The way to use these filter masks was as follows: Take a photo with filter a€?Aa€? over the lens. Contemporary wedding photography tips a€“ multiple exposures pt 1: First you need to select the move tool (arrow 1), and drag your a€?centrea€? photo over to the a€?surrounda€? photo. So – you love photography and have been asked by a friend to take pictures at their wedding. I remember spending more than a hundred hours working HARD to prepare for my first wedding.
It is possible for an amateur to successfully photograph a wedding – but you have to be willing to work really, really hard. Do you know what ISO refers to and what settings work best for various lighting conditions? The third bit of advice is that, if you can’t use a tripod, try to brace yourself on whatever is handy. The fourth bit of advice is the industry-wide rule of thumb regarding shutter speeds: you generally shouldn’t shoot at a shutter speed “faster” than the zoom of your lens.
This is the first in a series of articles that are designed to help amateurs as they prepare to photograph their first wedding.
Thank you for taking the time to write and publish this article to help others take wonderful pictures! We are always looking for more interesting and insightful photography tips and techniques to share with our readers. When my wife and I decided to take up wedding photography a few years back I had a good idea of how much we would need to learn. As my wife and I have grown in experience over the past few years I have made mental and physical notes of what we have learned in hopes of sharing our insight in with others and to further our learning by going through the process. Every time we purchase new cameras I set them up knowing they will be used solely for weddings. Auto Focus Area: Many cameras have sophisticated systems to choose the best focal point for the shot. AF Servo Mode: This mode selects if the camera will keep a constant focus once you depress the shutter button halfway or if it will refocus if it detects the object is moving.
Metering Mode: Now that we have focus set to single point we also want to tell the camera to look at the center of the image when setting exposure and this is done by setting the metering mode to center weighted average.
Rear curtain sync: This tells the flash to go off at the end of the exposure as opposed to the beginning. Highlight Warning: Most cameras will have this setting which will flash areas of the image on the LCD that are blown out in the highlights. Getting Ready: Typically the day starts off with my wife taking photos of the bride while I do the same with the groom. The Procession: We always attempt to practice this shot ahead of time during the rehearsal if we are in a church we have not been to prior.
For the formal portraits after the ceremony we always use a tripod and set the camera to manual mode.
Here we will set our cameras back to shutter speed mode so we can take candid shots quickly without the need to change settings.
Cake cutting and toasts is another time when a flash bracket is handy as often the couple will be standing near walls so keeping the flash over the camera for these portrait shots is essential. Finally for the dance we continue to take flash photos with our diffusers attached bouncing the light off the ceiling when possible. Reception photos are a great time to experiment with different settings on your camera and trying out new ideas. If someone asked me how to do a wedding and I had thirty seconds to respond I would advise them to use aperture priority mode outdoors, shutter priority mode indoors, and use manual mode for portraits leveraging a tripod and flash. Mark & Ana are an energetic husband and wife team specializing in wedding photography in Atlanta, GA. Become a Contributor: Check out Write for DPS page for details about how YOU can share your photography tips with the DPS community.
I just changed all my camera settings to match this article for my first wedding later today! I love that you guys are a wedding photography team- great way to bond and still have fulfilling work!
There is something about wedding photography that makes one think it is more difficult than it is. Also, I have heard from other wedding photographers that they fake key shots, like cutting the cake, tossing the bouquet, etc. Shooting the reception is where skills like dragging the shutter, using off camera flash, etc can really help get creative shots, and the kinds of reception shots you see in magazines. Most professional photographers will tell you that the most stressful event you can ever photograph is a wedding. There will be hundreds of special moments on the wedding day that you as the photographer must notice and capture. There will always be time for the formal posed wedding photos with all the friends and family members.
The classic wedding photograph is the couple leaving the marriage venue, when the guests throw rice or confetti at the couple. When it comes to the formal wedding shots, although most people will want the standard family line up images, remember to be creative. Photograph some of the older folks out on the dance floor, or the bridesmaid catching the bouquet thrown by the bride.
It should go without saying, but ita€™s important to make sure your images are sharp and focused when taking wedding photographs. A wedding is supposed to be a once in a lifetime event for the couple, and as a photographer, there is a lot of pressure on your shoulders. Most people have been to concerts, loved the music and the atmosphere but have come out with disappointing photographs.
If you are in a very dark venue, capturing silhouettes of people in the crowd gives a dramatic feel.
