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Wedding photography tips and guide sample
Wedding photography tips and guide sample
Wedding photography tips and guide sample
Wedding photography tips and guide sample
Wedding photography tips and guide sample
Wedding photography tips and guide sample
Wedding photography tips and guide sample
Wedding photography tips and guide sample
Wedding photography tips and guide sample
Wedding photography tips and guide sample
Wedding photography tips and guide sample
Wedding photography tips and guide sample
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Wedding photography tips and guide sample

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Wedding photography tips and guide sample

Wedding photography tips and guide sample

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  1. WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE Author: Geoff Beattie Formatting and design: Daniel Sîrbu www.wedding-photo-guide.com
  2. Copyright, Legal Notice and Disclaimer:This publication is protected by international copyright law,federal, state and local laws, and all rights are reserved,including resale rights. No part of this document may bereproduced, distributed, resold, or transmitted in any form orby any means, including photocopying, recording, or otherelectronic or mechanical methods, without the prior writtenpermission of the author.Any trademarks, service marks, product names or namedfeatures are assumed to be the property of their respectiveowners, and are used only for reference. There is no impliedendorsement if we use one of these terms.Copyright © 2010 Geoff Beattie.All rights reserved worldwide.
  3. The complete guide to capturing and creating your own wedding photos and album. This is a complete guide for anyone who wants to compile a wedding album without being a photographer or hiring a professional wedding photographer. This guide will help you to produce your very own wed- Presentation ding album from start to finish. Just think; you are about to create your very own wedding album, exactly how you It’s not all about taking the photo. want it, with all the photos you want in it! Let’s be honest. If you’ve decided to set aside the better part of £1000 on a wedding photographer, you could Why have I written this guide? at least invest in a decent wedding album to present the photos in. In 1998, I came up with the idea to become self-em- ployed and started the classic back bedroom business. And, what about the copies for Aunt Gladys and Uncle After 6 months we opened a small shop offering services Nigel? You could just give them a print direct from your like photo-processing, copies, enlargements, reprints, pho- printer on that cheap photo paper you bought off the in- to-restoration, framing and the like. The business proved ternet to say “thank you” for the £50 gift voucher they popular, and we soon moved into a larger unit and began gave you, though now that you’ve taken a step towards to offer portrait and wedding photography. After about 4 creating some great wedding photos by investing in this years, we expanded again and opened a studio where guide, you’ll be able to give them a fantastic professional- we could concentrate more on portraits and studio work. quality print that will last longer than the cheap print you can run off at home, and it won’t really cost you much more. So, follow the tips in this guide and you’ll get some We can help great results. We do many copies and reprints of wedding photos in Even if you are not doing the main photos, or you will the studio for people who have used the photos taken by be doing some in addition to a hired professional, you a guests or a friend for the wedding album. Many of them need to make a little effort in the finishing and presenta- are OK, but I know that, had they a guide like this, they tion. Maybe you’ll want to do something simple like tone would have done a much better job! But, knowing that your photos sepia or black-and-white, and put them in a you only get one shot at doing your wedding photos, you professional strut mount or folder. Presentation can make need to make the most of what you’ve got. So, we now all the difference. I have had customers bring in prints help with cropping, color casts, airbrushing, toning, and from professional photographers that my 7-year-old son other editing tasks to improve the image before printing. could have captured better! But, because it’s presented in a folder, and it cost £20 from the “best photographer in But, what do you do with the photos? Either keep them town” as described in the BIG advertisement in the yellow in the packet or put them in the cheapest photo album or pages, it must be good, right? frame you can find, usually from a big high street photo- processing chain, or one that looks great on ebay for £20 Presentation plays a big part in getting your shots looking plus £10 postage, but turns out to be same one as on the professional. There are some tips on presentation in this high street?! guide, too. Risk This guide is designed to take you through a simple pro- cess of creating your own wedding album without being I’ve decided I’m going to take a risk in writing this guide, a photographer. It’s written in simple, easy-to-understand in the hope that not everyone will buy it! Then, I’ll still language, without all the technical jargon that, to be com- have plenty of customers in our shop looking for a “quick pletely honest with