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The Best Wedding Photography Tips

May 6, 2008
Oh Dear! Your best friend has realised that wedding photography is just too expensive for their already stretch budget and, because you have a half decent camera, has asked you to do the honour. The trouble is you have never done a wedding and this is the most important day in their life. You have to tell your friends that of course you will do you best but you do not guarantee the shots. In these litigious days, it may be worth getting something drawn up and signed by both parties, just to be on the safe side.

You need to know exactly what type of shots they are looking for, so that their album is just what they want. While chatting about this, ask for the address of both the wedding venue and reception venue and the times. Go to both places as near the times of the wedding as possible so that you will have an understanding of the right places to set up the shots in the right lighting conditions. Take some reference shots. There maybe a site or two to do some interesting shots of the happy couple that will really look good in their album.

On the day, play it like a boy scout and 'Be Prepared'. Your batteries must be fully charged and you have to have a couple of spare sets handy for all of your equipment. Work out how many rolls of film you need and then add six more rolls. Remember that you need at least two different speeds of film. Those shooting with digital camera should allow for a minimum of two 2 gig memory cards and then add another because you will be shooting at maximum resolution for top print quality. If you know the difference, try to shoot RAW rather than JPEG as you will have a greater flexibility after the event.

Wedding photography is much more than the happy couple, many family and friends come together for the occasion so you must speak to the couple to ascertain who are the most important people to be included in the pictures. The group shot contains everybody and there are two ways to do it. First is to start with the couple and then add to them, the second and the preferable one is to get everybody together do the shots and then start discarding people until you end up with the couple who may not be able to smile at the end of it. Remember to shoot the children as soon as possible, whilst their clothes are still in pristine condition and they are not bored.

One of the things often overlooked, is the background, your reconnoitre will have given you the right place but double check that there are no flag poles or other distracting items that can clutter up a picture. You may have purposely chosen a particularly pleasing back drop but it is always worth taking an extra shot using a wide aperture that will just blur the background and make the couple stand out.

As you will probably be using fill-in flash, spectacle wearers can pose a problem with the reflections. Although remove the offending items may be the easy solution, it may make them hard to recognise in the photograph. One solution is to get them to move their head slightly, better towards the couple as looking away may indicate boredom.

Unless it is alfresco, the reception will be held indoors so that flash will be have to be used. This can lead to harsh shadows but there are ways to avoid this. Bouncing the light off the ceiling or a convenient wall is one way, providing that the ceiling is not too high, nor has a very strong colour. The other way is to buy a dedicated diffuser that fits over the flash or attach a piece of net curtain or tracing paper over the lamp. You would be advised to do some tests before the big day.

With the big day over you need to get your films processed as soon as possible. The best, if more expensive solution, is to use a professional laboratory, failing that, take them to a drop in lab that you know and trust. Do not post them, just in case they get lost. Some labs may even provide you with a CD as well. Those who have shot digital should down load their images to the hard drive where the worst ones can be deleted and the best ones can be burnt onto a CD and given to the happy couple. Your wedding photography may lead you to a new career.
About the Author
Before you plan your wedding feast, check Sean Lambs' wedding photography tips. There are a whole lot more ideas as well as wedding photography for anybody tying the knot.
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