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Professional Wedding Photography Techniques

Mar 6, 2008
Everyone wants to look his best in a picture, and a photographer can enhance a person's appearance considerably by utilizing basic principles of good posing and corrective techniques.

Posing does not have to mean stiff, mannequin-like people. Posing simply is what a photographer should do to portray subjects in a natural, attractive way; in other words, help people look the way they want to. Corrective techniques are those you employ to remove or subdue disturbing physical imperfections.

In addition to posing and corrective measure, follow basic rules in order to achieve consistently high-quality results. Observation, or pre-visualization, can greatly enhance your abilities because you know in advance how each picture will come out, and you won't have to pray that they will look the way you intended. Time is crucial during a wedding, and good organization and knowledge of basic camera techniques can save precious minutes.

As a photographer, you should help each of your subjects to look their best. Good common sense is necessary in determining when tactful suggestions can and should be made. Don't be pushy; you can't force anyone to look natural! Sometimes people will say, Just take the picture more often they will say, You're the photographer, what should I do? They are paying you hundreds or thousands of dollars and they expect to get their money's worth. Take fewer pictures if you must, but make sure that the ones that you do take are good ones.

Basic posing requires the proper placement of the feet, hands, and head. One foot should be placed slightly in front of the other, pointed toward the camera, with the weight shifted to the back foot. Hands should be natural. In most cases, the front, visible hand should be holding or touching something or in a pocket.

Head and shoulders should not be in the same plane; shoulders should be turned at about a 45-degree angle, and the head should be slightly tilted, toward the front shoulder for a woman and toward the back shoulder for a man. Eyes should be in the center of the sockets. Each person in the picture should be looking in the same direction or creating a path toward the person or object of central attention.

It's easy to see what photographer is a professional and who is an amateur. At a wedding, master photographers usually dress the same as everyone else; to make sure they are not getting too much unneeded attention. Each photographer has a stock of poses, some original, that have been used and which are constantly built upon and refined. The search for new ideas, backgrounds, props and equipment is constant one for the master.

Clients who want something different challenge his imagination. In addition to recording the events, the master tries to reveal the emotions, the happiness of the day, and those qualities which make each wedding unique. Although not a camera or gadget fanatic, the master wants the best equipment available, even if it costs a little more. He also tries out accessories that can make new and exciting shots. Photography is a job, as well as hobby and joy for the master.

Only a relative handful of wedding photographers ever reach the level of master. Creativity and desire are the two most important qualities needed.
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