you, is of no benefit to 99% of the fix” solution to their not-so-good attempt at taking wedding photo-taking population! photos! It’s written to offer advice and tips for doing your own Anyone can do it! wedding photos. This is not a professional guide to the wedding photography business, though many “pros” have I love photography, and I love great photographs, espe- bought it in the past and will continue to buy it because cially when I see them from my usual kind of customers we are all on the learning curve and always looking for with their point-and-shoot automatics. I know that anyone new and different ideas. can take a good photo, and the great majority of people who do take photos can benefit from a little help and a few good tips on the basics. Don’t be baffled!4 www.wedding-photo-guide.com WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE
  4. The complete guide to capturing and creatingyour own wedding photos and album.You don’t need to have a great technical understanding ofcameras, exposure, or photography. You just need a cam-era, ideally digital (though not essential), and know howto use it. If you want to do editing then you’ll need a com-puter with a photo-editing program. Once again, don’tthink you need to go for a top-of-the-line Adobe PhotoshopCS with a full retail price tag of £500+. I have been usingAdobe Photoshop Elements 6 at the time of writing this forall of my editing in our portrait studio and our photo shopwith a price tag of around £60! Most of the videos are inPSE 1.0 to show the simple steps you can to take to trans-form you photos, though there are many other programsavailable that offer many of the same features. Some you’lleven find for free on the cover of a digital photo magazineor as a free download from the net.Once you’ve completed your editing, you can either printyour own or you can use professional labs for digital filesor film.Once you have your own images, you can then makeprofessional-quality reprints for your friends and familyfor a fraction of the cost of what a professional weddingphotographer would charge. You can get a reprint froma professional wedding photographer for £25+ for a10x8, though as this guide contains a list of printing labsthe professionals use, and because you own the copy-right on your own photos, you can legally get the sameprofessional-quality 10x8 print from the same labs theprofessionals use for around £3.50! Or, you can printyour own for under £1! How good will you feel that youhave actually done your own wedding album! Be careful,though. Your friends and family may just want you to dotheir wedding, too!Maybe you’ve seen your friends’ photos that they’ve donethemselves and they did a pretty good job, and you prob-ably thought that “we should do that.” Well, you could!And, now that you’re armed with this wedding photoguide, you’ll probably do a much better job and be ableto present your photos much better, too.WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE www.wedding-photo-guide.com 5
  5. The complete guide to capturing and creating your own wedding photos and album. Contents Tips on Organizing Photos.......................................................................................... Page 7 Digital Camera Tips.......................................................................................................... Page 9 Basic Ideas for Photos: Traditional & Reportage........................................... Page 11 Location, Location, Location Guide......................................................................... Page 13 Composition........................................................................................................................ Page 14 Light......................................................................................................................................... Page 18 List of “Must Have” Key Shots................................................................................ Page 20 On The Wedding Day.................................................................................................... Page 21 Tips For Editing and Selecting the Best Shots.................................................. Page 25 Black-and-White and Sepia Toning Guide......................................................... Page 27 Home Printing Guide...................................................................................................... Page 28 Professional Lab Guide................................................................................................. Page 296 www.wedding-photo-guide.com WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE
  6. The complete guide to capturing and creatingyour own wedding photos and album.TIPS ONORGANIZINGPHOTOSSo, if you are the groom or bride reading this, you’ll be Doing it this way, I believe, would make it more specialable to create some great wedding photos if you can as the photos have been taken by the guests, often theorganize it properly. If you have friends or guests with people who are closest to you. To have photos capturedcameras, that’s even better. If not, that’s no problem, as by guests is a great idea! If they are worried about takinglong as you have a camera and tripod you’ve got every- wedding photos, explain that you have a great guide withthing you need. some fantastic professional tips that you will show them to help them in getting some great wedding photos.Your Options If no one has a camera, you’ll need