Tips for Stress-Free Wedding Photography

As wedding photographers, we love to think photography is the most important element of a bride and groom’s wedding day. Surely they want fabulous wedding photography, so certainly they will give us all the time in the world to create beautiful images.

But it doesn’t really work that way. Weddings are busy. Often you are scrambling to get all the images you need really quickly, leaving no time for the fun, romantic images you really want to create for the couple. Worse yet, someone springs a pose list on you that you weren’t expecting, or changes the location everyone is meeting for family portraits.

The easiest way to make sure you have enough time for all the photographs you want to create on the wedding day, is to know how much time you need and to be prepared.

Know how much time you really need

Depending on their style and process, every photographer needs a different amount of time to take photographs at a wedding. As well every wedding is different, with unique locations, bridal parties, and families.

If you are not certain how long it takes you to create the images you need, time yourself. When you know your own process, you will be better able to help the bride and groom accurately schedule enough time for all the photographs.

Can you travel to the beautiful park the couple wants to use for photographs between the ceremony and reception? Or did they forget to allow for the time it actually takes to drive there? Do you need 20 minutes to photograph the family, or is it really more like 45 minutes when you include the set up of lighting equipment?

Look for open pockets of time in their schedule during the day. You may not get all the photography time together in one block, but when you know how long you need for each session, you can schedule it to work within the couple’s timeline.

Tips for finding enough photography time on the wedding day

Pre-Wedding planning consultation

Have a pre-wedding consultation. A final consultation one to two weeks before the wedding is a perfect time to go over details. Discussing the timeline with the bride and groom before the wedding will let you see where photography will best fit into the day. It will also help them see how much time you need to do your job well. This is close enough to the big day that they should know all the details, yet far enough out that they can tweak schedules, if need be.

Ask about other wedding vendors. Find out how everyone from the florist to the caterer will also fit into the couple’s day. The follow questions may help you:

  • Ask when hair and make-up appointments are scheduled to be done and where.
  • Find out where the flowers are being delivered and at what time.
  • Ask how long the ceremony will last and how they plan to personalize it.
  • Know if the couple will do a receiving line, or somehow greet guests formally right after the ceremony.
  • Confirm what time they want to arrive at the reception.
  • What time will dinner be served,
  • When would the DJ or band like to start the dance.

Knowing when the other professionals need the attention of the bride and groom will help you know when it’s your turn.

Plan for family portraits. Many photographers balk at the “dreaded pose list,” but capturing family photographs is an important part of wedding photography. To make the process of organizing family portraits easier, find out who’s in the their families, and what groupings are important to the couple. When you set the time for the wedding photographs, have the bride and groom inform everyone of the timeline, so they will be ready when it’s time to start.

Remember to add in travel time. Often the ceremony and reception are in different locations, and sometimes the couple likes to stop off at a third spot just for photographs. Make sure to add in the time that it will take to drive to these places into the schedule.

Read the full article in Digital Photography School

Creative Ways to Photograph Wedding Rings Using Household Objects

Photos of wedding rings arranged together before they are exchanged are must-have detail shots for every wedding. Wedding photographers are always looking for creative ways to photograph rings. This video by Magic Lens Group takes us through several ways to light the rings incorporating household objects to achieve moody colors and dynamically lit backgrounds.

Wedding Portraits – 5 Tips for Getting Out of a Creative Rut

As a professional photographer, it is normal to take a fair amount of pride in your work. In an ideal world, everyone would take pride in their work; but photographers in particular are usually people who own their business, who are doing something they love and who are creative by nature.

It can be particularly frustrating when you feel that you aren’t doing your very best work. Even if the customer is happy, you want to keep doing your best and you want to keep growing and learning in your craft. Getting compliments or rave reviews are great, but that feeling when you take your latest and best image is unforgettable.

Posing Tips for Portraits – Shoulders

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While the shoulders might not seem like an important aspect of a portrait they can actually set the tone for an image as they’re the widest part of your subject and they are visually what the main point of focus for your image (the head) is sitting upon.

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Go on! You know it is good for you! Let’s have a laugh! This article is about using humor in photography.

This article is not so much Five Handy Tips, as it is more a case of Three Gentle Nudges. Maybe you are like me and can be a bit too serious about your photography. I am suggesting that you let go a little. Even one photograph which makes you smile has got to be worth letting go, relaxing a little. It may be that it is only you who is caused to smile, but I absolutely think that is worth it on its own. Then again, you might make tens, hundreds, even thousands of others smile. That has got to be a good thing, hasn’

8 Tips for Mastering Your Portrait Photography

Becoming a master of portrait photography takes lots of patience and practice. It’s likely there are a few mistakes you are making with your portraits that hold them back from excellence. In this article, I will walk through eight tips to instantly boost your portrait photography game and take it to the next level.

#1 Adapt to the available light

Light is one of the most important elements to keep in mind when taking portraits – specifically how the light looks on your subject’s face. Proper lighting, or lack thereof, can make or break your image. Direct the person you are photographing to turn their head towards the main light source, whether it’s a street lamp or the sun. If you’re having them look towards the sun, tell them to look in a direction that won’t cause them to squint or be unpleasant for them. You don’t want people going blind on your shoot, right?

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Charging people money is scary. Having people I’ve never met ask me to produce something I have metaphorically promised the world I can do at a professional level, that may or may not meet their expectations, is terrifying. There is so much I can’t control – the weather, the mood of everyone involved, my camera suddenly deciding to jam without warning, that nerve condition I Googled last night where something snaps in your eyeball without warning and you go blind in mere seconds. Never mind that every single time I leave my house, I’m pretty sure that I am completely out of any possible creativity, creativity that will never renew itself, and it’s only a matter of time before everyone realizes I’m just a fraud that got lucky for a while.

And that’s on a good day.

Capturing Love:

Posing Ideas for Incredible Couples Photography

Did you know that “nearly 40% of engagements occur between November and February”? Neither did we. Valentine’s Day marks the end of engagement season and since the weather is warming up I put together a gallery of some key poses and tips to prepare you for your next couples photo shoot.

When preparing for a photoshoot, it’s easy to get caught up making sure your gear is good to go and connecting with your clients, but one thing you don’t want to overlook is how to pose your couple. Awkward body language and posing are nearly impossible to fix in post-production.

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Are my skills ready for this?

This should be the most obvious one, but it can also be the most challenging to face. You may know your camera like the back of your hand, but there are a variety of other skills required to pull off a wedding. A large part of the day centers around figuring out logistics, scheduling, and a million other things that have nothing to do with f-stops or shutter speeds.

How to Get Started with Split Color Portrait Lighting

by Blair Bunting

There is a progression that takes place in the journey that is our lighting knowledge. At first it is learning the ways of ambient light (read: I don’t want to buy a flash). As our career progresses we decide to buy our first flash and throw that sucker straight on the camera, only to question why the shadows on faces are gone… along with the artistic merit. Soon after that we discover a site like Strobist and point the flash at the ceiling and realize our first “Eureka” moment as a photographer. From there we buy our first off camera strobes and it is all downhill…