Concert photography is fun and exciting, though it is not always the easiest type to do well. Why is it that it seems like every professional photographer will recommend you don’t do it? I have a significant amount of additional information on my website, and also link to other web sites that have information to help you out! It is very useful for initiators of wedding photography to become a professional photographer. Unlike someone else, who is actually the one that couldn’t sound more like a jerk than he did, I googled help because I am new to using anything other than a point and click before I purchased my Nikon D3300. I knew reading one book on wedding photography wouldn’t cut it but it was a place to start. This is not meant to be a how to guide but instead an overview of tips and techniques that work well for us with our style of wedding photography which is photojournalistic with some minimal posing of subjects.
Later when we upload the photos to begin editing this makes everything quicker as the photos are in chronological order.
Since many times during the procession subjects may be moving toward or away from you this is a nice feature to leverage which is why we set this to AI Focus mode (Canon). The camera then gives higher priority to what is in the middle of the image and less to what is at the edges when it sets exposure. This will make low light shots, such as during dancing, look more realistic as any motion blur will be behind the subject instead of in front of it.
This is a must since the last thing you want to do is blow out the bride’s dress causing you to lose all of the detail so we have this set to enabled all of the time. As photojournalistic photographers we take lots of photos and are thus moving around too much to be setting white balance continually. We always attempt to use existing light sources but find using the flash is often a necessity, especially indoors. Since we move around a lot we will typically put our cameras in shutter priority mode to prevent low shutter speeds which might cause blur.

The tripod helps maximizes sharpness of the photo and make it easier to move around to pose and direct. If the reception is outdoors we may use aperture priority mode since available light is plentiful so we can choose the depth of field. If you don’t have a flash bracket you are better off taking the shot in landscape and then making it a portrait image during post processing to help minimize shadows. We often will get on chairs to try a different perspective or you can also utilize live mode, if your camera has it, to take the shot leveraging the back LCD monitor which allows you to raise the camera above the action and still see your composition.
While this is certainly no catch all advice it certainly has helped us to have a high level game plan in place which we then can build from as our experience grows.
This is one article that i came across where the authour try to share every bit of his hard earned learnings. I'm shooting my first wedding tomorrow (and happen to be doing so with my wife, like you guys!). This article is well structured, understandable and very helpful for people like me who are giving it a go for the first time. The first wedding I ever photographed was an old friend's (had not seen her in like 15 years since high school) and she already had another photographer who did not mind me shooting as well.
Yes, but the level of nervousness depends on how much time I had with the couple beforehand.
I have not had to do that fortunately, though when photographing a birthday recently I did ask the mom to light the candle again for her daughter to blow out because I had other kids between me and the cake and could not get the shot. So now I do not worry about that as those are not the most crucial shots anyway, and that is something better served by video. Once in a lifetime for most people, this event cannot be repeated or restaged, so ita€™s important to get it right.
Certain events, such as the vows and walking down the aisle cannot be repeated, so give yourself a good position in the venue to begin with, but also keep out of the way.
Take your bride and groom away from the commotion and place them indoors by a big window or where there is a sliver of light. A wedding is a once in a lifetime event for the couple, and your chance to show off your prowess at photography, so make the best use of this opportunity. Murphya€™s Law states that if it can go wrong, it will, so bring a spare camera body in case of any problems.
Low light conditions coupled with artificial and unpredictable lighting, as well as crowds of people nudging you out of the way can make concert photography extremely challenging. Check the back of your ticket or the website for the concert venue, because photographic or recording equipment of any kind may be prohibited. Flash can ruin the effect and carrying a bulky tripod into a concert is impractical, so you need to consider other options. It is possible if the lights move quickly you may get some movement or light trails on the image a€“ this can look good as long as you keep the camera as still as possible so ita€™s the light moving, not you.
The key to a good image is keeping at least one area of the photograph sharp, rather than just a mass of colors. The problem with telephoto lenses, is that they require more light than wide angle and standard lenses.
Outside the centre is masked off so no light hits the film in those areas. Ensure the same frame of film is still in the camera. The easy way to do this is: go to edit, and then choose free transform (or press [Ctrl]+[T] on your keyboard) a box will appear around your centre layer. Contributors to this site agree to grant an exclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable, transferable, perpetual licence to publicly display submissions on this web site and in any publication produced by this web site.
And make sure the couple knows it is your first wedding so that they have low expectations. If you are a student of photography you should immediately know the three I am referring and you should know how they interact.
If you are indoors, what ISO setting will give you a good mixture of quality and light capture? Most of the time it is the only way I am able to get natural-lit shots of the wedding ceremony (due to the slow shutter speeds and dim lighting). For achieving a blurred-background effect (yes, shooting “wide open” – which means a low-numbered aperture – with a zoom lens is all that is needed)? He shares practical advice and information that he has learned while photographing weddings. I recall the book stating that for weddings you should be in aperture mode so off we went to shoot our first wedding for a friend. There is no easy way to reorder photos in most photo software applications so this is a huge timesaver if you plan on posting the photos online as it simply looks better if everything is in order. When shooting weddings, we often find ourselves shooting between close objects to get the shot we want which might cause the camera to choose that object as the focal point.
