Saturday, 7 December 2013

The Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Photography

The Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Photography

Link to PictureCorrect Photography Tips

The Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Photography

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 04:47 PM PST

As long as there are weddings, there will be a demand for wedding photographers. For the right person, it can be a highly profitable business; couples and families will pay top dollar to ensure that their special day is well-documented. However, shooting a wedding involves a lot more than just showing up with a camera. Here are some do’s and don’ts (or rather, one major DON’T and a few do’s) inspired by this video (for those of you reading this by email, the video can be seen here):

1. DON’T distract from the wedding.
When watching the above video, it’s difficult to focus on the bride and groom, not the photographers. Now imagine being a guest at the wedding: you are there for your friend or relative on one of the most important days of their lives, but can’t focus on the ceremony because of the photographer’s distracting tactics. Remember: it’s not about you, it’s about the couple and their guests. The following do’s are the keys to getting great shots without getting everyone’s attention.

2. DO look presentable.
A good rule of thumb is to imagine how you would dress for the wedding of someone with whom you are acquainted, but not close friends. You want to look polished and blend in– don’t draw attention by being overly casual OR overly formal.

3. DO pay close attention.
Wedding photography can easily be compared to sports photography: timing is everything, and there are crucial shots that you’ll only have one chance to get. Be aware of when key moments are about to happen (the first time the groom sees the bride, the exchanging of rings, and of course, the kiss), and shoot as many frames in those moments as you can. If there is a program for the ceremony, look over it closely. The better your timing, the less noticeable you will be.

4. DO use flash sparingly.
The bride and groom want to feel like they’re sharing a special moment with each other and their loved ones, not speaking at a press conference– not to mention that it’s always best to shoot in natural light when possible. Keep an eye on your settings and use automatic bracketing to make sure you get the correct exposure, and save the flash for when it’s absolutely necessary.

This photographer is violating just about every rule in this article!

This photographer is violating just about every rule in this article!

5. DO invest in the right equipment.
Close-up images are often the most powerful and memorable ones. To get that great shot of the groom slipping the ring on the bride’s finger without getting up close and personal, you’re going to need a telephoto lens. Having a good one on hand will also give you a tremendous range when you really need to stand back (for example, in the back of a large church).

Keep these tips (and your clients’ satisfaction) in mind, and there’s no reason you can’t find success as a wedding photographer!

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Business Tips From a Successful Wedding Photographer

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 01:24 PM PST

If you’re trying to get into the world of wedding photography, you’ll soon learn that there’s more to it than showing up at the ceremony with a camera in hand. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes to get those amazing photos and happy clients. In this full-length seminar, Brian Marcus of Fred Marcus Studio in New York shares his tips for running a successful wedding photography business (for those of you reading this by email, the seminar can be seen here):

Photographers like Brian Marcus make wedding photography look easy, but nothing is as easy as it seems. There will always be ups and downs, mistakes and successes in building a business. The Fred Marcus Studio has been in business for three generations, and they’ve learned from each failure along the way. According to Marcus, these are some of the fundamentals behind successful wedding photography:

Personalize Your Services

  • Learn names. Make a list of the most important people (parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc.) if you can’t remember.
  • Share stories about satisfied past clients and emphasize how hard you work for each customer. Customers want to know what benefits they will get from your business.
  • Do what it takes to keep the couple happy. This means you let them tell you what they want.
  • Show albums and other product samples that the couple can relate to. If they’re planning a beach wedding, show them a similar wedding. If the bride has brown hair, show photos of brides with brown hair. Your clients want to see themselves in your work.
  • Show your interest and get specifics. Ask questions about the wedding and schedule to get to know exactly what the couple needs from you.


Communicate with Clients

  • On first contact, ask how they heard about you. This helps you learn where your clients are coming from and if they’ve been referred by a previous client.
  • Make an appointment for an initial meeting with the bride and groom. At this meeting, you’ll get to know more about the couple and their wedding plans, and the couple will get a chance to become comfortable with the photographer.
  • Gaining your clients’ trust is more important than the photos you show them. They want to know you will make sure they have beautiful photographs.

Know Your Craft

  • Learn simple guiding and posing for portraits. The average person doesn’t know what to do in front of the camera. It’s up to you to make them look good.
  • Practice. Hire a model or do a shoot for a friend for free and give them the images. Pretend it’s a bride and become comfortable with setting up shots and interacting with a client.

Be Efficient

  • Have a plan and a shot list for the wedding. The shot list should include any special shots the clients want.
  • Know and use the right equipment so you can take less time to take the pictures.
  • Use your time wisely. While you wait for everyone to get comfortable during the pre-wedding happenings, start photographing the details. Ask for shoes, rings, and other symbolic objects.


