Wedding Photography Tips: All You Need is Love
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The bride and groom are the stars of the wedding. It is their love story that is making this wedding happen, and their bond is what you have to capture.
Make Friends with the Bride and Groom: Get to know your subjects thoroughly before you begin making their pictures. Once you make friends with them, they will respond to you with greater enthusiasm.
Create an Air of Romance: Portraying romance can be easier with a couple who have known each other for years. In an arranged marriage you may have to break the ice. Sometimes, they can be shy.
Don’t Be a Taskmaster… Communicate: In a friendly manner, direct the couple to pose. Show them the pictures you have made. Then, direct your next frame.
Try to Recreate their Journey: Did they meet at a party? In a library? Or at a wedding? Retrace their love stories in a fairytale manner though pictures.
What is it about the bride or groom that is mesmerising? Look for it.
Involve them in an Activity: You can make them play a fun game of cricket or chess to show their lighter side!
Explore Colours with the Couple: Traditional wedding day attire is usually quite resplendent. Get the couple against a bright, single coloured background.
Portray their Personalities: Does the bride laugh a lot? Is the groom quiet? Photograph them when they are comfortable enough to be themselves.
What are their Favourite Things? If they have a pet, a particular book, a piece of music or even old shoes that they are fond of, photograph them with these things.
Don’t Force them to Smile: Keep it natural. Have fun. You shouldn’t have to ask the couple to smile for you all the time. After a point, forced smiles look fake.
Employ the Magic of Window Light: Directional light from a large window or door is quite evocative. A translucent curtain can be used to diffuse the light nicely.
Evoke Different Moods: Be observant and discreet. The best portraits are from unposed, unguarded moments.
Use Traditional ‘Portrait Lenses’: Portrait lenses are extremely sharp and work well for closeups and mid-length shots. If you use a full frame DSLR, try using a 85mm. If you use an APS-C sensor camera, an inexpensive 50mm lens does practically the same job.
Try Classic Portraiture: Use plain backdrops and employ traditional styles of lighting for some straightforward, simplistic B&W portraits of the couple.
Explore the Outdoors: Explore the landscape around the wedding venue—green trees create a nice textured background. You could also take the couple to the terrace and frame them against the sky.
Look at how the bride smiles, and how the groom fusses over her. Photograph how they feel.
Throw One of them Out of Focus: Sometimes it can be the bride, at other times, the groom. You don’t always have to keep both of them sharp. You can throw one of them completely out of focus.
Take Inspiration From Movies: Bollywood knows best! Ask the couple which movie they love and make them enact the movie poster of that film!
Make a Multimedia Project: Record small 30sec clips of the wedding events. Or get just the bride and groom and their families to record messages for each other. Combine these with your photos to make a memorable presentation.
Make a Fun ‘Save the Date’ Photo…: …which can be used as the wedding invite as well. Plan the photo such that venue information can easily fit in.
A Portrait Without Faces: Bring out the personalities of the bride and groom by not showing their faces at all. You can use masks, shoot just their shoes or them holding hands.
Conceptualise: Use whatever is available at the wedding. Build a concept around it. You can borrow the shehnai or the dhol from the bandwala to help the couple pose.
The Casual Affair: A couple enjoying a meal at a roadside dhaba or a cup of chai at a stall can be casual and intimate at the same time. Explore the streets for simplicity.
Use Props: Carry all kinds of props for the couple to use. Right from things like wigs and funky glasses to slates that say ‘Just Married’, confetti and Mr and Mrs placards.
Shoot Some High Key Portraits: To get high key images, use light backgrounds and overexpose your photograph by a stop. Let the lighter tones and highlights dominate the frame.
Use Blurred Backgrounds: Open up the aperture to its widest, and take closeups of the bride and groom, while keeping the background distant so that it is completely out of focus. Remember to ensure that their eyes are perfectly sharp.
Try a Soft Focus Filter: It adds a slight glow to the couple. It works best when the backgrounds are plain, and are brighter or darker than the subjects.
Don’t Get Stuck with One Style: As a wedding photographer, you need to be able to change your style and technique to get the very best shots in any given situation. Eventually, regardless of any environmental factors, it all depends on your ideas, skill, Give the couple and adaptability.
This article originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of Better Photography.