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Wedding Photography

Thursday, January 7th, 2010 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography
 
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Capturing your wedding is as important as life itself. If your life’s most memorable moment isn’t captured on the memory card, you are missing something. Of course, the wedding photographers are experts at getting the work done, but not all excel at what they do. So, if you want to photograph your friend’s wedding your way and ensure that he or she values your work for life, here are a few handy tips to go beyond what the traditional wedding photographer does…

Start with the weather and do some reconnaissance
Wedding photography should tell a story. Yes, the dateline imprint on the photo does it in its own way, but capturing it with a time-line story in mind brings out the occasion in a way no wedding photographer can ever do. So, take an external picture of the venue, showing the sky and the road in front of it. It conveys both perspective and the weather at the same time. But even before that, do a recce of the venue and the get the schedule of the day, so can plan accordingly.

Don’t trail the bride and groom
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Why? Because the wedding photographer is already doing it. So your job is to take what he hasn’t. Close-up shots of the occasional nods from the bride and groom; their varying moods and so on. In the same manner, capture the many moods of their parents and close relatives. And yes, concentrate on the laughs more than the frowns and cries.

Trail everything else
Trail the bride and groom’s brothers, sisters and close friends. Capture them at their funny best in a group or alone. And when things are not to your liking, make it happen by asking them to act like they do in MTV videos. Make them pose funnily and act outrageous in front of the camera. Bring out all the childhood gags and capture it on your chip.

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Do a ‘before’ and ‘after’
Arrive at the venue when no one is around and take a ringside view of the hall when no one is present. Later, when it is full to the brim, take another shot with the same angle and perspective. This ‘before’ and ‘after’ photo looks so good; you could even make it the theme of your photography. For example, you could the two empty chairs where the bride and groom would later sit or the catering section bereft of people and later overflowing with people.

Don’t forget the food
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Here is where you can do your bit of food photography. Begin with extreme close ups of the food. Capture all the dishes in one photo and then go individual. Use varying angles to make the food look more imposing yet delectable. Shoot from below; on the side or overhead… just make sure what you capture can make anyone go hungry just looking at your images. Also, ensure that you capture Kodak moments of people at the table, both in groups and individuals.

Do a photo session
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Unlike the wedding photographer who is a stranger to the bride and groom, you have a decided advantage. You could make them pose on the terrace of the venue; in the balcony, on the road and just about anywhere you tell them. Here is where you can make them do fun things or make them open up and smile whole-heartedly.

Do some people watching
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Scan the wedding crowd to spot interesting faces that stand out from the crowd. It could be a well-dressed business executive, an old man with accentuated wrinkles on his face that lends itself for great portraits or a charming and beautiful woman. Just ask for their permission and follow them. Click when they are at their natural best and bring out the best in them.

Don’t forget the kids
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A significant chunk of people who turn up at weddings includes babies and under 10-year-olds. Don’t miss out on them. They offer the most memorable moments with their effervescent charm and innocence. Make the most of it and capture them in their varying moods.

Get creative
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Thinking lateral has no barriers. You could take the same shot as the wedding photographer and still come up trumps with your different angle or composition. So train your eye on the unusual, rare and interesting scenarios. And these could be people, places or even things as this photo illustrates.

Go black and white
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Experiment with black and white too, like this photo. And sometimes, when a color photograph isn’t as appealing as you previously thought, just convert it to black and white in photoshop and see the difference. It’s worth a shot.

And finally…
It is up to you, the photographer, to determine how good the wedding album looks and how much life the photos add to it. The pictures must be as natural as possible and must be in the ‘photojournalistic’ style; the pictures must speak the story of the day. The album must look unique. Best of luck!

~Zahid H Javali

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Wedding Photography

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography
 
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Wedding Photography

Wedding photos can be a challenge to take, because of the flurry of activities that go on and the wide variety of lighting conditions that may occur, but with the guide below, you will learn several tips and tricks that will give you the best wedding pictures of all time. Let’s check it out!

Preparation

One of the most critical elements in being a successful wedding photographer is preparation. You absolutely need to prepare ahead of time (at least two months prior). It’s a good idea to get to know the bride and groom so that you can understand their needs and wants. Some good questions to ask are:

  • How many photographers will there be?
  • What type of photos would they like?
  • How many guests will be at the wedding? Are they mostly family members or friends?
  • What locations will be used? A church, reception hall, etc.

Asking pertinent questions like these will help you understand the requirements for the wedding photos, which will also help you take better shots!

Locations, Events and Times

Once you know what the wedding locations, events and times are, you should go check them out. For a church wedding, it’s best to go inside the church to check out the lighting, decor and environment. Perhaps you can find a few places to stand during the ceremony, so you’re not running around in a panic on the day of the wedding. It’s also important to check out the reception area, just so you know how everything will be set up.

Organize Your Gear

This is a critical step. Here’s a list of the equipment you should bring to the wedding shoot:

Digital camera: This one is obvious. It’s good to have a backup analog camera as well, just in case.

Camera lenses and filters: Take along any special lenses or filters you may want to use.

Tripod: This one is important for indoor shots under low light.

Memory cards: Bring at least two 1 GB memory cards. That may seem like a lot, but you won’t believe how many shots you’ll take during a wedding.

Portable drive: This is important in case you run out of space on your memory cards.

Assistant: Try to bring along an assistant. It could be a friend or a helper at the wedding. They can help you arrange the group shots, etc., which will take a lot of stress off of you.

On the Wedding Day

Here’s a typical sequence of events to help guide you when the actual wedding day arrives.

At the House

If you’re taking shots of the bride getting ready, it’s best to be early. In fact, you should be one of the first to arrive so that you can set up your positions, tripods or whatever you may need.

At the Church

Once you’re at the church, find out where the preacher will be standing and position yourself accordingly. Some critical shots include the entrance to the church, the aisle and where the couple will stand.

Note: Don’t get too excited about your shots so early on. You have a long day of taking photos and you need to ration your memory card space to ensure you get pictures of everything throughout the day.

If there’s a reception, make sure you get there before the rest of the guests so that you can find your perfect position. Receptions are a good time to capture candid shots, so have some fun with it!

Formal Group Shots

If there are any formal group shots to be taken, try to start with the big groups and then slowly remove family members so that you can get various combinations of the friends and family.

Cleaning Up

So, what do you do after a wedding shoot? Well, plenty! You need to do some basic image editing, such as removing red eye, cropping and rotating. You also need to burn the photos onto CDs and DVDs, usually in a slideshow format. You should try to get the final copies to the happy couple as soon as possible.

Have fun!

~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami

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