In AI Focus mode the camera will focus on still subjects as normal and notify you that focus has been achieved yet if the subject begins to move it will change to AI Servo mode which will attempt to keep your moving subject in focus until you take the photo. That way we can take several shots quickly without making too much noise and without taking an excessive amount of photographs which can quickly fill up a memory card and add to your post production time. We also set our flashes to meter in the center, since we use flashes mostly for portrait shots, which can typically be done right on the camera when the flash is attached or on the flash itself.
This setting can also be made on the camera with the flash attached or on the flash itself.
If we take a shot and notice areas of the image are flashing on our LCD screen we know we need to lower our exposure or turn down the flash using the flash exposure compensation setting. White balance settings often change even during a ceremony as the bride and groom move around so we prefer to do our adjustments in post-production using the bride’s dress to set the white balance which gives a consistent and accurate white balance to the images. During this time we both use diffusers on our flash and angle the flash upright at approximately a 45 degree angle. We always shoot a full length portrait shot keeping in mind the camera should be at about the midway point of the subject. Any outdoor portraits of the bride and groom would also be taken in aperture mode with the flash turned on for fill flash if needed. The worst feeling is getting into a situation where you aren’t ready to take the shot when it occurs so these basics are our failsafe.
Each and every wedding we do prepares us for the next and this evolution will be your best learning tool and confidence builder as it has been for us. I’m in a situation with a wedding coming up where the ceilings are in a triangular shape and very high.
I’ve read a lot of articles out there, but nothing as succinct, informative as yours and personal as yours. One of the first things I thought while shooting the wedding was, "this is not so different than photographing a combo of events and portraits." Of course there was not an ounce of pressure on me then. Couples shouldna€™t be asked to repeat poses, so be ready to capture small moments showing affection. A nice effect is to use the slow sync flash mode, so you capture the blur of the couple walking, but the center of the frame stays sharp because the flash freezes it.
Although you can use a tripod for the formal shots, you will need to handhold a lot of indoor, candid photographs so use a flash, wide aperture and high shutter speed if necessary.
The last thing you need is to be turned around at the door because your camera is not allowed inside.
Besides steadying yourself (remove yourself from crowds of people if necessary), try to see what settings your camera gives you on Auto, then adjust the settings. Bands use creative lighting systems that flatter their music, so hold your camera as still as you can and take the photograph.
Use either spot or multi-zone metering mode; take the camera light reading from the bright background, then point the camera at your subject and shoot! Under the low light and hand held conditions in a concert, the resulting image would be blurred unless you had an extremely expensive high-end lens.
Try going out at night to take some images to get used to photographing under dark conditions. This was almost impossible to do with some cameras, because you couldna€™t reset the shutter until youa€™d wound the film on.

Maybe they don’t want to be blamed for encouraging you to take the photos if you make mistakes and ruin the wedding photos. But this is why PRACTICE is so important: over the years I have found I can shoot with a slower shutter speed if I am using flash (to find out about my flash lighting techniques, visit my web site which I link to below). After shooting most of the ceremony in aperture mode I quickly realized there was a lot more to it when I saw the soft and blurry images from low shutter speeds due to the low lighting in the church. This gives a nice diffused light source and cuts down on shadows which are easy to come by in small rooms where people are often getting ready.
This is a great opportunity to use manual mode since you will take all the procession shots from the same spot.
Flash exposure may need to be set to -1 or lower to make the flash blend nicely which we always verify on the LCD.
They have those critical moments that photographers have to perfectly capture the very moment they happen, and that takes more than sheer talent, it takes experience. I can’t wait to implement them in some practice runs before the larger indoor wedding I will be shooting in Oct. Get the couple to kiss, making sure you include the back of the brides dress and veil for the outline. Use flash if the conditions indoors seem a bit dark, and use it outside on sunny days to light the subjecta€™s faces.
For example, a telephoto zoom on one, and a wide-angle lens on the other allow you to quickly switch between the two.
