Nick S on October 13, 2011

Ok, this post has nothing to do with photography equipments or techniques or anything photography.. but this is what is going to determine how successful you are going to be with wedding photography!

What are the three skills that every wedding photographer must have?

 

SKILL #1: PEOPLE SKILLS

 

One of the core principles that you need to attain greatness as a wedding photographer is being a “people person,” someone capable of inspiring trust in the bride and groom. Although the photojournalistic approach is all the rage these days, the wedding photographer cannot be a fly on the wall for the entire day. Interaction with the wedding party at crucial, often stressful moments during the wedding day is inevitable and it is these moments where the photographer with people skills can really shines. The goal is to appear as if you are a frien do the bride and groom that they asked to shoot their wedding, not a “professional” photographer.

 

If you can achieve a reputation of being the “salt of the earth”, the kind of person who makes his or her clients instantly like and trust him or her. This trust is important, because it leads to having complete freedom to capture the wedding as it unfolds and as the photographer sees it. One of the ways to attain this status with the bride and groom is to demonstrate early on in the relationship how significant the day is, and that you’re treating it with great respect. This maybe your 50th wedding photo shoot, but it’s your client’s ONLY wedding… they want it to be more than special.

 

One of the keys to having solid people skills is being able to hone your communication skills in order to create a personal rapport with clients, that way they will always be ready to invite you to participate in their special moments. It’s also highly important to be objective and unencumbered, do you can effectively balance the three principle roles of observer, director, and psychologist.

 

Many successful wedding and portrait photographers encourage their subjects to be themselves and to wear their emotions on their sleeves. An Instruction such as these frees the couple to behavior more like themselves throughout the entire day. One way to increase your rapport is to get to know as much as possible about the couple before the wedding.  You should also encourage the brides and grooms to collaborate with their ideas as much as possible, initiating the dialogue of mutual trust between client and photographer.

 

Something else that you’ll need to get good a giving is a little flattery, as it goes a long way. Besides knowing how to pose a woman, one of the biggest things that change her posture and her expression is what you tell her and how you tell it to her. You’re not working with a professional model, so telling a telling a bride how beautiful she looks will change how she is photographed and how she perceives being photographed. It becomes a positive experience rather than a time-consuming and frustrating One. And this goes doubly so for the groom. Tell him how handsome and impressive he looks, and his chest pumps up, his back arches — you’ll have them doing circus tricks if you’re not careful.

 

SKILL #2: STORYTELLING SKILLS

 

Today’s great photographers have to be gifted storytellers. By expertly joining the spontaneous events that take place during the day, these photographers create a complete narrative of the wedding day, and this is what modern brides are demanding to see in her wedding coverage. Don’t completely fictionalize the wedding or create some fairy tale, but make sure that the images reflect the real experiences and emotions of the day. Today’s wedding photojournalistic reportage may even (sensitively) reveal “flaws”; the quick-thinking wedding photographer Is aware that these are part of what makes every wedding a unique and personal event.

 

SKILL #3: LOVING WHAT YOU DO

 

As in most professions, those at the top of the game are the ones who passionately love what they do. For many the excitement is in the ritual. For others, the excitement is in the celebration or the romance. To be successful, you have to love photographing people who are in love and are comfortable expressing it publically—or who are so in love that they can’t contain it. That’s when it is real, when the moments create themselves and all you’re doing is recording it. Some photographers thrive on the creative challenges that a wedding presents.  If you think about it, all weddings are the same – there’s a man and a woman in love, and they’re going to have this big party; it’s also very cinematic in that there’s the anticipation, the preparation, the ceremony, and the party. For the photographer the repetition could be stifling, so the challenge is to find the nuances that make each ceremony unique.

 

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Nick S on October 10, 2011

 

One of the biggest questions that I get asked all the time on emails is:

What lenses should I carry in my wedding photography gear?

This question baffles newbies like anything. They often get confused when to use fast lenses as against when and where to use telephoto lenses. My answer to it is:

You should always have a combination of lenses in your gear depending on the shot you plan to take and your photography style. As an example, if you are primarily into a photojournalistic style of wedding photography, where you like to take pictures without getting noticed then you must carry telephoto lenses, while if you are going to shoot group portraits then having a wide angled lens is a must.

Here is a run down of my lens choices based on the shots planned.

Prime Lenses


While today’s newest zoom lenses, particularly those designed for digital SLRs, are razor sharp, a certain contingent of photographers believe that a multipurpose lens jus isn’t as sharp as a prime lens, a lens that is designed for use at a single focal length (like a 50mm or 85mm). The 85mm (f/1.2 for Canon; f/1.4 or f/1.8 for Nikon) is a popular choice; it’s considered a short telephoto with exceptional sharpness. This lens gets used frequently at receptions because of its speed and ability to throw backgrounds out of focus, depending on the subject-to-camera distance.

The Wedding Party
© Candid Shot by Roger

Many talented, award-winning and consistently working photographers uses prime lenses (not zooms) in their wedding coverage and shoot at wide-open apertures the majority of the time to reduce background distractions.