to get one, or at least borrow one. If you’re going to get one, take a look in the1. Ask someone who you know who’s a keen photogra- members’ area for the latest recommendations.pher to take some photos for you. I wouldn’t suggest yougo and ask him/her to take your wedding photos as this 4. If there is absolutely no one you can get to help, youcan be quite a responsibility to ask of someone and (s)he have no friends coming to your wedding, or no guests willmay just say no. I would explain to him/her first that you be at your wedding, then, at the very least, you’ll need aare going to do your own wedding photos and album camera and a tripod.and would like him/her to simply take some photos foryou. This is easier if you have a guest who’s into photog- 5. If, however, you are the person actually doing the pho-raphy as (s)he will be there anyway, and as a keen pho- tos, you just need to organize yourself and your camera!tographer, (s)he’ll probably be bringing his/her camera,as a wedding is a great opportunity to get some photos. If you’re getting a friend or guest to do the photos, youI’ve done it like this myself for friends and family as a guest don’t just need to get one person to do them. If you like,and photographer. you could get 2, 3, 4, or more people to do the photos. In fact, if you let all your guests know what you’re doing and2. Approach your local college and contact the photogra- that you would like to create an album from their photos,phy class or evening class and ask them if they would be you can then get them all involved. It’s probably best tointerested in using your wedding as a “photo shoot” and choose 1 or 2 people to do the main group shots, though,you would grant them permission to edit, print, and use if you do, in fact, want group shots.your photos in connection with the work they are doingin return for giving you a copy of all the photos on disk. If Then, you’ll need to discuss what key photos you wantyou don’t want to call them and ask, send them an email. them to get…arriving at the venue, walking down the aisle, cutting the cake. They will probably all benefit from3. Ask the guests! Let them know that you’re doing your reading this guide and going through the photo list withown photos, either because of budget or you just don’t you. When you’ve downloaded the list, discussed it, andlike the wedding albums you’ve looked at, or because edited the photos you want, you can print off a copy foryou want complete control over the photos and want to everyone to keep with them on the wedding day.be able to put them on Facebook or as a slide show onYouTube to show friends and family around the world, and Once you’ve discussed the photos you want and don’tyou want to make your own album with our own photos want, the style you want, and the location or locations,taken by your guests. go through the list together and discus any other photos you want.WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE www.wedding-photo-guide.com 7
  7. The complete guide to capturing and creating your own wedding photos and album. Just to side track for a moment... Arranging the photos for the day I have been reading about TTD (“Trash The Dress”) wed- If you are arranging the photos for the day, you’ll need to ding photos and I thought it’s worth a mention to you. organize the person or people who will actually be taking Basically, after the wedding and honeymoon, when the photos. There will be many other people taking photos. If bride and groom have come back down to earth, the you can get a copy of all of them on disk, that would help wedding dress is packed away in a box and won’t come to compile the photo collection. For the main shots though, out again, well, except maybe to be shown to the children the person or people who are going to do the photos will in a few years! So, the latest thing is to get the dress back need to know what and how you would like them to do on and get some more wedding shots with a twist! it. If they already have a good understanding of photogra- phy, they probably won’t need all of the information in this You don’t need to worry about keeping the dress clean guide. If they are less familiar with photography, then go and dry or not damaging it, so go run through the sea through the guide together. This will help everyone doing or into a lake! Splash around and have some fun! Go the photos and give some inspiration, too. run through some fields of long grass or climb trees, or roll around in the mud! And, get some different wedding For the most part there will be no organizing! It’s already shots. This is, of course, only recommended if you own the been done. Everyone will be following the order of events dress. If you have rented the dress, it is probably best not as they unfold. You may have a couple of hiccups through- to do anything risky.... out the day, but generally all will go according to plan. The job of getting the photos is achieved by being there, After the wedding can also be a good time to get some by watching and observing, and by photographing the great bride and groom shots that are unrushed and more things you see and the things people do, and also by relaxed. And, as there are no time limits or moaning guests paying extra attention to the key events. If you intend to around waiting to get to the bar, you can go anywhere to take group shots in a location away from the ceremony, do the shots and take as much time as you like. then one of the most important things