Be Professional

  • Make a good first impression.
  • Wear clothing that reflects your level of service. Your business cards, camera bag, and other gear should also fit with your branding.
  • Use a meeting space that shows you are a high-end photographer.
  • Hire professional assistants who dress well and are personable. Make sure they represent you well.
  • Stay organized. Back up all photos, make clients’ files easy to find, and have all paperwork in order.

Choose Quality

  • Use a great printer. Shop around to find the best products.
  • Display high-quality prints and albums in your studio or office. You sell what you show.
  • Use quality accessories. For memory cards, Marcus recommends Lexar XQD cards. You need the best performance out of your gear to ensure photos do not get lost and your equipment does not fail during the wedding.

Invest in Camera Gear


Provide Great Customer Service

  • Take care of your customers better than the competition takes care of them.
  • Respond to emails right away, and return phone calls within 24 hours.
  • Cater to your clients. Work with their schedules. For example, let them meet you when it’s most convenient for them. This might mean you will have to work in the evening when they’re not at work.
  • Keep in contact with clients. If you treat them well and keep in touch, they will come back with births, bar mitzvahs, and other life events that they want photographed.


Brian Marcus is confident and professional, and his clients see the quality that his studio offers. Follow his advice to keep your wedding photography business running smoothly.

“Don’t just take pictures; make sure they look good.”

Go to full article: Business Tips From a Successful Wedding Photographer

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

How to Take Architectural Photography at Twilight

Posted: 06 Dec 2013 11:51 AM PST

When it comes to ambient lighting, daytime photography provides great light for clear, crisp images. But, what about that off time when the sun is going down and casting shadows and darkness on your scene? Architectural and interiors photographer, Mike Kelley, goes through his process to create the perfect, beautiful image at twilight in this video (for those of you reading this by email, the video tutorial can be seen here):

Known for light painting compositions, Kelley takes a base exposure, adds different lighting and effects, including sky replacement and Photoshop curves and levels to create a multi-layered painting that is beautiful and striking.

In this video, he goes on location in Phoenix, Arizona to shoot the patio of a modern house for a custom home builder.

I’m going to focus on one of the most important shots you’ll need to take for any client in this genre and that would be the twilight exterior shot.

As it gets darker outside, ambient light levels fall and artificial light levels come up, which creates a serious element of pre-visualization when shooting at twilight. So after you’ve set the camera and angle, you need to decide how you want to light the whole scene to tie in all the features of the final image.

In order to blend our flash with the ambient light and the artificial light, we have about a five minute window where everything is going to be in the same ballpark exposure-wise.

For this shoot, Kelley explains how to make the lights on the house not look too bright, but also not to appear blown out, by adding a flash and capturing the dwindling ambient light to provide the best possible lighting for the whole scene.

Tips for shooting at twilight:

  • If you shoot too late, the artificial lights are going to be way too bright and the ambient light is going to be way too dark.
  • If you shoot too early, the artificial lights will be too dark and there will be too much sunlight getting in the way of your flashes.
  • To find the five minute window, wait until it looks like the exposure of the house lights and the ambient light are at about the same level.
  • The shutter speed, ISO and aperture should meter the same.

twilight photo

Since Kelley is often 15 to 100 feet away from the camera while shooting, he doesn’t want to keep running back to the camera to look at the shot and make sure he got the lighting he needed, so he uses a CamRanger and iPad. From the iPad, he can adjust the picture and change camera settings, including ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, without having to go back to the camera to double-check.

So to make sure that each shot is perfectly aligned, he always starts out with the sturdiest tripod. He uses Canon Tilt Shift Lenses, and he admits he frequently uses a Canon 17-40mm L.

To light the different areas of the scene, he uses a flash on a stick with 1/4 CTO gel. The flash is a 430EX II on a monopod with a Pocketwizard FlexTT5 triggered to a mini TT1 on the camera.

He uses a Pocketwizard Plus III with a remote trigger to the camera. The Plus III triggers the shutter, at which point the camera records the ambient light, the artificial house light and the flash light all at the same time.

Kelley takes his base image, the image from which everything is going to be built upon, and works from there. In this shot, there are a few dark areas so, instead of setting up multiple lights around the scene, he takes a speed light and walks around to add light, taking new photos with every lighting embellishment.

In the video, he takes us through the Photoshop steps, adding pops and highlights, including lighting the fireplace, TV, table and chairs, fixing the sky, and adding curves, contract, hue and saturation, and so on. He shows us how he combines all the images to create a final retouched, stunning image.

architecture photo

My goal isn’t so much to photograph it the way the camera sees it, but what I want to do with my photographs is create an emotion and I want to photograph it the way you feel it.

Go to full article: How to Take Architectural Photography at Twilight

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

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