Many wedding photographers employ telephoto lenses as their first choice (like a 100mm or 135mm), because it lets them far enough away to avoid attracting attention to themselves, yet close enough to easily and distinctively capture the moment. Wide-angle lenses are great for spontaneous shooting, as the photographer can snag unexpected moments without even looking through the lens.

Michael and Susan's Wedding
© Inspirational Image by Rowen Atkinson

Nikons

1 – Nikon 50mm f/1.4G AF-S
This Nikon isn’t just a great lens for wedding photography, it’s just an amazing lens for ANY type of photography for several key reasons, it is remarkably sharp; it accurately reproduces colors, its bokeh* is sensational, and it is lightweight.

You can almost never go wrong with a 50mm prime, and this new “G” version lens is superb. On a full-frame dSLR, you will be able to get stellar full-body shots and vibrant portraits. This is such a great lens that is also works exceptionally well on cropped sensor camera bodies. If your budget is tight, and you can only afford to purchase one lens for shooting weddings, then go with this lens.

* Bokeh describes the appearance or “feel,” of out-of-focus areas

2 – Nikon 85mm f/1.4D/G
Nikon’s 85mm f/1.4G is the top choice for many, many a photographer for two reasons: first reason, its sharpness; even at f/1.4 (the maximum aperture) the results are jaw-dropping. Second reason, its ultra-vibrant bokeh; this lens is affectionately known as the king of background blur.

When set a f/1.4, the 85mm depth of field is so shallow that if you were to stand close enough to your subject and focus on her eye, her nose will be out of focus. Talk about your ability to create visual separation! This lens gets used frequently at receptions because of its speed and ability to throw backgrounds out of focus, depending on the subject-to-camera distance. With this lens, it is ideal to shoot portraits at f/2.0 or f/2.8, and if you want additional DOF then move up to f/4.

3 – Nikon 24mm f/1.4 G AF-S

This lens is probably the sharpest lens that Nikon has ever produced. Once you use this beauty and see the results, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll take it off your camera! It’s that exceptional. It’s great for full-body shots, groups shots, landscape/nature and for working it tight spaces.

Due to the short focal length’s distortion, it’s not ideal for portrait photography, but when set to its maximum aperture of f/1.4 its bokeh is delightful. What is great for (just like the previous two lenses) is shooting in low ambient light… that you’ll no doubt have at the end of the wedding celebration.

Canons

1 – Canon 50mm f1.2L II USM

This L-Series lens has an incredibly wide aperture (f/1.2!) that produces perhaps the shallowest depth of field available, and more than excellent for creating shots with a large amount of soft background blur, which ideal for the best portraits. Its super-wide aperture allows this lens to work phenomenally (with little digital noise) at very low light situations.

The price tag can make your heart skip a beat ($1,479), but the image quality, light weight and small size are hard to beat. You could go with Canon’s f/1.4 for only $300. The f/1.2L is a great lens to use for wedding photography because of the ability to capture great images without a flash and, as with all 50mm lenses, this “normal” lens shows you the closest approximation of what your eye actually sees. So it can work (and work well) is a many situations and conditions.

2 – Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM

This Canon lens is perfect for the photographer who desires a super-sharp portrait lens. It is so remarkably potent that is works well on both full-frame sensor and cropped sensor camera bodies (on the cropped camera the effective focal length is 135mm).

The auto-focus is a little sluggish and focus is most critical when shooting at full-aperture, these issues are easily supplanted by the resulting images – they pop like you wouldn’t believe. No zoom lens with produce as sharp as image as this 85mm can, and that’s important for creating remarkable images. The f/1.8 allows you to shoot in some exceedingly low-light situations without a flash, and that’s important for the wedding photographer who wants to stay out of the way, but still get effective shots.

It’s a compact and light weight lens that won’t even seem like its on the camera, but don’t be fooled by that – the photos that you’ll get will knock everyone’s socks off.

3 – Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

One of the qualities that you’ll need to master as a wedding photographer is being as versatile as possible and to execute a wide range of shots. Canon’s 100mm is dynamite for capturing details shots (thanks to the 1:1 Macro feature) of such critical items as the wedding rings, the table services, the invitations, the wedding cake, other jewelry. The Macro feature allows you to fill the frame with an item and render it in razor-sharp focus. Most lenses don’t have the Macro feature, so you wouldn’t be able to achieve these types of close-focus/close proximity images.

This 100mm can also function as super portrait lens due to its stellar sharpness and shallow depth of field. This shouldn’t be your first or second lens as a wedding photographer, because of the specific purposes that this lens does (and does so well); but it should be on your short list.
 

Fast Lenses


Fast lenses (f/2.8, f/2, f/1.8, f/1.4, f/1.2 and below) will get the lion’s share of work on the wedding day, as they will give you more “available light” opportunities than slower speed lenses.

