Friday, 30 May 2014

Wedding Photography Tips and Techniques

Wedding Photography Tips and Techniques

Link to PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Wedding Photography Tips and Techniques

Posted: 29 May 2014 09:05 PM PDT

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So – you love photography and have been asked by a friend to take pictures at their wedding. Why is it that it seems like every professional photographer will recommend you don't do it? Are they a bit biased? Maybe they don't want to be blamed for encouraging you to take the photos if you make mistakes and ruin the wedding photos. I'm a wedding photographer who realizes every professional started out by photographing a "first wedding" at some point. While I will still recommend you give the couple a monetary gift so they can hire a professional photographer, if you are going to go ahead and do the photography yourself, I want to help you do the best job possible!

"the most romantic photograph ever" captured by Jason Lavengood

“the most romantic photograph ever” captured by Jason Lavengood (Click Image to Find Photographer)

I remember spending more than a hundred hours working HARD to prepare for my first wedding. Learning as much as I could online. Buying wedding photography books. Taking practice photos (indoors and outdoors). Visiting the church and reception site. Taking more practice photos. Begging people (family members, relatives, friends) to pose for me so I could practice arranging…

It is possible for an amateur to successfully photograph a wedding – but you have to be willing to work really, really hard. And be willing to dedicate a lot of time to preparing for the wedding. And make sure the couple knows it is your first wedding so that they have low expectations. Then you can blow them away with your good results!

Learn About Lighting

Do you know how to take well-lit photos in a variety of settings? Can you take nicely-lit photos that primarily use natural light while indoors? Or do you use "blast-flash" on all your subjects?

"Wedding" captured by Samantha Foster

“Wedding” captured by Samantha Foster (Click Image to Find Photographer)

There are three basic settings on the camera that control exposure. Do you know what those three are? If you are a student of photography you should immediately know the three I am referring and you should know how they interact.

1. ISO

Do you know what ISO refers to and what settings work best for various lighting conditions? If you stepped outside for some photos at a wedding, what would you move your ISO to? If you are indoors, what ISO setting will give you a good mixture of quality and light capture? At what ISO setting does your camera begin to take grainy photos? On my Nikon DSLR I will shoot indoors at ISO 400 all day and end up with beautiful, grain-free results. If needed, I can go up to ISO 520 or 640. I try to avoid moving up to ISO 800 or higher – but will do it if needed (there are tons of Photoshop plug-ins, free and paid, that can be used to lessen the grain).

Photo captured by Joe D'Alessandro

Photo captured by Joe D’Alessandro (Click Image to Find Photographer)

2. Shutter Speed

Do you know what shutter speed you can comfortably shoot at without taking blurred photos? The first bit of advice is to hold the camera as still as possible while taking photos. Sounds simple, but it's important! Don't jam the button down; press it gently.

The second bit of advice is to use a tripod whenever possible. I almost always use a tripod during wedding ceremonies that are indoors. Most of the time it is the only way I am able to get natural-lit shots of the wedding ceremony (due to the slow shutter speeds and dim lighting).

The third bit of advice is that, if you can't use a tripod, try to brace yourself on whatever is handy. Lean against a wall. Set the camera on the back of a pew as a stabilizer.

The fourth bit of advice is the industry-wide rule of thumb regarding shutter speeds: you generally shouldn't shoot at a shutter speed "faster" than the zoom of your lens. If you have a 50mm lens (don't forget about digital magnification factors) you would want to shoot at 1/50 or faster. A 200mm zoom would be best shot with 1/200 of a second or faster. But this is why PRACTICE is so important: over the years I have found I can shoot with a slower shutter speed if I am using flash (to find out about my flash lighting techniques, visit my web site which I link to below). I've successfully taken non-blurred images while indoors with extremely dim lighting using ISO 520, f2.8, 1/30 of a second exposure with a 70mm lens and some bounce flash.

3. Aperture

Do you know what aperture setting is best for indoor photos? For outdoor photos? For achieving a blurred-background effect (yes, shooting "wide open" – which means a low-numbered aperture – with a zoom lens is all that is needed)? For having as much of the photo in focus as possible?

Photo captured by Joe D'Alessandro

Photo captured by Joe D’Alessandro (Click Image to Find Photographer)

This is the first in a series of articles that are designed to help amateurs as they prepare to photograph their first wedding. I have a significant amount of additional information on my web site, and also link to other web sites that have information to help you out!

About the Author:
Christopher Maxwell is a photographer in the Kansas City area. He has a web site that includes Wedding Photography Tips for amateurs. He shares practical advice and information that he has learned while photographing weddings.

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Street Photography Tips & Tricks for Traveling Abroad (Video)

Posted: 29 May 2014 05:03 PM PDT

It can be awkward and nerve wracking to become involved in street photography, especially when taking photos of strangers in a foreign setting. Zack Arias, a street and portrait photographer, explores Marrakech, Morocco, with his Fujifilm X-T1. Along the way, he gives advice on how to take street photography and some tips and tricks for avoiding uncomfortable encounters:

1. Be a magician.

Attempt to distract potential candid subjects from your picture-taking by moving their attention away from you. Arias suggests acting like you are taking a picture of a nearby building or monument. When you go to look at the fake photo you've taken, you can take a picture of your real subject without them becoming suspicious. If they do begin to catch on, commit to your sleight of hand even further.

