Wedding Photography Tips for Those Starting Out

wedding photography tipsBeing new to anything is a queasy place to be in. At the same time, it is also quite exciting. There are so many rooms for possibilities, and obviously so many things to learn. If you’re at this phase as a photographer and you would like to start getting into wedding photography, then this article is for you. We’ve compiled a few wedding photography tips to help out people who are quite new to this. You can be someone who is doing this professionally like this wedding photographer surrey or you could be someone who was tasked to be the unofficial photographer for a big wedding day and you would just like to make sure you bring your best to the photos – either way, you should be highly commended for the effort.

Mind you, we’d like to put the emphasis on the fact that this is just a few of the wedding photography tips out there coming from the pros. There are about a hundred or more, but every little but goes a long way.

Play around with a wide aperture

Using the widest aperture that your lens will allow you to gives the effect of the subject being extra focused while the rest of the background is sort of being softly blurred. There is something romantic about that kind of effect on the images. Ever heard of the saying “and the rest blurs out into oblivion”? In case you don’t remember, weddings are extremely romantic occasions so you have to be able to bring romance into your photographs – wide apertures bring you just that. Make you have to make absolutely certain that you are focusing accurately though because it’s an extremely tricky thing to balance.

wedding photography tipsChoreograph the bride’s poses

This is sort of a deal breaker. The thing is, you’re the photographer, and you’re the one who is in the best position to actually foresee how an image will turn out. The bride will forever be grateful to you if you give out instructions here and there just to make sure that she comes out looking gorgeous and looking her best in the photos. Do a quick study on how models pose to get their best features highlighted and try to bring that with you while you’re shooting the event and the bride in particular.

Shoot in the shade

Harsh sunlight does no favors for facial features; let’s just get that out of the way before anything else. Too much light can make people’s profiles look washed out and indistinct so make sure that you scout the location ahead of time and make mental notes of spots where you can take photos in the shade. It just gives you better exposure and overall better photos.

Also try to factor in some blur in your photos. Again, we go back to the fact that you need to be able to translate romance to your photos. A little artfully placed blur does just that. So far, those are a few of the basics to help you out in being able to artfully shoot your weddings. There are so many more things that could factor in on that too but you’ll see that you’ll quickly learn as you go along.

How to Win Clients by Learning Wedding Photography

wedding photographyWedding photography is fun and glamorous. On top of that, it’s sort of a really huge honor and compliment to have people completely put their trusts on you to be able to successfully and competently cover one of the most important days of their lives. These are just some of the reasons why photographers in general are either into or thinking about learning wedding photography one way or another. It’s a really lucrative market and a pretty interesting niche to get into.

Most photographers, especially those who have been practicing professionally for quite some time now feel that they have the art and photography side of things down pat – which is how it should be. As a photographer, it should be in your blood and bones. Art and creativity should be part of your gut instincts. But more than that, in order to actually thrive in this business, an up and coming wedding photographer must also learn the value of hard work, diligence and patience.

So let’s move on the money-driving aspect of the business which can really make or break your wedding photography stint: winning clients over. The thing is, there’s a manual for  using your equipment, there are how-to guides on how you will be able to play with lighting, over or under exposure, and so on and so forth but there is no seemingly fool proof way of winning over clients and actually drum up some business.

Network

What you need to understand is that the magic ingredient there is – nothing. There’s no one-sized solution for everyone. But if there is one variable that a lot of wedding photographers work on, it would have to be networking. You will be surprised at how much business you will be able to drum up with this kind of technique alone. That’s why it’s very important to maintain amiable relations with literally everyone – from former to current clients, caterers, florists, wedding planners, bridal clothes rental shops, designers, restaurants, resorts, and yes, even other fellow photographers.

Plan in advance

Design an effective yet eye catching enough business cards and make sure that you have it with you all the time. This may sound extreme but you will be surprised how this common point is missed by people attending networking events. Most of them don’t even have business cards or brochures with them! Prepare your stories and spiels ahead of time, make it interesting but keep it professional as well.

Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers

Say you overheard a couple in a department store picking out some stuff and talking about planning their wedding – don’t be afraid to walk up, introduce yourself, and maybe whip out an impressing looking business card. This may seem terrifying at first but believe it or not, things actually get way easier as you begin to get used to it.

Follow up accordingly

A good first effort is commendable but it’s the follow ups that really get the business rolling. Take notes during events, and take note of the people you’ve given your contact info to. If they don’t start calling you anytime soon, don’t be afraid to send a quick email or a short call just to let them know that you still have them in your thoughts and that you are excited to meet with them again soon.

Why Choose RAW over JPEG?

raw versus jpegSo there’s this age old argument among photographers between choosing RAW over JPEG. As a professional photographer, you should know the differences. After all, this craft is your bread and butter and it really does pay to be in the know. So to start off, what does RAW and JPEG mean, exactly? Well, they’re basically file formats.

What is  RAW format?

RAW is the image format initially captured by the sensors when you shoot a photo. This means that all the elements and components are still there and are practically untouched. So if you are keen on the little details such as the lighting, the subtle focus and out of focus effects, feathering on the outline, among other things which really make a world of difference for the photos; then you should keep it RAW.

The issue with the JPEG format that professional photographers sort of detest is the fact that is it compressed and most of the information is either hidden or lost. If you shoot your pictures in the JPEG format, you might end up with sub-par quality photos that don’t necessarily capture the essence of the moments you wanted to immortalize.

What is a JPEG format?

Shooting in RAW means you get to glean all of the information you shoot and get them into the photo. This is a really big deal considering so many things are happening in a photo all at once. On top of that, you are guaranteed the highest quality of pictures, which is really a prerequisite if you are actually shooting professionally. It provides you the liberty of processing your pictures yourself, deciding on how they should be altered, instead of having the camera do it for you which is what happens when you shoot with a JPEG format.

Comparison between RAW and JPEG

You also get to play with more light or brightness options when you shoot in RAW. I’m not gonna delve into the math here but just to give you an idea, shooting RAW over JPEG gives you a minimum of 3,700 levels of brightness more. That changes the whole ball game especially when it comes to playing up the shadows, how the light hits your subjects, exposure, contrast, and so much more! You also get to avoid posterization, which refers to the hazy spectrum effect brought on by light, much more easily when you shoot in RAW because the photos are pretty much unprocessed on untouched.

It’s so easy to correct overexposed or underexposed images in RAW. Again, we go back to the fact that you have all the info intact so you can easily alter them and correct them without sacrificing the quality of the photo.

Your prints will also look so much better when you shoot in RAW. The resolution and the gradation are finer and more focused so they come out really good looking when put in print. Although we are in the digital age, you have to keep in mind that clients may still want their prints, for posterity.

Well, these basic reasons alone should already put you on the bandwagon rallying for the RAW format but overall, as you see, this is just the professional choice. Your clients pay a pretty penny for great and high quality pictures – and they deserve no less.

Deciding on the Right Time to Book a Wedding Photographer

wedding photographerPlanning a wedding involves many different tasks. You and future spouse need to look for a venue, find wedding supplies, choose the food and even hire professionals to work on your wedding. Since there are too many tasks on your plate, you need to be very organized and list every major and minor wedding detail. It is important to set a time frame as well as goals on what and when you want to finish each.

Role of a Wedding Photographer

Among the major things you need to find time for is looking for a wedding photographer. A wedding photographer plays an important part in your wedding since he or she will be assigned to capture moments in your wedding. You and your spouse expect to see amazing wedding photos that tell a real story of your special union in marriage.

Now, the question is: when should you start looking and how early should you book a wedding photographer?

It is recommended by wedding experts for a couple to start looking for potential wedding photographers as soon as they have set the date of their wedding and preferably have chosen also a wedding location. Once you have decided on the wedding date, the first question you will most likely ask the photographer that you will talk is his/her availability. Is the photographer available on your wedding date? If not, then you can remove him/her from your list since it will be useless to continue the discussion if the photographer is not vacant on that day.