Many award-winning wedding photographers from around the globe make these lenses their workhorse lens, for example the Canon 35mm f/1.4L USM lens get a tremendous amount of usage as one can shoot at “magic hour” (dusk) with a high ISO setting, the aperture wide open (this lens is still razor sharp at f/1.4) and a mix lighting sources to deliver incomparable results.

The comparable Nikon lenses are the 50mm f/1.4G AF-S, the 85mm f/1.4D/G – this Nikon is one of the ultimate lenses for wedding photography, so if you’re a Nikon nut then you’re in luck; if you’re a Canon man, you’re out of luck (but don’t be discouraged as Canon’s L-Series 85mm is superb, too… just not as superb as the Nikon).

The Grin of The Groom
© Great Shot by Carlos F

Wedding Cake.JPG
© Cake Shot by Talya & Matt

Wide-Angle Lenses


Wide-angle lenses are very popular either as primes or as wide-angle zooms. Focal lengths from 17mm to 35mm are perfect for capturing the atmosphere as well as for capturing larger groups. These lenses are fast enough for use by available light photography with high ISOs.

When photographing group portraits, you are often forced to use a wide-angle lens. When this happens, the background issues noted above can be even more pronounced. Still, a wide angle is sometime the only way you can cram the group into the shot and maintain a respectable working distance. For these kinds of eventualities, many group photographers bring a stepladder or scout the location in advance to find the best vantage point.

santa clara san jose san francisco super wide angle fisheye lens pictures event party
© Great Shot by Hector Villablanca

 

 

Zoom Lenses


We talked about primes, and their amazing abilities – mainly the clinically sharp focus. So now let’s talk about the zoom lenses that you’ll want to have in your camera bag. Zooms are important for wedding photographers, because of the focal length dynamics that are available to you.

A possible ideal way to work a wedding is with two camera bodies, one outfitted with a prime lens and the other outfitted with a zoom.

Nikons

1 – Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G

This zoom by Nikon is the lens of choice for many photographers who shoot landscapes, but it is so versatile and effective that it is also a great wedding photography lens. Although it is not as sharp as Nikon’s 24mm (but hardly anything on the market is) and is victimized by heavy distortion and vignetting in the shorter focal lengths, it more than compensates for these issues when you’re shooting at the longer focal lengths.

What’s super about this lens is how it renders color, and while it’s not the ideal choice for isolating your subjects via shallow depth of field, if you set the focal length to about 35mm and stop down to f/2.8, you’ll be more than impressed with the final images. This zoom is ideal of shooting full body shots and group shots – two things you’ll be shooting a lot of in a wedding.

2 – Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II

Nikon’s new 70-200mm f/2.8G VR II is a dynamic lens that produces incredible results, and it’s extensive focal length range gives you a great deal of versatility to play around with. Its reach is quite strong, so you can sneak candid shots without much awareness by the subject… this is always a good thing at weddings. When you’re using the 50mm or the 85mm, you’re forced to interact with people because they will see you, and with this lens that just isn’t the case. If you add on a teleconverter, you’ll have even more reach.

At all the focal lengths for this zoom you’ll obtain spectacular color and definitive sharpness, not to mention the bohek is super-smooth when at maximum aperture. The one drawback for this lens is its weight; you won’t want to keep it on your camera for too long a period of time (maybe an hour or two at most). If you’re shooting with a Nikon D3, then the weight will become a serious issue.

Canon

1 – Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II Lens

While the price tag of this lens might send you into cardiac arrest ($2,500), this L-Series lens is worth every penny… if not more. With this extra flexible lens you will be able to shoot the ceremony and retrain a great of anonymity and unobtrusiveness from the guests. Its f/2.8 aperture and intricate image stabilization feature allows you to effectively shoot in low-light hand-handle without a flash.

The 70-200mm focal length is exceptional for taking portraits and for when you’re shooting in an expansive location and you need a great deal of reach. This lens works very well on full-frame camera bodies, but is always more than good on a cropped sensor camera body like the 7D. If you can only afford two lenses, make sure this is one of them. It is costly, but it holds it value extremely well and will pay for itself for the dynamic and impressive images that you will deliver to your clients.

If the weight of this lens seems like it might be a problem (test it at a store first), then you might want to pick up the 70-200mm f/4, it is lighter and also have IS, however, as you’re giving up a full f-stop at the maximum aperture, you cannot achieve the extremely shallow DOF that you might want.

2 – Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

This Canon lens is one of the best walk-around lenses that you can buy and is therefore ideal for wedding photography. Canon doesn’t make a more versatile lens; just think about that focal length range… 24mm at the low end is a great wide-angle focal length, because of its increased angle of view, but without too much (i.e. distracting) distortion, and then all the way to 105mm, which is one of the best lengths for portraits and capture across the room candids. At that far end of the focal length, you have enough reach to avoid switching to a 135mm or even the 70-200mm.

The image stabilization allows you to shoot hand-held with longer shutter speeds and not worry (too much) about camera shake when shooting at f/4… this makes it a serious contender for Canon’s top lens. It’s a perfect companion for the 50mm or 85mm (especially if you’re using two camera bodies). Note: it’s ideal for a full-frame camera body like the 5D, but it does function well on a cropped sensor like the 7D.