you should do is let everyone know when and where. If the guests or drivers If the dress and tuxedo have been rented, you could try to don’t know you are planning on group shots in the park, negotiate with the bridal shop an extra day, and in return they will not be there. This actually happened to me when for a good deal, you could offer the shop some free prints nobody told the minibus driver that they wanted to do to use as promotional material. photos in the park. The wedding party and I went to the park, and all the guests went to the reception 3 or 4 miles away. After the guests were dropped off, the driver went home! We had no way of getting them back to the park, so we had to do the other groups back at the reception. The photos turned out OK, though not as photogenic as those taken at the park!8 www.wedding-photo-guide.com WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE
  8. The complete guide to capturing and creatingyour own wedding photos and album.DIGITALCAMERA TIPSHow many megapixels? of zooming in. The more you zoom, the more you lose detail and quality, as you are only using the section of theSo, you’ve got a digital camera. One of the most impor- available image to create the captured image. Opticaltant features is the image size. I wouldn’t recommend us- zoom actually magnifies the light and uses all the CCD toing anything less than a 5MB camera, and ideally, 6MB capture the image, maintaining the detail and quality. Ifor more is best. The 6MB will give good image size, you need to zoom in on a shot using digital zoom, eithercapture plenty of detail, give room for cropping later if walk in closer or do it later in the photo editing package.necessary, and enable you to go big (24”x20”) for full file Remember you can’t undo the zoom on a shot taken withclose-up or full-length bride and groom pro-lab enlarge- digital zoom in the camera, but you can if you do it laterments. This large size is only really acceptable for close- in your photo editing program!ups or close-up bride-and-groom full-length shots. If youstretched a group shot with, say, 10 people, the small Be careful also with the zoom, as the more you zoom in,detail in the shot, in particular peoples faces, would lose the more likely the shot will become blurred through cam-clarity and sharpness, though with the close-up shots, the era movement. Generally, if the light on the subject is nicemain area of importance, the face, is of large size and and bright, you’ll get a good shot, especially if you havecontains enough detail to allow for some resizing while camera shake / movement reduction.still retaining an acceptable amount of quality. Many pho-tographers and camera dealers will tell you otherwise, but There is a rule of thumb to calculate the maximum zooma good, carefully re-sized and saved image will be fine. you should use, depending on the exposure setting. If youWhen we first went digital in the studio back in 2001 we don’t go mad with the zoom in good light you’ll be OK,used a Fuji 3.1MB camera and easily achieved good but following is the calculation for those of you that areresults with 20”x24” professional prints! interested.Quality settings Manual or AutoYour camera will have either quality settings or a choice If you are familiar with the manual settings on the camera,for the number of mega pixels, 1M, 2M, 3M, 6M, etc. Al- you have more control and you can be more creative,ways use the best setting, especially when memory cards especially if your camera is an SLR or SLR-type. Compactsare big and as cheap as they are, you’ve no need to are great, though most do lack the manual setting. Thesacrifice quality to fit more photos on your card. Just make auto usually produces good results in most situations, espe-sure you have plenty of storage. cially as so many cameras have preset modes for specific scenes and lighting situations. Many now have face-de- tection to enable the photographer to quickly and clearlyZoom see that the camera is concentrating on the most important part of the photo (in most cases)... the face.If you haven’t acquired a camera yet, get one with asmuch OPTICAL ZOOM as possible. And, BEWARE OF In any case, do yourself a big favor and read the manual.DIGITAL ZOOM. Please avoid the digital zoom! This is It’s not all technical jargon. You’ll probably find a greatthe work of the devil! Keep to optical zoom only. Digital guide to get the most out of your camera. But, don’t justzoom only uses the center of the CCD (The CCD is the read it. Go through the given examples with your camera.mechanism that captures the image. It’s like the film in filmcameras.) and enlarges the center pixels to give the effectWEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE www.wedding-photo-guide.com 9
