Wedding season started now and as a photographer maybe you will go for a wedding photoshoot first time. In this article, I am going to tell you about wedding photography tips for a novice wedding photographer. Stay tuned for the best wedding photos…
1. Flash ON/OFF
Do you know how to turn on the flash on the camera or change its settings to improve the lighting in the photo as a result? Well if so. But the guests at the wedding also have cameras with them. Take a moment to explain to them the basic rules of use for getting good pictures.
Sometimes indoors (in a restaurant, for example) it is worth turning off the flash for a while in order to experiment with the settings, to study the nature of the lighting. And ask the question, is it possible to do without it at all? what will the photos be? This maneuver is often justified by unusual results.
For outdoor weddings, the camera’s automation will make the most of daylight and will not fire the flash. However, turn the tide, turn it on. It can help reduce facial shadows from the bright sun or backlit scenes.
Depending on the time of day, flash will either help create beautiful images or completely destroy them. For example, if you are trying to “catch” the warm light of the setting summer sun or take photographs of people having fun on the dance floor, then these are two different goals, therefore they must be solved according to the tasks.
In the first situation, the flash could “destroy” natural light; secondly, without its impulse, the silhouettes of people will turn out to be dark, vague. The main thing is knowing your goals and intentions when photographing and using the functions in the device competently, this is the key to successful photography.
2. Talk to Guests
As a wedding photographer, you should ask the newlyweds who are on the guest list. And even if for you most of the invitees are complete strangers, this fact should not be an obstacle in communicating with them. Here I want to clarify that I do not mean the need to approach everyone, introduce myself and individually establish contact, talk on general topics, be interested in their affairs. Not at all. Do not. Remember, you are a photographer, you have other responsibilities, you work and they celebrate.
I am saying that two or three remarks, two or three kind words are always appropriate. You filmed someone, thank you for your participation. Suddenly, an incidental moment was caught in the report and you were noticed, then smile in response, show with a gesture that the frame is excellent. People behave in front of the camera inhibited, afraid, then encourage them, amuse them with a joke. Never tell guests that their posture and facial expressions are “worthless”, that they “look bad” like that, that “the photo with them didn’t work” (because of them). Even if this is actually the case, there is no need to show displeasure and blame them.
You should be friendly and rephrase your thoughts. For example, “let’s diversify the plot”, “shoot from a different angle”, “a couple more frames for reliability”, “you have your own charm, let’s smile”. And believe me, people are more willing to make concessions to you in the future, to requests, if you bring positiveness in addressing them. They seem to fit you into the circle of people who are in their camp, now you are an ally, and not a suspicious cunning photographer. You are accepted into the team. You are yours.
It is easier to work at a wedding when photographing groups of people, when you respect everyone and communicate with everyone politely. If you are wrong, apologize, if someone does not want to be photographed, do not insist, keep your distance, do not brazenly invade the personal space of others.
3. Don’t Compete for A Shot
There are a few moments at the wedding that everyone wants to remember, and many guests who brought their cameras with them have time to capture. While one of the invitees is trying to shoot this or that plot, try not to interfere, not obstruct, do not climb forward with indignation that you, they say, are here to be hired to shoot. Treat other photographers with understanding and respect, and even help them.
4. Feel Free to Take “Formal Photos”
Most ordinary people have little interest in professional photography as an art field. And the pictures themselves are assessed according to such a variety of criteria, the totality of which boils down to the understanding of “like / dislike”. As a photographer, I come across amazing moments when a person is delighted with photography, in which I find absolutely nothing interesting.
I ask: “What is good about the image?” I get the answer: “I look better on it than my friends!” And there are plenty of such examples. I will not describe it. In humans, figurative thinking, cognition of the world occurs mainly by visualizing the surrounding space, and there is a huge number of things that we do, reproducing some experience (ours or someone else’s).
Any competent psychologist will tell about this and the topic is really very curious. However, I want to draw a red thread from what has been said, the essence of which is as follows.
Everyone who deals with a camera churns out the same boring typical shots. Yes, Yes exactly. Remember, when you shoot someone, how do you compose the shot? Most likely, to the one you want to “click”, say: “Hey, look at me, or U-smile!” And you get a frame in which a person (group) is fully or partially tall, staring at the lens, standing at attention.
And the photographer no longer cares about anything, besides, if only the person being portrayed was well drawn and did not blink. No, of course, this is important, but the essence of photography should not be limited only to this.
Why is this happening? Why do people just churn out, to put it mildly, inexpressive shots? Most likely there is no time and desire to learn, learn. After all, you like the photos anyway, the main thing is that you can see yourself or loved ones on them, but you don’t need more.
This is what we are content with. It’s a pity, of course… We look at friends and acquaintances the same thing, the same photos are posted in albums, in social networks: at home, on vacation, on the street, at work – people are standing in a row (sitting) looking into the lens. And with each new frame, they reproduce the already familiar plot: “this way, closer to each other, we smile!”
In such photographs, apart from capturing people, there is nothing to tell a story, reveal characters, habits, to reveal subtext and turn on the viewer’s imagination, etc. But without such frames, nowhere…
Therefore, I also shoot such shots. I call them “formal photographs”. To which everyone is accustomed, without exception. Who also expect to see me as guests at the wedding. There is nothing wrong with them. Just limit yourself to them for a photographer who considers himself a professional and who is paid to do it services, in no case CAN’T.
I will say even more. “Formal photos” must be removed. Even if you are a photo artist with the richest experience, you have your own style and vision, you should not give up such shots that you may consider primitive. They are needed, needed like bread among the many overseas culinary delights at the banquet.
5. Get Closer
The problem I notice is that wedding photographers and specially hired photographers are not close enough to what they are trying to capture. Therefore, completely unnecessary objects fall into the frame. Those on whom attention should be focused are often “lost” against the general background. As the saying goes: “still need to look.” And this is a problem not so much in the presence of long-focus lenses as in the inability to designate priority in the field of the frame and unwillingness to move closer. That is, work with your feet.
In addition, being closer also means that the photographer must capture the moments. And this cannot be done without being immersed in what is happening, without anticipating the next steps.
6. Third Eye
The most amazing reportage photographs are usually obtained when the photographer has a sixth sense of anticipating an interesting moment. As if he knew, waited and got a good shot. The photographer is like a cheetah, not yet seeing its prey, but has already prepared for the chase. This means that the chance to catch luck by the tail increases many times over.
The wedding day is full of surprises and surprises, and missing out on the opportunity to photograph them is an unaffordable luxury for a photographer. So, be vigilant, do not give up, more often look through the camera lens to the sides, and most importantly breathe and live with the wedding ceremony. Feel it. And you will be lucky more than once.
7. Tell A Story
During the wedding day, one event is replaced by another. Wedding photography is like art, so with it you can tell stories: funny and curious, dramatic and emotional. Watching the bride and groom, every time you shoot whole chapters for the guests, which you will then collect into one big story about the happy newlyweds at the wedding.
8. Change Perspective and Angles
Do not photograph only at one level of your height. Squat, climb higher, tilt the camera. In general, change the shooting point. And just don’t stand still.
9. Not Just People
The main characters at the wedding are the bride and groom and guests. However, take a moment to distract yourself and try with objects, flowers, decorations, hands, touches, etc. convey to the viewer the festive spirit of an important event.
10. Have Fun
I am convinced that experimentation and improvisation are important elements of the filming process. But for this it is necessary to be in an atmosphere of excitement, passion, to be happy for the newlyweds, to share their joy! You are a photographer at a wedding; work should bring you pleasure, entertainment, enjoyment.
And now: “Start!” You are ready to go into battle armed with recommendations. Good luck.