3 – Canon 16-35mm f2.8L II USM

There are many instances when you’re photographing a wedding that you’re best served by a ultra wide angle lens, and Canon’s 16-35mm fits the bill for those happenstances perfectly. When you use this on a full-frame camera, like the 5d Mk 2, you’ll get excellent photos. This lens is silent, sharp, fast and accurate (in terms of color reproduction). There is a little bit of vignetting when its down at 16mm, but it is sharp from edge-to-edge and is, therefore, great for the receptions shots, wide group shots and shots on the dance floor.

So you have several choices of which lens to choose depending on if you’re using Canon or Nikon camera bodies. As always, it’s best to do some tests before making a purchase, and buying a used lens is always a good way to go if you want something that is a little expensive. Just rigorously test with the used lens to see if there are any problems that you’re naked eye cannot detect.

The Bride / A Noiva / Hochzeit
© Great Shot by João Paglione

Normal Lenses


One should not forget about the 50mm f/1.2 or f/1.4 “normal” lens for digital photography. With a 1.4x focal length extender, for example, that lens becomes a 70mm f/1.2 or f/1.4 lens that is perfect for portraits or groups, especially in low light. This lens’ close-focusing distance makes it an extremely flexible wedding lens.

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Memory cards are the digital equivalent of film. And you can get a remarkable number of pictures on a memory card that is smaller and more compact than any roll of film. Memory cards are typically sturdy devices that can withstand a good amount of wear and tear. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat them with the same care that you would give to a roll of film. After all, you wouldn’t leave a roll of film out in the sun, or toss it into a cup of coffee. Here are ten ways to take care of your memory cards and get more out of them.

1. The backup plan.

The best way to make sure your pictures are safe and secure is to back them up to your computer. Don’t leave them on the memory card, where you may find yourself choosing between saving old shots and taking new ones. And one key way to extend the life of any memory card is to keep the number of times you delete or backup images to a minimum. The process of continually updating memory cards will typically shorten their lifespan. Another way to shorten the life of your memory card is to fill the card up to its maximum capacity. When you load it to its maximum you risk being out of memory at a crucial moment. When you overload it, you risk the chances of data corruption.

2. Reformat and rotate.

A good rule of thumb with your computer is to defrag the hard drive on a regular basis in order to maintain its level of performance. It’s the same with your digital card. To keep it performing at an optimal level, reformat it after you’ve downloaded your pictures. And to minimize the stress your picture-taking can have on any given memory card, it’s a good idea to rotate usage between several memory cards. This way, you’ll also always be certain to have enough memory to get the shots you want. And you will always have the maximum amount of memory available on your card. It’s also a good idea to reformat your memory card in the camera it’s intended to be used in. Every camera performs differently and often your memory card will perform better if it’s in sync with the camera it is going to be used in.

3. Charge your batteries and avoid corrupt data.

When you’re in the middle of a photograph shoot and your batteries start to die, you can actually damage your memory card in ways that will lead to corruption of crucial data. And turn the camera completely off before you remove the memory card. This also minimizes the risk of data corruption. Plus some cameras can corrupt data through a process known as ‘voltage shock’ that occurs when powering down the camera. When you let the process complete, that risk is eliminated.

4. Wait for the save.

Another way to corrupt data and lessen your memory card’s functionality is to remove it before your camera has finished saving pictures, or taking it out in mid-upload to your computer. Your digital memory card has been programmed to perform to a specific set of instructions that are designed to keep its performance at a maximum. Follow the commands you receive when uploading pictures to your hard drive, and wait for the memory card to finish its job. Oh, and if you shoot pictures in burst or in rapid succession, make sure you allow your camera all the time it needs to save those pictures.

5. Static electricity is NOT your friend.

While memory cards are packaged in relatively sturdy plastic units, they are susceptible to data corruption in a number of ways, including significant discharges of static electricity. This is related to the phenomenon of ‘voltage shock’ mentioned previously. If you suspect that you have built up a static charge, find a way to discharge it before handling your memory card to avoid transferring a static charge that can lead to corruption of data.

6. Avoid temperature extremes.

Your digital camera’s batteries don’t perform well in extreme temperatures of hot or cold. The same applies to your digital card. It’s designed to perform at its optimal level within a specified temperature range, and when you subject it to use outside of those parameters you can significantly shorten its lifespan.

7. Avoid strong magnetic sources.

When you’re traveling, make sure you avoid x-ray equipment at airports. Some scanners and x-ray equipment may be safe, but there is a definite risk from stronger x-ray equipment like that used to scan baggage. Don’t take the chance with your pictures – once you’ve subjected your memory card to x-ray devices it’s too late to wonder.

8. Save the editing for your hard drive.

One of the things that will shorten the life of any memory card is editing photographs directly on the card. Your hard drive is much better equipped for that kind of function, and has adequate memory for that purpose. Your memory card is designed primarily for storage and data transfer.