  9. The complete guide to capturing and creating your own wedding photos and album. Focusing Don’t worry! Composition tips come later on.) Then, when you’re ready, press the shutter all the way. When you are Many cameras will automatically focus on the center of going for the candid reportage shots, use the focus lock the shot. The viewfinder will usually indicate the center when you have found a subject to capture. You can then with a square or circle, so when you depress the shutter capture the shot in the right second, not two seconds later release to take the shot, whatever is in the center will be when the person looks away. what the camera focuses on. That’s great if what you are photographing is in the center of the shot, though so many times I have seen a photo with the people in the shot out Flash of focus and the background nice and clear. Why? There was a gap in the group of people that just happened to It’s usually better to use the available light for the given be right in the center. This is more common with 2 people setting. Avoid flash whenever possible, especially if your since typically they stand to either side of the center! camera has an ISO or film-speed settings. You can alter the setting to a higher number to enable the camera to Here’s what to do. First, get your camera. Now, hold it take better shots without flash in low light settings. Look ready to take a shot. Look for an item close by, with other in your manual for the best settings. Be careful, though. objects in the background as far away as possible. Now, Setting a high number, such as 800 or 1600, will re- set the center focusing point on the near object and slowly sult in grain or small speckles across the shot on many of depress the shutter release. Before it takes the photo, you your shots. I would recommend that you take some sample should feel the button stop at about half way. On many shots as soon as possible in a range of lighting conditions. cameras this will also be indicated by a light in the view- finder or a bleep. This is the focus lock. Now, keep your If you must use flash, remember the built-in flash is not finger still and move the camera to put the object off-center. usually very powerful, and will not be of any use on any Fully depress the shutter and take the shot. This will leave subject more than a few meters away. Check your own the object you focused on in focus while the background manual for the correct flash distance and, again, do some will be out of focus making the subject really stand out. tests beforehand. NOTE: NOTE: To increase blurriness of the background, keep the dis- A good quick test would be to take a photo of someone tance between the camera and the main subject as small in low light with no flash and without moving. Then, take as possible and the distance from the subject to the back- another shot with flash. This way you can see the differ- ground as large as possible. Also, if available on your ence in the shots. To test how powerful the flash is, take camera, choose a small aperture or f-stop number. a photo of someone in low light from 3 or 4 steps away. Then, take 2 steps back and take another shot. Then, take The use of this focus-locking is helpful when taking all pho- another 2 steps back and another shot, and so on, until tos. Ideally you should identify the subject you want to you have at least 5 shots. Ideally you need to take shots take the photo of and get them in focus with the focus lock up to around 20 or 30 steps away from the subject so you before you are ready to take the shot. Then, when the can see how effective the flash is at a distance. moment is right, fully depress the shutter and take the shot. I would also recommend that, if you are using flash, you Practice this method of taking a photo as it’s a much better not have the subject standing against a wall, especially a and quicker way of taking a photo than just pressing the pale or light one, or with less than a couple of meters of button all the way in one go. You may find your camera space between them and a wall to avoid hard shadows takes a second or even two to actually get the shot in surrounding the subject. focus before it will take the photo. If this is the case, you’ll have probably missed the action by the time the camera One of the worst cases of “big shadows on the wall in actually takes the shot. Especially for reportage wedding the background” I have seen was actually taken by a photography, though, once you’re in focus, the shot can wedding photographer. The photographer had turned the be taken spontaneously and will capture that second, not camera by 90° to better compose a shot of the couple, two seconds later when the person has moved and the and the resulting burst of flash had left big, crisp, clear shot is gone forever! shadows down the right-hand side of the couple. If the Use this focusing method on all your shots. With posed camera had remained upright, and the couple had been shots of people, get your camera in focus on the face. standing 2 or 3 meters away from the wall, the shadows Hold the button still. Reposition the subject in the view- would have mostly fell behind the subjects. finder to get the composition right. (Composition? What’s “composition,” I hear some of you asking yourselves!10 www.wedding-photo-guide.com WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE
  10. The complete guide to capturing and creatingyour own wedding photos and album.BASIC IDEAS FORPHOTOS: TRADITIONAL& REPORTAGEThis guide is aimed toward the typical western style wedding.Many tips and ideas can be used across any event, thoughother wedding styles have different ceremonies and key events.It will be important to research your particular wedding be-forehand to become familiar with the traditions and style. I willget some more information up for you in the members’ area.So, will you go for traditional or reportage? This depends marriage certificate, and posed photos of everybodydirectly on the bride and groom, their style, tastes, home standing formally, posed and grouped together for thestyle, etc. The album can consist of a good mix of both the group photos. These are often taken all together at thebride’s and