9 Quick Tips for the Amateur Wedding Photographer

July 04, 2013  •  Leave a Comment
 

A person's wedding is said to be the most special event in his or her life. It’s that memory that a couple want to keep as alive as possible as they grow old together, and that’s where photographers come in.

Wedding photography is not as easy as it looks. From capturing the most important moments, to the technicalities of taking those crucial shots, wedding photography is more than just point and shoot, and if it's something that you want to excel in, consider the following tips and apply them into your craft.

  • Use a zoom lens

This usually helps with taking pictures from the farthest to the nearest points. However, you won’t be able to capture everything during the wedding, especially if you’re flying solo. Zoom lenses are good for taking those sweet candid moments. One of the most recommended lenses for events is a 50-70mm for Canon, or a 15-200mm for a Nikon. If you don’t have access to these kinds of lenses, a lens kit would still do a pretty good job.

  • Use a lens with the widest aperture setting

The widest possible aperture setting depends on the lens you will be using. The widest recommended aperture setting for wedding photography would be f/2.0-f/3.0. You’ll find that professional wedding photographers use two or more cameras hanging on them for the reason that switching lenses every now and then would be a waste of time. Plus, the process of continually switching lenses would slowly damage both the lens and body of the camera. Wide aperture setting means greater depth of field and a better perspective to your shots.

  • Use an external/internal flash

As a photographer, you have to be prepared for all lighting conditions. An ISO setting of 6400 or higher combined with a slow shutter speed is not ideal, especially during the night. This would add noise or motion blur to your photos, so let the flash do the work. If not the flash, other lighting elements in the present environment (i.e. house lights, lasers, beams, spotlights) will also do you the favor of adding drama to your shots. Learn to experiment!

  • Make sure you have enough space on your card

Weddings with reception usually lasts from morning ‘til evening; it depends on how the event is organized. It would be useful to have two or more cards with you if you have 4GB on each card. Otherwise, 10GB would do. Why use such a large space for one wedding?

  • Shoot in RAW

Each raw file will probably consume 18MB (estimated); this covers 7.2GB of your card, assuming that you will take around 400 photos. The lighting will not always be the same for every environment, especially outdoors. If you have Adobe software and CR2 plug-in installed on your computer, it would be useful for you to shoot in raw so you can adjust your photos’ settings manually if need be. If not, the best size to use for wedding photography would be Medium to Large for high quality printing.

  • Limit your still shots to two or three per scenario

You won’t be using all of the pictures anyway and you don’t want to waste your shutter life for two or more photos that look exactly the same. Capture only the best moments!

  • Keep a copy of the program flow with you

This will allow you to forecast the shots that need to be taken and move one step ahead to find a good angle for every scene. That way, you won’t have to race with time and worry about missing the most intimate parts of the wedding.

  • Don’t be shy

As a photographer, you will be required to direct the guests or the couple to pose a certain way to create chemistry. Speak up. Remember that you are the official photographer and the director. Thinking outside the box won’t exactly hurt. You may have to deal with a couple of old relatives or guests so make sure you get your ideas across clearly.

  • Do necessary preparation before the wedding starts

You have to be alert and ready to take the photos at all times. Eat light beforehand; you may be required to take photos when everyone else is eating. Next, it’s important to do your business in the comfort room at least 10 minutes before. Check all your equipment, finalize your settings for varying environments, and be alert for all announcements.

In capturing the crucial moments and perfect angles, you may find it necessary to study other techniques from professional photographers’ guides on book or online. All skills require a great deal of time to really develop, and the key is to be patient and persistent.

With these tips in mind, learn to practice even before the wedding, if there’s time. Street photography, events photography, night photography, and portraiture would help you hone those skills to equip you for wedding events. So, practice, practice, practice!


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