9. Choose your options carefully. “Reformat” and “Delete All” functions are irreversible.

When you’re deleting photographs off your hard drive, your computer is set up to ask you before each deletion. That’s not always the case with memory cards. Usually once the data has been deleted it is irretrievable.

10. Don’t recycle bad memory cards.

If you’ve had memory cards that have caused you problems in the past, stop using them. You can try reformatting or defragmenting them, but chances are once they become unstable or unreliable, they’re going to stay that way. And if you are using a memory card and you get an error message, stop using that card immediately. You might still be able to recover its data with the help of special software designed for that condition. And if you continue to use it you will definitely risk over-riding any images that are stored on it.

Source-Best Lens

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Not everyone can be a wedding photographer. One of the obvious reasons is that they could not handle the pressure that comes with it. Unlike portraits or arranged shots, you can’t tell the couple and the guests to redo certain parts of the ceremony because you didn’t get the shot you’ve wanted.

Days or even months before you shot for a wedding, you should already have techniques, skills, and mastery. In weddings, you can’t afford to make mistakes.

Nevertheless, with these tips in hand, you can reduce the learning curve and turn yourself into pro a lot faster than your competitors:

1. Don’t try to book right away. Just because you’ve made some few shots with your camera doesn’t mean that you can already be prepared to shoot someone’s wedding. You need to test your skills and judge for yourself if you have the potential that you can cultivate.

Instead, try attending the wedding of your friends and family. Shoot along with their professional photographers. Don’t try to direct or organize—just capture what you think are good moments. Then, allow others to criticize your work.

2. Take some time to know the couple. Most of the professional photographers would spend days or months to really sit down and talk with their clients. More than anything else, you want the couple to be satisfied with the results, and you can only do that when you can give them what they want.

On the other hand, being able to mingle with your client will give you an idea of their personalities and be able to reflect them in their photos. For instance, if your clients are romantic people, perhaps some of your pictures would have silhouettes.

3. Come up with your own portfolio. This is how you can market yourself to your potential clients. Besides, most of them would look for one, so you might as well be ready. You can upload them on your own website, or you can display them in your office, if you have one. Ensure that you can choose the best shots for your portfolio.

4. Plan, plan, plan. If you don’t want to mess up during the wedding or waste your time thinking on what to do, make sure that you already have a detailed and fool-proof plan in hand. For instance, you should already have a shot list in mind. These are ideas for your camera shots during the actual wedding.

You also need to identify the people who are going to help you out. After all, you would be bringing plenty of equipment with you. You may also need support who can take minor detailed shots for you.

5. Be a good director. Candid shots are great, because they always reveal the purest emotions of people during the event. However, couples and even guests would also like to do glamour shots, when they know that they would look their darn best. They also need photos that they could proudly display in their respective homes one day.

Thus, always ask for at least a couple of minutes from both the bride and the groom to take their well-directed shots. Perhaps you can do this at least 15 minutes before the actual ceremony. You can make directed shots again after the reception. Don’t forget to include their guests too.

6. Have a backup. You don’t know when technical problems could happen. It’s always best to bring along extra cameras, battery, and even staff. You may even want to use different lenses for both of your cameras for your various techniques. Of course, ensure that you know how to manipulate the extra camera, or else, it would turn out to be useless.

7. Learn from the pro. You can also speed up your learning process on wedding photography if you work closely with a professional. Look for someone who can be a good mentor to you. Perhaps his or her style has captured your attention, and you want to learn more about it.

Here’s a warning for you, though. Not everyone would be open to the idea. Others would see you as competition, so you would definitely get some rejections. Nevertheless, as long as you persevere, you would definitely find someone out there.

You can also read books published by world-renowned wedding photographers as well as reviews, or attend lectures on wedding photography.

8. Always practice. Even if you don’t have any wedding shoots, use your free time to practice some shots. You can perhaps try techniques on how to create different perspectives. You can check out nice wedding locations and discover great angles that can be excellent suggestions to your future clients.

Source-Tips for new wedding photographers


Professional Photography: Create the best! by howtophotos

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When couples are shopping for a wedding photographer, they are also going to be looking for engagement photos. This presents you with a unique opportunity to stretch your creativity. With engagement photos, you want to capture a couple’s intimacy and the excitement of new love. You want more casual moments rather than posed shots – casual moments that let their personalities shine through.

It’s also going to be a test of your people skills. It’ll be up to you to help the couple relax and be themselves. It’ll be your job to make them feel comfortable with you and trust you. If you can project a spirit of fun and excitement, they’re more that likely going to feel like you truly share that excitement.

In some cases, the success of the engagement photo session may also determine whether or not you’ll be shooting the wedding as well. Here are seven things to keep in mind that will help make your session a success.

1. Get to know the couple

In your initial meeting with the couple, you’re going to want to set the tone for the engagement photo session. This is your opportunity to accomplish two main goals – a) make the couple comfortable with you, and b) learn about them as a couple and as individuals.