Steps in Looking for a Wedding Photographer

When looking for photographers, ask recommendations from friends, relatives and co-workers. Get also names online and check websites of wedding photographers. If you are impressed with their online work samples, then get their contact numbers and give them a call. Request for a face-to-face appointment with each wedding photographer. Seeing each of them in person will help you better asses how honest, skilled and credible the photographer is.

During the appointment, ask relevant questions like how many years has he or she been working as a wedding photographer, what photography style is he/she good and what produces he/she will deliver. Ask to see sample wedding albums as well as the photographer’s work portfolio. Examine them carefully and if you like what you see then you can add the photographer to your shortlist.

Shortlist a few names before conducting a background check and finally decide with your partner on whom to hire. Once you have set your eyes on a specific wedding photographer, then it is now the right time to book. Book as soon as possible before anyone also gets ahead of you. Great photographers usually get hired fast so be sure decide fast and carefully.

Right Time to Book a Wedding Photographer

Set the final details of the wedding photography deal and make sure both you and the photographer agree on the terms stipulated in the contract. A wedding contract can help formalize and legally bind the deal so both parties get protected. Never get into a deal with no written contract for something unexpected might happen and it can affect your whole wedding.

5 Documentary Wedding Photography Tips You Should Know  

documentary wedding photographyWedding photography is an important factor being looked into by couples planning for their wedding. These couples have several wedding photography types to choose from and one of the widely used today is the documentary wedding photography.

Documentary wedding photography involves a professional wedding photographer taking pictures during the wedding as moments happen. The photographer does not provide any instructions or directions to the couple and their guests. He/she just discreetly takes pictures without telling anybody on what poses to make or where to position themselves for a shot. In other words, there is no intervention or direction involved when the wedding photographer records the event in the wedding.

Documentary wedding photography is also known as reportage photography or photojournalistic approach. The documentary wedding photos are expected to tell a narrative story about the wedding. This wedding photography style is considered to be a more realistic approach and can capture the real happenings during that occasion including the genuine emotions and expressions of the people around.

If you are interested in getting into documentary wedding photography, then here are 5 documentary wedding photography tips you should know.

  1. Get all important information about the wedding

As a documentary wedding photographer, your main goal is to deliver photos that tell a narrative of a couple’s wedding. It is thus important for you to know all the important information about the couple and their wedding. What do the couple like and hate? What pictures do they expect to see? What do they want you to focus on when shooting? What time will the wedding start and expected to end?

You need to know the details of the wedding such as the time, venue/s and even the rules in the venue. By gathering information, you can plan better on where to position yourself, what type of shots to take and what to focus on.

  1. Move and think fast

When applying documentary wedding photography style, it is important for a wedding photographer to learn to anticipate on what moments will happen. It might take you awhile at first to be good in anticipating events but after several weddings, you will become better at it. You also need to move around and think fast because you will not only take pictures of the couple but also their guests.

  1. Choose the right lens to use

A DSLR camera with the right lens attached to it can give you the shots you want. You must then bring the right lenses during the wedding. You can bring a standard prime as well as a long lens so you can produce a variety of shots. A long lens can allow you to shoot unnoticed although the quality might not be as great as those taken using a prime lens.

  1. Avoid using flash

Since your goal is to produce awesome wedding photos without interfering during the wedding, then you will have to avoid using a popup or even an external flash. A flash can get too much attention thus disturbing the solemnity of the event especially during exchange of vows. If you are shooting in low-light environment, you can allow light to get into your camera by adjusting its settings. You can either boost the ISO or change the shooting mode and you can do this best by mastering your camera. Find time to study your camera manual and apply what you have learned through practice shooting.

  1. Compose your shots at all times

Even if you have to move around and shoot fast, it is important for you to compose your shots before clicking your camera. Remember the principles like the rule of thirds that most professional photographer apply when taking pictures and make it a habit to compose first before shooting.

By following the tips above, you can get started into documentary wedding photography and produce brilliant wedding photos that your client will love.