Wedding Photography – the name explains it all. Who on this earth wouldn’t want to capture those precious moments of “The day” of their life and cherish them lifelong. Those chuckles and giggles, the blushing smile of the bride , the eager eyes of the groom, the first dance, the gossips of relatives, beautiful ambiance, flowers. All these tiny ingredients need to be captured and preserved for a lifetime. Wedding Photography is hence important part of your life’s most important event.
We all know about this genre of photography since most of us have either been the main subjects or the backgrounds. However, do you know that this domain is a large business today and over the years, it has evolved and has taken a different shape altogether. The standing portrait along with the bride and groom’s relatives, which was earlier the sole meaning of this genre, has now become a passé. The new era of Wedding Photography has take a different role altogether. It involves Traditional photography; also called classic photography involves posing for a photograph in a sit-still manner. It has been used in weddings for many years.
To most people, traditional photography is an old-fashioned method of photography because the wedding pictures are not spontaneous. On the other hand, a modern photographer concentrates on producing artistic pictures where a person can freely relax. Traditional photography requires a person to set up the camera each time one wants to take a picture, which is quite tiresome and monotonous. A person should make wedding photos look artistic while covering the different wedding sessions. Albeit Wedding Photography can be stressful and tiring, the photography as a profession is lucrative and fun too.
Transformation of Wedding Photography
Like the technology of photography itself, the practice of wedding photography has evolved and grown since the invention of the photographic art form in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. Due to the nature of the bulky equipment and lighting issues, initially, wedding photography was largely a studio practice for most of the late 19th century. Over time, technology improved, but many couples still might only pose for a single wedding portrait. Wedding albums started becoming more commonplace towards the 1880s, and the photographer would sometimes include the wedding party in the photographs. At the beginning of the 20th century, color photography became available, but was still unreliable and expensive, so most wedding photography was still practiced in black and white. The concept of capturing the wedding “event” came about after the Second World War.
Today, when we look at Wedding Photography, it has a completely transformed image. The latest SLR cameras, high powered lenses give an amazing form to the pictures. Not to forget the wonders that Adobe Photoshop works for the pictures. With the evolution of technology, there is also a rise in the number of Wedding Photographers. We have done an extensive research on the genre and have got various tips and tricks from the experienced professionals of the domain.
Create a ‘Shot List’
One of the foremost tasks is to get the couple to think ahead about the shots that they’d like you to capture on the day and compile a list so that you can check them off. This is particularly helpful in the family shots. There’s nothing worse than getting the photos back and realizing you didn’t photograph the happy couple with grandma!
Scout the Location
Visit the locations of the different places that you’ll be shooting before the big day. This is really helpful to know where you’re going, have an idea of a few positions for shots and to know how the light might come into play. You can even take test shots at the locations as a part of your preparations.
Photography Preparation is Key
So much can go wrong on the day and hence you need to be well prepared. Have a backup plan (in case of bad weather), have batteries charged, memory cards blank, think about routes and time to get to places and get an itinerary of the full day so you know what’s happening next. Try to attend the rehearsal of the ceremony where you’ll gather a lot of great information about possible positions to shoot from, the lighting, the order of the ceremony etc.
Expect the Unexpected
One more piece of advice that someone gave me on my own wedding day. ‘Things will Go Wrong – But They Can be the Best Parts of the Day’. In every wedding, something tends to go wrong with the day. The best man can’t find the ring, the rain pours down just as the ceremony ends, the groom forgets to do up his fly, the flower girl decides to sit down in the middle of the aisle or the bride can’t remember her vows…Bear with all this. Who knows, you might get the best shots in those moments.
Set expectations with the Couple
Show them your work/style. Find out what they are expecting, how many shots they want, what key things they want to be recorded, how the shots will be used (print etc). If you’re charging them for the event, make sure you have the agreement of price in place up front.
Turn off the sound on your Camera
Beeps during speeches, the kiss and vows don’t add to the event. Switch off sound before hand and keep it off so that you don’t act as an intruder in the event.
Shoot the small details
Photograph rings, backs of dresses, shoes, flowers, table settings, menus etc – these help give the end album an extra dimension. Flick through a wedding magazine in a news stand for a little inspiration.
Use Two Cameras
Beg, borrow, hire or steal an extra camera for the day – set it up with a different lens. Try to shoot with one wide angle lens (great for candid shots and in tight spaces (particularly before the ceremony in the preparation stage of the day) and one longer lens (it can be handy to have something as large as 200mm if you can get your hands on one – I use a 70-200mm).
Be Bold but Not Obtrusive
Timidity won’t get you ‘the shot’ – sometimes you need to be bold to capture a moment. However timing is everything and thinking ahead to get in the right position for key moments are important so as not to disrupt the event. In a ceremony I try to move around at least 4-5 times but try to time this to coincide with songs, sermons or longer readings. During the formal shots be bold, know what you want and ask for it from the couple and their party. You’re driving the show at this point of the day and need to keep things moving.
Learn how to Use Diffused Light
The ability to bounce a flash or to diffuse it is key. You’ll find that in many churches that light is very low. If you’re allowed to use a flash think about whether bouncing the flash will work (remember if you bounce off a colored surface it will add a colored cast to the picture) or whether you might want to buy a flash diffuser to soften the light. If you can’t use a flash you’ll need to either use a fast lens at wide apertures and/or bump up the ISO. A lens with image stabilization might also help.
Continuous Shooting Mode
Having the ability to shoot a lot of images fast is very handy on a wedding day so switch your camera to continuous shooting mode and use it. Sometimes it’s the shot you take a second after the formal or posed shot when everyone is relaxing that really captures the moment!