Use your people skills to make the couple feel relaxed and open so you can build their trust. Maintain an ongoing conversation throughout so they remain comfortable. And get them to tell you their story – How did they meet? What kind of wedding are they planning? What kind of persons are they as individuals? What kind of future do they hope to have together? The more information you can glean from your initial meeting, the more creativity you’re going to be able to put into the shoot.

2. Make them comfortable with being affectionate

Get the couple to open up and more affectionate - engagement photography tips

Get the couple to open up and be more affectionate

One good way to make the couple feel comfortable with the idea of being photographed is to take some warm-up shots. Many people feel awkward in front of the camera, so by working in a few random warm-up pictures you can often break the ice so more natural moments can shine through. Sometimes public displays of affection are awkward, but when a couple has just become engaged, the excitement of the wedding ahead and the thrill of the new life they’re about to begin is still fresh. Capture that freshness by encouraging them to be openly affectionate with each other. Look for unique ways they display their affections for each other too. And pick settings for the shoot that will help them feel comfortable with being affectionate with one another.

3. Watch and learn

Another fun way to get compelling shots is to get the couple to talk about each other. Encourage them to look at each other while they talk so that affection will come out. Give them fun topics to talk about, like some embarrassing moments they’ve shared or listing things they find special about each other. The idea is to get them to discuss fun and intimate details in as animated a manner as possible, which will give you compelling subjects to photograph. And by keeping the conversation upbeat and fun, you’ll keep them relaxed so those intimate moments come to the fore.

4. Build intimacy with the shot

Remember that you’re capturing their intimacy. No matter how affectionate they are with each other, if you’re too far away you’re not going to capture that intimate moment visually. When the moment calls for it, get in close with a variety of angles that will help reveal the joy of their new relationship. Encourage their interaction and make sure they keep the eye contact directed at each other so you can capture those intimate, natural moments instead of trying to pose stiff, contrived shots. engagement photography tips - get close with shot

5. Build a visual collage of their unique love story

If you did a good job in your initial meeting with the couple, you learned enough details to make these a part of the engagement photo shoot. Every couple has a great story about how they met. Find a way to capture that when you’re planning on where to shoot – maybe stage the photo shoot where they met. Or maybe there is a place that’s special to the two of them that would make an ideal location. There are other details that make this couple different from others you’ll shoot. Find ways to weave these details into a visual representation that tells their story in a few well-chosen shots.

6. Listen to their ideas

Often the bride-to-be will bring some ideas to the initial meeting. And sometimes the groom might toss an interesting, spur of the moment idea out for consideration. For that matter, be open to inspiration as you orchestrate the shoot. Great ideas may come out of their interaction with each other – and if you’ve developed a level of comfort and trust with them, the ideas are going to flow. They’ll get excited and inspired, and that can feed your creativity. Don’t be so set with your pre-arranged plan that you cut off access to some wonderful spontaneity.

7. Let your personality shine

Your personality will make or break the success of the engagement photo shoot. The more engaging you are, the more fun you can make the session – the more that is going to come out in your pictures. It’s an exciting time for this couple – feed and nurture that excitement by letting them see how much you share it. Fun is contagious and the more fun you have, the more you’ll elevate their enjoyment. Let them see you responding to their budding relationship, and the three of you will build a bond that will result in an interesting and creative photo session that will be more than a collection of pictures – it will provide the couple with a visual story of their new relationship that they will treasure for a lifetime.

8. Taking unexpected photographs

When taking wedding photos, not all couples are happy with just the ‘poses’, sometimes people want some natural looking photos to remember their day by and this is where taking some unexpected photographs comes in. You should try to take a few pictures of the happy couple when they are relaxed and they are not posing for you. You should try to catch the couple when they are not expecting you to- don’t sneak up behind them and scare them, you should be nonchalant, as if you are not even there and you might find that some of the best pictures that you take on the day, are of the couple when they are sharing a private moment with each other.

9. Bring nervous couples to ease before photographing them.

Not all couples are as willing to stand and pose, and some couples can be quite nervous and camera shy. There is no set way to help them to get over their fear of the camera, but as a professional it is imperative that you help your couple to relax enough so that you can get some great pictures. There are a few methods which you can try which may help to relax a nervous couple. First of all, you should have a good understanding of the different people whom you photograph. You need to realize that some couples will be easier to work with than others and remember, they are paying for you to take their photos so you should be patient and calm, and never loose your temper with them! You should also remember that first impressions are key. You should try to make the couple relax in your company from the outset, with a smile and a warm hand shake, be happy and genuine and you will find the couple relaxing in your company. You should also be sure to talk to the couple a lot, show your interest in them and strike up conversations. You shouldn’t have to pretend that you are happy for them! All of these factors will help your couple to relax.