the groom’s families. This way, all the groups wedding venue before the wedding breakfast.are covered, and everyone at the wedding will be in thephotographs. The feel of the album will be modern witha good mix of reportage shots, but since you are doing Reportage (The reporting of news or informa-your own, you don’t need to worry about the cost of extra tion of general interest)prints, or going over budget, or paying the photographerto be there all day long. If the groom, or bride, wants a pint in the nearest pub before the ceremony, then get a photo of it! If the groom needs help from his future mother-in-law fixing his bow tie,Traditional (Of, relating to, or in accord with photograph it! If someone yawns in the service, photo-tradition) graph it! You need to capture people doing what people do best…being people, and being natural! You don’tThe traditional style follows the usual group-style of photos, need them to look at the camera and say “cheese!” to getis quite a formal approach, and generally consists of a set a good photo of them. A photo can tell a story, especiallyof standard shots. A good guide list is contained later on if it’s taken of someone who is unaware that the photo isin this guide. With a traditional approach, all the shots being taken. You’ll capture the moment. You’ll capture a(well around 95%) would generally be set up and posed true record of events and record what actually happenedfor the camera. This does take more time and involves on the day instead of creating it with posed shots.setting up and organizing the shots with a basic set, pro-ducing just enough to fill a basic album with 20 pages The modern style, the only setting-up in this style, some-consisting mostly of group shots. times called “paparazzi,” should be the setting up of the equipment. The whole idea of reportage is to captureGenerally, a set of traditional photos would start with the and record events as they unfold. Try not to be intrusive,groom and best man before the ceremony, the bride and but sneak around and people-watch. Concentrate on thethe person giving the bride away arriving at the ceremony, main close family members. Follow the order of the daya couple of shots in the service when the bride and groom and pay extra attention to the key events (listed later onare exchanging vows, the bride and groom signing the in this guide.) Watch for people smiling and laughingWEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE www.wedding-photo-guide.com 11
  11. The complete guide to capturing and creating your own wedding photos and album. with others. Watch for groups of people chatting together. Play it safe and cover everything. Anticipate them all laughing together and get that shot of them enjoying themselves. Get photos of the children. I personally think a good album consists of a basic set of They are usually doing something…! If there are babies close family groups, combined with lots of reportage shots at the wedding, especially at the wedding breakfast, get of everything from the bride having her hair and make -up shots of them eating! The messier, the better! Look for sim- done, to shots of everyone getting ready at home, to Dad ple shots, like small children chatting, or an adult kneeling cooking breakfast, to the groom and best man getting a down to speak to a small child, and get those close-up shave, to photos of the guests photographing each other, candid shots of people smiling and laughing, or looking to shots of children chasing each other around... With this serious and deep in thought. style you’ll get a great record of the wedding. The only thing when doing this kind of photography is that later on When someone whispers in someone else’s ear, get a you’ll have to decide what pictures to put in the album, photo of it. It’s an interesting shot, even more so if they are as you can quite easily end up with around 300+ edited laughing. Single people out, especially the main members photos from an initial collection of over 1000 taken that of the wedding party. Concentrate on them for 20 or 30 day, especially if you have a couple of people taking seconds. Keep the camera fixed on their faces. Watch for photos. their expressions. Catch their emotion. If they catch you watching them, get the eye contact look- ing right into the camera. If they are not to happy with you photographing them, get the shot and tell them that you’ll show them the shot later before you make the print. They will probably forget by the end of the day. But, don’t upset people. If they really don’t want you taking their photographs, then don’t do it. Remember that you are looking to capture the emotions of the guests. Capture the true feel of the day and don’t cause upset. Take in the surroundings, too. Don’t just go for close- ups and full-lengths. It’s good to show the venue and how it was the loca- tion for the wedding. To keep the shots of rele- vance to the wedding and venue, keep the guests in the shot to show “how it was” on the day. If there are petals or confetti on the table, use them in the shot with guests in the background. Close-up shots of glasses, maybe full of champagne, and a set table before the meal are good reminders of the special little things.If 12 www.wedding-photo-guide.com WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY GUIDE Thank You for reading my free chapters, If you would like to buy the rest of the book and the other free bonuses

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