to reduce the tension of the moment. Privilege spontaneity, naturalness and simplicity. Let us adapt to the atmosphere and style of marriage, assuming a discrete attitude or full involvement, depending on the case. Let us not get too close to the spouses unless it is strictly necessary and do not interfere in any case between them and the celebrant.
We must try to be so discreet as to be almost invisible, but always ready to catch the right moment.
Only if the celebrant allows it – at certain moments of the ceremony – is allowed to photographers to climb the altar, but in general, it is not allowed.
And now … good photos!!!Tags: Children, environment light, photography, selective focus, wedding, white balance
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