10. Look like a part of the group

When attending somebody else’s wedding, you should remember that you are a guest there who is being paid to take photographs and you should make sure that you look the part. You should dress smartly, preferably in a suit and you should always make sure that you mingle well with the guests and make sure that people are comfortable with you so that you fit in. another important tip to remember is that you should always come alone- unless you have a professional assistant. Remember, this is a business and the couple are your clients so don’t think that you can just bring along a friend or a partner to the wedding for some company. This is a job and you should remember that and be professional and courteous.
11.  Take lots of photos

One tip which should be quite obvious is that you should aim to take as many photos as you can. You can never have too many photographs and when it comes to editing them and getting them ready for printing for the couple, you will find that you have dozens to choose from and you can pick the best so that your clients are very pleased with the result. Make sure that you take several memory cards just for this reason, back up battery packs and anything else that you need to make sure that your camera continues to click away throughout the entire day.

12. Keep your images safe

One of the most important things when it comes to wedding photographs is saving the images which you take and keeping them safe. When it comes to weddings, you are never going to be able to re capture the moments that you have shot and this can lead to a very un- happy couple! One problem which could affect the safety of your images is data corruption. If this occurs while you are in the middle of your shoot, then take out the memory card and replace it with a spare (always carry more than one memory card when using digital cameras) You might also find that when you download your images onto your computer, you can run into a few problems with a memory card corruption- but you shouldn’t despair because there are ways for you to save your images with software such as Photo Rescue. So make sure that you invest in some excellent software before you go on your wedding shoot.

13. Remove your secondary photos

Once you have safely stored and backed up your raw images, then you should think about removing any photographs which you do not think are good enough for the couple to see. You should begin by creating a folder for all of your secondary or rejected photos and then move any images which you do not think would make good memories- such as an embarrassing position, motion blur or out of focus- and put them into your secondary folder. Be sure not to remove too many shots because you will want to give as many photographs to the couple as possible.

14. Remember this is a serious business and you should know your stuff

One very important factor that you should remember when it comes to being a professional wedding photographer is that this is a serious business and not just for you. Wedding photos are very important to the happy couple, and people will pay big bucks for pictures that they can look back on and enjoy, so you need to take your job very seriously. If you act like a professional, then you will relax your couple and end up with some really good photographs that will really boost your clientele. If you are not serious about being a wedding photographer then you shouldn’t be doing it- a wedding is one of the biggest days in people’s lives and you need to be able to capture the memories professionally and creatively.

Got More Suggestions Or Tips? post below.

If you like the post check out Digital Wedding Secrets – complete guide to wedding photography.

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When I first got my hands on the professional digital camera that I am still using up to now, there was no question about the type of batteries that I had to use. Some photographers prefer the convenience of using disposable batteries for their digital cameras.

But for me, it’s rechargeable batteries all the way. The reasons that I have for purchasing rechargeable batteries for my digital camera are simple. First, it is more economical in the long run. Just imagine how many disposable batteries you would need to have as backup if you are covering a wedding which will require you to take pictures during the entire day. The costs would add up and would definitely lessen the profit that you should have earned in the first place.

Second, it’s friendlier to the environment to use rechargeable batteries. Again, just imagine the amount of toxic waste that you will be contributing to the environment if you keep on using disposable batteries. Third, you can even look for one of those solar panels which can be attached to some camera models so that you can point and shoot even while you’re on the go.

So if you’re like me who prefer to use rechargeable batteries over the disposable ones, how exactly can the life of the cameras be prolonged? The one thing that you need to remember is that you should not leave the rechargeable batteries on their charging dock for an extended period of time. Once the indicator says that they are fully charged, unplug them immediately and take the batteries out of the charger.

When charging the batteries for the digital cameras, make sure that they are not anywhere near a hot surface like stoves or an area in the house which is exposed to direct sunlight. You also need to make sure that you are purchasing high-quality rechargeable batteries with high-quality chargers.

If you use a run-of-the-mill charger to power up a high-quality battery, its lifespan may be significantly lessened. Finally, make sure to arrange the settings on your camera in such a way that the life of the battery will be conserved.

Don’t delete pictures unless absolutely necessary, use the viewfinder rather than the LCD screen because the latter option consumes more power – and use the flash only when necessary. By keeping these tips in mind, you will significantly increase the lifespan of your batteries which is the lifeblood of the camera that you are using to capture on film the most important moments during a wedding

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Nick S on March 1, 2009

A good wedding photographer is only as good as his or her picture-taking equipment. No matter how great your focus or your skills behind the lens is, the results of your work will significantly be hampered if you don’t have a good digital camera.

It’s definitely a good thing that the trend in photography in general has turned from rolls of film to thousands of digital copies which are stored on memory cards.

Whether you have yet to buy your first digital camera and you want to have a career in wedding photography, or if you are looking forward to purchasing a backup equipment, there are a few basic digital camera buying tips that you need to remember.

Here’s a quick digital camera buying guide, from one photographer to another. The first thing that you need to check on is the physical design format of the camera. Do you want an SLR, an SLR-like camera, a compact, an ultra-compact or a rugged compact camera?

To ensure that the camera will produce great looking photos, check on the number of photo detectors used, the pixel density and the type of sensor that the digital camera has. What’s the widest end and long end of the zoom, and is there a digital zoom?

