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Most Important Wedding Photography tips

Wedding Photography is in a lot many ways like candid street photography, where you move around and try to capture something interesting happening around you. While there are different customs and traditions of weddings worldwide and in some ways, the style of shooting is also different but still there is a lot that is very common in wedding photography all over the world.

As far as wedding photography in India is concerned, it is caught between the two parameters- the typical straight wedding shots and the more unconventional creative documentary style of photography. Without knowing the preference of your client at times it may get a little difficult to strike the right balance between the two styles of photography.

Wedding Photography Tips

Photography - Together we rock

Know the family well

It is very important to know and understand the people in the context to the bride and the bridegroom. The family would always want the key people of the family, relatives and friends to be most prominently featured in the albums. Not that you have to specifically go and meet them as you may be one of the photographers on the team. With some experience, you will surely get an idea about the key family members as usual, these will be the people who are most actively involved in all the ceremonies.

Be Prepared

Preparation is the key. So many things can go wrong and not work the way you planned or expected. It could be your equipment or the sequence or flow of the events. All your batteries should be charged and the cards should be empty and ready for the shoot. Always delete the previous images, which have already been transferred to the computer, before you reach the venue. This avoids any last-minute confusion.

Carry enough Memory cards.

Stay Alert

It is your own responsibility to cover everything that is part of the ceremony and even otherwise. At many weddings, everything is running late but that does not mean that you may be able to take a break. Be ready to shoot once the event begins to flow.

Know your Equipment well

Have good control over your equipment. You should know your camera gear inside out so that you are able to handle any kind of situation at very short notice or even without notice in practical terms.

Shoot Fast

And this is possible only if you know your equipment well. If you don't shoot fast, chances are that you may miss the shots which are interesting and candid in nature. Even for the posed sessions, the key family or the guests do not have all the time for photographs and expect everything to be done faster. This does not mean that you need to compromise with the quality in any manner but just that you must shoot at a faster pace so that things keep moving on. Practice changing lenses faster so that you don't waste time. Keep everything handy with you.

Wedding Photography Tips

Different weddings have different customs and traditions. Be alert to catch the right moment.

Keep the teamwork spirit

It is always better to have the right people on your team and not just more people. The other photographers in your team should be well-versed in your style and requirements. With a lot of guests, it becomes practically impossible for a single photographer to cover everyone. So, divide the tasks and the areas between the team.

Wedding Photography Tips

Together We Rock is my wedding photography company which has a team of one of the most talented Wedding Photographers and videographers. TWR covers weddings anywhere across the Map.

Assign the roles

When you have a large team, chances are more than one photographer may be covering the same shot or no one is covering any, unless their primary roles are pre-decided. Different crew members could be covering Guests, Couples, close family, Candid shots, Group shots....whatever it may be can always be pre-decided.

Work with Assistants

It's always good to have an assistant with you. In many cases, two photographers may share a common assistant. It can be a great help especially if you shoot with an off-camera flash and he can maneouvre the flash direction for you. I still recommend that you should have the most important stuff like the cards and the batteries with you so that you can quickly change them whenever required. If you tend to change the lenses on the go quickly, keep these with you. You can change the lenses fastest, without missing a shot, if these are with you or your assistant is with you like a shadow.

Use the Right lens

Even though you may have a favourite lens or the focal length that you feel covers it all, do change lenses often to have a different look and perspective in your photographs. You should practice being able to change your lenses faster. many photographers use two camera bodies with different lenses attached but this can be quite cumbersome and restrict your own movements. checkout if a good Prime or a Zoom lens works better for you.

Wedding Photography Tips

Not isolated but explore Environmental Portraits

I have seen typical portraits of the close members of the family taken against a backdrop. At times this may be a trend with certain clients but I would always prefer environmental and candid portraits of key people. Even if these are posed ones, let them be against the actual backdrop of the wedding scenario. This will give a much better mood and feel to the shot compared to the one set up against the typical studio background. However, also keep in mind the requirement of your client. You need to discuss such things before the wedding

Wedding Photography Tips

Photographed by Together We Rock by Munish Khanna

Detail is important as well

People spend so much money on garments and jewelry. It does make sense to include the fine detail of the bride and Grooms outfits. Ensure that you do take full-length shots as well and not just closeups. You don't have to cover everyone's outfits but do cover whatever is interesting around you. This could be the details of the Outfits, Jewelry or even decoration.

wedding photography tips

Photographed by Together We Rock by Munish Khanna

wedding photography tips

Photographed by Together We Rock by Munish Khanna

Portraits of the Bride and the Groom

Fix up to shoot the bride as she prepares herself for the wedding. This is where you can get some candid moments, which will be very different from what you will get at the venue. You do not have to shoot the procedure of the makeup up but try to catch the expressions and moments. This is of course an optional part and check with the couple beforehand if they would be keen on covering this part. Also, many people visit a parlour to get ready, so it's important to check out beforehand if there is enough space there and if there are any restrictions.

For the Groom, follow the same but the process of getting ready may not be that elaborate. Even if they are both at the same venue, you need two different photographers to cover the Bride and the Groom unless it's all very well coordinated and there is strictly no budget to have an additional team.

While you are with the bride and the Groom, do cover their portraits as well. There will be much fewer people around them as compared to the venue and you are likely to get some privacy and undivided attention. You will still be shooting their individual as well as together shots at the venue, so don't spend too much time here.

Wedding Photography Tips

Photographed by Together We Rock by Munish Khanna

Specify your requirements beforehand

With a Busy schedule, There is usually almost no time for the photographer but everyone does expect great results in the end. In many countries like India, the bride and the Groom are almost always running late and the photography ends up being the least important, besides the fact that they want great pictures.

