Having been a professional wedding photographer in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire I have learned a number of ways that one can improve the wedding photography and create better pictures in general. I have detailed below the 5 top ways that I have constantly looked to improve over time.
Before you read this list, you can check out my portfolio page, from the above link or if you have any questions please feel free to contact me. As I said I am a photographer currently based in Windsor and am happy to answer any question that you may have.
My first important point is to think creatively. What I mean by that is to not get absorbed completely in the day and feel you have to just go around and take the generic pictures of people smiling and conversing.
If you are like me you got into wedding photography through your love of photography in general. As a photographer, I love to take creative shots – the ones that the regular person cannot or would not think to take on their iPhone. The same thing should apply when you are on the job.
Aim to take a step back from what you are doing and think “is this the best shot that I can take?”. Challenge yourselves! Another way to think is that if you only had one picture to take in any one moment that a photography judge would use to assess your shots how would you take the picture differently.
My second tip is practice. You may be at the early stages of working as a wedding photographer and so you may not be able to take the sorts of pictures you want to practice on. So, my second tip to you is to not let that stop you practicing.
The power of doing an activity every day even if it is just for half an hour is massive. You become to have an accumulative knowledge that seals in your mind that you may not even know that is happening.
I suggest using your camera to take pictures of scenery or even around your house taking pictures, and potentially annoying, family and friends. As it is all valuable experience. What this provides is first a greater understanding and comfortability with the camera that you are using. I secondly mean that you will expand your ability to think creatively on the day. As after two weeks of taking pictures of random things you will start to think how you can change your approach to keep it interesting. You may even get some good prints out of it that you can frame and even sell!
Increase your confidence
My third tip is to increase your confidence on the day. This is easier said than done, but it is also the easiest to put into practice. On any photo shoot, you really need to be thinking about your job and the fact you want to produce the best pictures that you can. So, whether it is a group shot you may want to coordinate people in a different way so that you can aim to achieve greater symmetry or whether you are just with the bride and groom and you want to recreate a wedding photo that you have seen in the past. Either way you need to be confident to carve out and coordinate your shots to achieve this. People may not want to be coordinated and you should appreciate that, but at the same time if the picture is ruined you are the one who will suffer in post-production.
My other tip with confidence is when you are in a crowded area feel free to move around and create the pictures you want. Some people will feel awkward to have their photos taken. However, if the images look good and your clients are happy at the end of the day than that is the main thing.
Take more photographs but be selective
Me forth tip is to take more photos. However, you want to take more of the shots you think work and less of the ones that don’t. The first few times that you go out and perform your wedding photography you will probably be firing your camera in every direction as you are afraid you won’t capture enough images over the course of the day. This is fine to start. With experience, however you should be thinking about the composition of the photos you are taking and being more selective. This will firstly help in post-production where you don’t have to cut down as many pictures, but you will probably find the pictures will be better.
The point around taking more photos is that when you find a shot that works. Ensure that you are taking at least 3 or 4 of that one shot. The WORST feeling you can have is when you think you have captured an amazing picture and you get home to find out that it is slightly blurred or someone in the image is blinking.
Use all the equipment available to you
My final tip is to spend some money and ensure that you have all the equipment that you need to really make shore your pictures pop. This doesn’t mean that you should go out and buy a hundred different lenses (since some of the best photographers only use two throughout the course of the whole day).
What I mean is that you have a flash on your camera, or that you have a stand for the flash during the first dance so that you are able to capture some really good shot that your camera alone wouldn’t be able to get.
My second tip on this point is that you have a minimum of two bodies and two lenses so that you can capture versatile shots with ease throughout the day. Not finding yourself swapping lenses constantly and potentially missing some amazing picture opportunity.
I hope you have found this blog interesting and informative. Please visit my blog for any further photography tips and all things wedding related!