2. Look for framing elements.

Seek out interesting backgrounds or arches to frame your subject. Then, wait by this element as people walk by. Arias also counts the strides of his subjects in order to catch them walking in full stride in just the right place.

framing street photographer walking stride

3. Use Wi-Fi.

To get the camera in close while you stay back, control your camera remotely. With the Fujifilm XT One and some other cameras, you can link the camera to your smartphone. On your phone screen, not only can you see a live view of the camera and take photos, but you can change the ISO and exposure settings, as well. If a smartphone connection is not an option, you can still take photos nonchalantly with a remote—you’ll just need to pre-focus.


4. Go local.

When traveling abroad, hire a local to help you get around, gain access to more exclusive areas, and communicate in the native language. Though you may have to pay them, they will save you money in the long run with their knowledge of the area and connections.

local zack arias morocco

5. Make new friends through photos.

Arias often gives his subjects Instax photos using one of the Fujifilm Instax Mini cameras. These mementos not only break the tension between photographer and subject, but they give the recipients a way to remember the photographer, too.


"The thing I love the most about photography and the most about my life right now is that these little cameras are my passport, and right now they are my passport to the world."

Go to full article: Street Photography Tips & Tricks for Traveling Abroad (Video)

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Utah High School Photoshops Yearbook Photos to Cover Girls’ Bare Skin Without Permission

Posted: 29 May 2014 03:15 PM PDT

Wasatch High School in Heber City, Utah has drawn the attention of national news agencies after it Photoshopped sleeves and high necklines into some female students’ yearbook photos without telling the students or their parents they were doing so. The school argues the girls did not adhere to dress codes and their photos were too racy to be used in the yearbook, leaving the school no choice but to edit the images before printing. You can listen to the full story here:

While most of the students understand that they did not strictly comply with the dress code, they say they were never told to change their clothing before the shoot, nor were they asked to resubmit images in which they were wearing clothing that was deemed more appropriate by school officials. Instead, they were met with great surprise when the yearbooks were released; they discovered the questionable Photoshopping of additional clothing into their photographs.

The major complaint by the students is the inconsistency with which the school edited images. Where some students had sleeves or higher necklines added to their portraits, other students wearing similar style clothing had nothing done to their portraits. In one case, one student wearing the same shirt as another student had her photo altered while the other student’s portrait was left untouched.


Sleeves were added to many girls’ photos.


Raised necklines were Photoshopped into some students’ photos.

The school apologized publicly to the students regarding the fact that some of the portraits of students in violation of the dress code were edited, while others were not. But the school is standing by its decision to Photoshop the portraits. The school says there was a sign posted during the portrait session informing the students the images may be altered if deemed necessary:

“It was a large enough sign that other people clearly remember seeing it, and certainly it should have gotten their attention that it was a possibility. We only apologize in the sense that we want to be more consistent with what it is we are trying to do,” says superintendent Terry Shoemaker.

The school’s dress code cites tank tops, short cut skirts, shorts, and dresses among other items of clothing as being extreme and does not permit the students to wear such items to school.

Go to full article: Utah High School Photoshops Yearbook Photos to Cover Girls’ Bare Skin Without Permission

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

Photographers Take a Pygmy Hedgehog on Adventures Around the World (Album)

Posted: 29 May 2014 12:37 PM PDT

He's every photographer’s dream subject: photogenic, relaxed, and without objection. He's also exceptionally easy to transport from shoot to shoot. Meet Biddy, the extremely well-traveled three-year-old African Pygmy Hedgehog. Photographers Thomas and Toni bring their little ball of prickly-awesomeness on adventures exciting enough for humans and hedgehogs alike, while documenting it with the cutest travel pictures you’ve ever seen:

Biddy and his human parents live in Oregon, and their well-photographed travels take them to mountains, beaches, donut shops, and waterfalls all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Go to full article: Photographers Take a Pygmy Hedgehog on Adventures Around the World (Album)

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How to Keep Your Light Stands from Falling Over in the Wind (Video)

Posted: 29 May 2014 11:43 AM PDT

One good gust of wind and your expensive lights could hit the ground resulting in breakage and broken hearts. This scenario can be avoided, however, by using this quick little pro tip as shared by Enlight Photo:

The trick, which helps to justify over-packing your camera bag as we all like to do, is a simple fix to a potentially major problem. By simply tying the light stand to his camera bag, the light stand is much more secure due to being weighed down by the bag.


A few simple tools can make your light stands windproof.

light stand setup

A cord and an easy knot help hold down your light stand.


A simple solution for keeping your light stands upright!

Use bongo ties or a couple loops of paracord to keep on your light stand and camera bag so you are always prepared and don’t need to go through the initial hassle of having to tie up your gear every time you use it. Simple!

Go to full article: How to Keep Your Light Stands from Falling Over in the Wind (Video)

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Article from: PictureCorrect Photography Tips

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