Although things are changing now, still, you should make it a point beforehand that you will be expecting some exclusive time with the couple. A few minutes of an undisturbed time slot is good enough to cover some great shots with them.

Flash is your biggest tool in a Wedding

However good your camera may perform in low light situations, Flash is your biggest tool which allows you to shoot fast and shoot handheld without any camera shake. Increasing ISO helps to some extent but the flash supplements the scene with some good light which brings that sparkle in the photographs.

Ensure that you invest in a good flash that has a fast recycling time as well. checkout the problems due to the usage of flash and the solutions.

wedding photography tips

Photographed by Together We Rock by Munish Khanna

Take the Flash off the Camera

Keeping the flash off the camera Hot shoe allows you far better control of light and you are not restricted to the same point for your key light source. It of course depends if you are using the available light as your key light source or the flashlight. The balance between the two decides how the image would turn out to be.

Wedding Photography Tips

Photographed by Together We Rock by Munish Khanna

Wedding Photography Tips

Photographed by Together We Rock by Munish Khanna

Catch those in-between moments

While you are shooting there will be several moments that are not actually planned and these can turn out to be good shots.

Wedding Photography Tips

Photographed by Together We Rock by Munish Khanna

Learn how to shoot in low light

With a good camera and flash combination, you can handle any kind of situation. Strike the right balance between Aperture, ISO and flash. Open up as much as possible to allow more light. Increase the ISO but not all the way up. Increasing ISO allows one to cover the ambient light exposure. Do add the flash as that will create the required contrast and "Kick" in the photograph. so,if handled well, you can bring out the best with the optimum use of all the features of your camera and flash. Do not increase the ISO for no reason.

Wedding Photography Tips

Photographed by Together We Rock by Munish Khanna

Follow the trends

Follow the trends but ensure that these are applicable in a particular situation or not. Shallow depth of field is a favourite of many but don't make it so shallow that key people also don't get covered in the limited depth of field available with opened apertures. Especially when shooting the couple together, close down a little bit so that the Depth of field covers both people especially if they are not at the same distance from the camera.

With Shallow depth of field, you have to be very particular about the focus as a slight shift can change it.

Wedding Photography Tips

Photographed by Together We Rock by Munish Khanna

Communication is important.

It involves an art. whether you shoot candid or staged, you should be able to politely yet confidently be able to communicate and convey your instructions or requests to your subjects. there is no scope of mistakes in a wedding or any other event for that matter. Time is of the essence and if something is going wrong, its important to communicate now and rectify the errors. You have to have the shots and not being able to get them is no excuse.

Gain Experience

As you start in Wedding photography, just like any other genre, try to gain as much experience as possible. This helps you in anticipating what is going to happen next. Also, you are able to learn from others' mistakes and ensure that you don't repeat those in your own assignment. Assist someone if you are a beginner or shoot a friend's wedding as an additional photographer.

Shoot RAW

Shooting RAW is far more forgiving if something goes wrong. The concept of wedding photography is not just about shooting on the dot with correct exposure and white balance but to ensure that you cover and catch the various moments going on around you. This does not mean that you be wrong with the technicals but it means that you be able to concentrate more on the content and its composition. that you focus well and bring out a pleasing perspective with an appropriate focal length. Rest, can easily be managed as a Batch process on the computer.

Aperture Priority works well with a dedicated flash.

Many people shoot on Manual mode and manually control the camera and flash settings but there is absolutely nothing wrong with shooting on Aperture priority mode as it helps make the best use of your camera and flash technology. There is a lot of R and D involved in getting the correct exposure straight out of the camera. If you are using a dedicated flash, exposure is something you should least be bothered about.

Diffuse the Flash Light

Any light modifier which diffuses the flashlight not only makes the light softer but also helps cover a larger area. If the direction of the flash is not ideal, the subject still gets good enough illumination as compared to a hard point light source which has to fall exactly at the subject.

Use the Flash during the Day

Fill in with the flash during broad daylight. This helps control the overhead shadows and lets the photographer shoot quickly against the light. It all depends on the time of the event. A flash takes care of any limitations due to the direction of light.

Wedding Photography Tips

Photographed by Together We Rock by Munish Khanna

Wedding Photography Tips

Photographed by Together We Rock by Munish Khanna

Continuous or Single shot servo

Unless there is a reason, do not shift to the continuous shooting mode. It can shoot only as fast as the shutter speed selected for proper exposure allows. Unless that is very high, it does not really help much.

Don't draw a line between being a Candid or a Conventional Photographer.

If You are a creative Photographer, shoot whatever you find interesting. If you are in the shoes of a Candid Wedding photographer, it does not mean that you cannot stage your shots, if it helps in getting a better photograph. On the other hand, if you are covering conventional group photographs, you can always click some moments which were unexpected and very natural. Why not? Ultimately, it's the end result of a collection of great photographs that matters the most irrespective of whether being Candid or conventionally staged.

Wedding Photography Tips

Photographed by Together We Rock by Munish Khanna

A good composition will always be the King

Whatsoever, it may be, good composition is the most important element of any photograph. Develop your eye to see things creatively and to frame the subject in a unique manner that looks great. Besides the subject, try to avoid background distractions as well.

Wedding Photography Tips

Photographed by Together We Rock by Munish Khanna

Enjoy the wedding

You are not a part of the Guests, but you will shoot better if you are involved and enjoying the event. Have fun, and go along with the flow of the event and this will help you shoot better photographs. This does not mean that you get drunk and are nowhere to be seen. After all, you are at work and the party is not for you.

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