Many photographers will photograph a wedding as an assistant at first before taking on the task on their own since it is a big responsibility. In any event, when you know photographic techniques for the unique conditions found in some concerts, you should be able to leave with an impressive range of images. Increase the ISO to around 800, or open the aperture more to see if it gives you an acceptable shutter speed. Therea€™s a little used technique called Slow Speed Sync in which you can set your flash to be synchronized to slower than normal shutter speeds. Remember the tricks to help you if you cannot take a sharp image at first: open your aperture, use a higher ISO, and use a wide-angle or 50mm prime lens. I’m a wedding photographer who realizes every professional started out by photographing a “first wedding” at some point. On my Nikon DSLR I will shoot indoors at ISO 400 all day and end up with beautiful, grain-free results. If the camera chooses the wrong focal point and you need to change it you may have just missed your shot. This will give your photos the consistent look you will want if they are going into an album. The depth of field at F2.8 is typically more than enough to have both the bride and groom in focus with a minimal amount of bokeh which always looks great. Keep in mind you are setting the exposure for the background so one thing we always think about is how much of the background do we really want to see? Aperture settings would be F4.0 or lower for more depth of field if we wanted to show the background otherwise we might raise aperture to blur the background to draw more focus to our subjects. This works fine since the flash freezes the motion of your subjects so blur is limited and it keeps the background from being overly dark with no detail. How odd would it be a photographer asks a couple to repeat their first kiss, or ask the minister to repeat a part of the ceremony because he failed to get a good shot the first time?
For multiple wedding shots use continuous shooting mode and hold down the shutter button as long as youa€™d like.
Consider using the continuous shooting mode, so you have a series of shots of the couple leaving while confetti is thrown at them.
Keep the ISO as low as you can, around 100, because wedding photographs are usually later enlarged and a lower ISO gives a finer grain.
If you are a lead photographer, take some assistants with you so that everything is covered. Spot-metering gives an accurate reading of the light levels a€“ try pointing it at the artists face for the reading.
When you set your camera for slow sync flash you will most likely be presented with the two options (rear or front curtain sync). If getting a sharp image is a struggle, consider using night time flash (slow sync flash), which is delayed and gives a different effect. Dona€™t forget to have fun, enjoy the music and keep your eyes open for various opportunities; it can be hard to look around during a concert, but keep your eyes peeled and the camera ready! In the eighties, when women wore shoulder pads and men grew a€?mulletsa€?, we photographed weddings on film. While I will still recommend you give the couple a monetary gift so they can hire a professional photographer, if you are going to go ahead and do the photography yourself, I want to help you do the best job possible!
As such, we set our cameras for single point autofocus and set the focal point to the center point.
Manual mode is also used if we find ourselves stationary for a period of time to give the photos a more consistent look.
ISO may go up to 1600 or 3200 in some situations for which later use software such as Imagenomic’s Noiseware to remove the noise during post processing.
When you use slow sync, the shutter remains open much longer to allow in more light for your exposure. Remember that these photographs will be cherished for life, so you absolutely must do the best job that you can.
Rear curtain sync tends to give a faint image trail and a tack-sharp main subject, whereas front curtain sync tends light up the main subject and acquire the ambient light. And for some reason multiple exposures were a popular contemporary wedding photography effect. With film, we achieved this effect by using special mask filters.
This exposed everything except the centre of the photo. What you ended up with was two images (the centre of one, plus the surround of another) on one frame of film. I try to avoid moving up to ISO 800 or higher – but will do it if needed (there are tons of Photoshop plug-ins, free and paid, that can be used to lessen the grain). We then focus using this center focal point by pressing the shutter button half way and then composing our shot. Aperture priority may be used for detail shots of the rings, shoes, and other accessories to provide nice bokeh or to increase depth of field as needed. If the background has nothing going for it we may set the exposure down to -2 stops to darken it a bit and make your subjects stand out more. I am not guaranteed a lot of light coming in through the stained glass if it’s not a bright day.
You might take some large gold and silver reflectors to add warmth and light to the subjecta€™s faces.
This provides a consistent method for taking shots quickly as you are not composing your shot around varying focal points in the viewfinder and you can easily focus exactly where needed. If you are using flash also practice with lowering the camera exposure to darken the background to give your subject more presence.
And it didna€™t always work too well, because if you werena€™t careful when you swapped masks the a€?centrea€? and the a€?surrounda€? didna€™t match up. It’s certainly personal preference and we always take some test shots to verify the look we want.
Keep in mind there may be a wall behind your subjects so this a shot where you will want to use a flash bracket to keep the flash over your camera so as to minimize shadows showing on the back wall of the church. Again we typically have a flash diffuser on our flash keeping in mind they are not effective much past 10 feet so if the shot is longer than that we will remove the diffuser. Remember, when using a flash, exposure becomes your friend, just like bokeh, to handle difficult backgrounds.
In the shot below we used a -1 stop exposure to darken the background since the colors in it were a bit rich could be overpowering to the subject if not subdued.

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