Are there useful features like Image Stabilization or Auto Focus? What’s the longest and fastest shutter exposure time? Does the digital camera have a built-in flash? What’s the size of the LCD monitor, the view finder and does the camera support USB? What storage media is supported by the camera? Is there an external flash and a built-in flash? Does the camera support manual focus? Should you get one which has movie clips taking capabilities or is this just an extra feature that you do not really need?

Whether it’s a point and shoot digital camera that you want to use as backup for your main wedding photography equipment or if it is the real SLR digital camera that you want to have, it is good to create a checklist like this. By doing so, you can select the best digital camera from the lot – depending on your taste, professional needs and budget.

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Nick S on February 27, 2009

Asking a photographer “How did you take that shot” is like asking a writer to explain how he or she wrote a particular piece of literature. There really isn’t any standard or predefined way – that’s the way with any creative process.

However, I’ve found out that the most important factor in establishing good creative shots for a wedding album is getting to know the couple you’re shooting. Try to talk with them and establish rapport so they feel comfortable around you. Many couples are already suffering from the various anxieties associated with their upcoming wedding, and you definitely don’t want that nervousness to come out during your shoots.

Try to talk to the couple and get to know them better. Find out their history, where they met, common interests, places and people that are special to them, and the like. These kinds of information serve as good sources of ideas for concepts and themes for your shoot. The couple themselves usually has at least a vague idea of what they want to see in their wedding album.

For example, on couple I worked for cited their university – where they met and became a couple – as one of the most important places to them. So I suggested that they relive their college days in our photo shoot. So we went around the campus and took pictures of them together. And they even donned old alma mater costumes to complete the look.

When shooting live for an actual event, it’s always best to gun for a candid scene where the subject is less “conscious” that he or she is being shot. This makes for a more natural feel to your photographs, and will not reek of being too “scripted” and fake. Establishing a relationship with the couple is also plays an important role here. Once a couple is used to you, then they won’t feel uncomfortable (which will definitely show in their gestures and facial expressions) when you’re walking around taking pictures of them and their wedding.

One last tip is to make yourself be at least slightly familiar with the place you’ll be shooting in, as you can anticipate good angles and vantage points from where you can take good shots.

This is a wedding photography lesson that I learned the hard way: backing up your priceless digital photos should be part of your weekly, or even your daily routine.

I remember this one time when I had to give a newlywed couple a partial refund because almost half of the set of wedding photos that I took on their big day got lost because my hard drive crashed.

It turned out that recovering data is a pretty expensive – not to mention challenging – feat for a hard drive recovery expert. So I thought that it was more practical to just return part of the couple’s deposit rather than paying an arm and a leg for the photos to be recovered.

It’s a good thing that I had a second amateur photographer with me who still had copies of the same shots that I lost so we were able to put together a decent wedding album for the couple.

So what’s the best way for a wedding photographer to back up digital photos? There are actually a lot of options that you can try. Here’s what I do. After every wedding, I download all of the unedited photos onto my computer’s hard drive. Then, I copy the files on my external hard drive and finally, I a bunch of CD or DVD copies of the pictures to give to the bride and groom, some of their family members, and a couple of the disks will go onto my archived file.

If you want, you can even try backing up your files on a reliable online photo sharing sites like Picasa Web Albums, Photoshop Express, Kodak Gallery or Shutterfly.com. Just make sure that these sites will not resize the photos that you uploaded.

Remember that you can never have too many backups, so make it a habit to create copies of all your digital media, especially after covering a wedding. These precious photos are not just a great addition to your portfolio as a wedding photographer, but they are also priceless for the newlywed couple who shared such a special day for you to witness and capture on film.

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Nick S on February 25, 2009

Gone are the days when the only types of wedding pictures that you see are the ones on your grandmother’s wedding album. I personally don’t like these traditional staged shots where the subjects are posed stiffly and giving forced smiles. Fortunately for the engaged couples of today, photojournalism in wedding photography has become popular over the past few years. Rather than gathering the newlywed couple in posed shots with their family members, the events of the day are covered through a series of candid shots which tell a story. On the other hand, there’s also the editorial trend in wedding photography where a mixture of candid shots and traditional photos are taken. This is the trend that I’m mastering now – partly because I want to give the married couple a myriad of shots to choose from for their wedding album. Depending on the client, I think that a combination of staged and candid shots is the best option that they have if they want to have a stellar wedding album that they can show off to their grandkids. But what about this other trend in wedding photography where the photos are printed in such a way that they come out like glamour shots in a wedding magazine? Let’s say that the bride wants to have a photo where she looks like Katie Holmes in that Italian wedding that she had with Tom Cruise. For this, what you can do is play up the romance and glamour of the wedding day. Grab the opportunity of taking as many glamour shots of the bride as you can prior to the wedding ceremony – because that’s when you will more than likely capture on film the ‘glow’ and the anticipation that she has for the day. After the wedding, you can take a few quick minutes to get the newlyweds to strike as many poses as you can get out of them. Or, take as many candid shots of them together as possible. You can choose a few shots which stand out and just do your magic in the editing room – so that the pictures can turn out to be glamour photos.