A wedding is one of the most-awaited days in the life of a couple. If you are a wedding photographer, it’s your responsibility to capture all the vital details and moments. Here are some tips to help improve your wedding photography skills, so that you can provide only the best photos to your clients. If you are a beginner, there is room for growth! If you are a skilled wedding photographer, it’s always good to have a refresher and learn new tricks. Regardless of your experience, here are some tips to improve your wedding photography to sharpen your skills.
Generally, you’ll be relying on autofocus to get sharp images. However, the autofocus might not always know exactly what you’re trying to take a photo of, resulting in the camera focusing on the wrong subject. The usual practice is that you halfway press the shutter button to help the camera focus, then you click the shutter all the way down to take a photo. Hence, you will remove the auto-focus if you accidentally withdraw your finger from the shutter.
This is where you can use the back button to ensure images are sharp. This function allows you to obtain focus while letting the shutter release handle the task of taking the photo. When you shoot, you only need to press the back button to lock focus while pressing the shutter enables you to take the shot.
All of the guests are important, although the bride and groom’s party represents normally those closest to the couple. It’s wise to learn who the key people are and remember some of their names, so it will be easier for you to gather people for staged photos.
Learn who the parents are, as well as the principal sponsors or godparents. The maid of honor is typically the bride’s sister or best friend, while the best man might be the groom’s brother or best friend. The bridesmaids and groomsmen are usually composed of siblings, cousins, and closest friends. Those are the people you’d want to focus on.
Wedding moments can happen in a flash, so you must be attentive. Get a timeline to guide you from the preparation, wedding ceremony, and up to the reception. The program lets you determine how to capture the best shots in the right order.
What’s your angle when the couple enters the church or reception? If you have a team, who will be capturing the close-up shot of the exchange of rings?
When you are shooting group photos, it’s preferable to start with larger family shots. In this way, you can eventually remove people and work down to shots with only the parents or secondary sponsors.
Some photographers struggle with composition and framing, which are crucial when you want to take the best photos. Scan the composition after instructing the poses. Are there distractions such as a person looking the other way or a bridesmaid not holding her bouquet?
There are times where you’ll overlook existing frames. Is there an archway or a window that can balance your composition, or perhaps the foreground can add symmetry to the photo? Scout the venue before the program begins so that you can use elements like these in your images.
Automatic settings can make the job easier, yet manual settings will give you greater flexibility and creativity. It’s essential that you know how to adjust the shutter speed and aperture depending on your situation.
For instance, you can set the shutter speed to 1/500th of a second to freeze some action shots. These include the first dance, first kiss, the guests showering the couple with confetti, or the couple slicing the cake.
If you need to take the couple’s portraits, it’s advisable to choose an aperture between f/1.4 to f/2.8. When it’s time to capture landscape photos of the guests or venue, you can experiment with a high aperture value.
Once you’ve programmed the right settings, take as many photos as possible using continuous mode. A person in the group photo may be blinking or not looking into the camera. To save you hours of editing a face on photoshop, you might as well use burst mode.
As a pro tip, once you get more comfortable shooting weddings, you can try reducing the number of photos you take throughout the day so you don’t end up with so many duplicates. In doing this, you’ll have fewer unedited photos to go through!
Weddings are a one-time event for couples, which means there is little to no room for error. The challenge is for you to capture all the crucial details in a short amount of time. With these tips to improve your wedding photography, you can make sure your couples relive their best memories through your photos.