Learn to capture stunning and memorable wedding photographs
You only get one chance to photograph a couple?s dream wedding, and this complete resource is an essential addition to any aspiring or current wedding photographer?s shelf. From brightly lit outdoor weddings to poorly lit evening ceremonies, internationally renowned wedding photographer Kenny Kim offers unparalleled advice for working with clients, choosing the right equipment, composing beautiful images, helping your subjects with posing, and much more. Assignments at the end of every chapter encourage you to practice your skills and upload your photos to Photoworkshop.com to share your images and benefit from constructive critiques.
- Offers a strong understanding of photography?s fundamentals and explains how they are crucial to capturing memorable wedding images
- Escorts you through techniques for handling challenges with contrast, lighting, action, posing, etc.
- Shares insider advice on business basics, post-production editing, composition, and much more
- Covers lighting and exposure techniques for bright, normal, and low-light situations, which are common in the world of wedding photography
Digital Wedding Photography Photo Workshop presents stunning photography and inspiration for all levels of wedding photographers.
From the Author: Capturing Stunning Wedding Photos
Turn off the flash!
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Often times we are focused on creating that perfectly exposed photo. But next time you are in a location where there is high contrast of light between the foreground (your subject) and the background, try silhouetting your subject for a change. Instead of reading the light meter off the bride and groom, point your camera to the background and record the light meter in the sky (This is best achieved when shooting in manual mode on your camera). Then compose your image the way you want and make sure that the subject is in focus. The end result is a beautiful subject silhouetted by the radiant sky in the background.
Shot specification: Canon Mark 1d III / 2.8 1/60sec. ISO 1600 /WB: Auto / Canon L 16-35mm f2.8 lens zoomed to 18mm.
(Image 1) Lights First. Shoot Second.
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As photographers, we are visually stimulated by pretty landscapes. When we go on a photo shoot with a couple, we often make the mistake of seeking out attractive or beautiful backgrounds to place our subjects in. While that is important, it is far more essential that we look for good source of light. No matter how great the location is, if there is not a good quality of light, even the most expensive camera will not capture a beautiful photo. In this photo, we are inside of a beautiful mansion in England. However, the house was not evenly lit. But I found a good source of natural light coming in to the house through a lightly tinted stained glass window. So I placed my subject there and posed them in an intimate way to capture this image. You may not always find a good source of natural light – but if you do, use it!
Shot specification: Canon Mark 1d IV / 3.5 1/60sec. ISO 1600 /WB: 4000K / Canon L 24-70mm f2.8 lens zoomed to 62mm.
(Image 2) Go For Emotion.
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We as human are drawn to emotion. When we look at this photo, we are immediately attracted to this image by the natural smiles coming from this couple. It is such a strong visual element that you might even forget that there is a dumpster behind them. We as photographers are not only commissioned to take pictures. We have a big role in making our clients feeling comfortable in front of the camera so that they can be themselves. Only then can we get them to show their inner beauty outwardly.
Shot specification: Canon Mark 1d IV / 2.8 1/60sec. ISO 400 /WB: 5200K / Canon L 70-200mm f2.8 lens zoomed to 130mm.
(Image 3) Wedding versus Sports Photography
Before I got into photographing weddings, I learned a great deal about the subject of wedding photography by shooting sports. It was never my intention in the beginning to be a wedding photographer. I got into photography because I loved sports and photography gave me the opportunity to be close to the action. But during my brief stint of trying to become a sports photographer, I was subconsciously teaching myself to be a better wedding photographer. While the subjects are completely different, there are many similarities between the two professions that parallel to each other.
In sports, everything happens in a blink of an eye. Athletes are trained to make split second decisions during competition. There is no time for thinking – only reacting. If you do not understand the fundamentals and the basics of the sports you are photographing, there is a good chance that you will miss out on all the important moments. To be a better tennis photographer, I had to learn how the game was played. I did this by observing the players during practice – the routines that they went through to perfecting their craft. These professional athletes will go through rigorous training and repetitive motion to train their body to react a certain way during game time. When that tennis ball is coming at you at 100+ mph, you have less than 1/100 second to make a decision whether to hit it with your backhand or forehand, slice the ball or swing through it. You do not have the time to decide whether or not your tennis grip is in the right position or if you are standing with a proper stance to hit the ideal forehand shot. Your body automatically has to be in that position so that the only thing you have to worry about is making sure that you place the ball in the opponent’s side of the court in a way that will favor you to win that point.
It is the same thing with wedding photography. During the ceremony, everything happens only once. Whether it is the ring exchange, the first kiss, or even the tears that are shed by the bride or the groom. It is once in a lifetime opportunity and it has to be captured as it happens. Everything happens so quickly that if you are not prepared, it can be overwhelming. You do not have time to think about what white balance, ISO or shutter speed your camera has to be at to take that perfect photo. But you can remember/practice them before the ceremony starts so that no matter where you are during that ceremony, you will know exactly what settings to be at. Just like sports, you don’t have time to think – only to react.
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This is one of the reasons why I enjoy attending wedding rehearsals. It allows me to sit back and observe how the ceremony is going to conduct on the wedding day. This eliminates and surprises that might happen. For example, at this particular wedding, I noticed that the father of the bride had that cheerful contagious smile. Every time he walked his daughter to the altar, he glanced at her and smiled. So I made a mental note to be in the same spot during the ceremony next day. (Image 4)
I also learned at the rehearsal that the church was very strict on where photographers are allowed during the ceremony. So I introduced myself politely to the church coordinator and let her know that I was on her side and that I respect all the rules of their church. I also showed her the image I captured on the display of my camera and mentioned to her that it would be great to capture the same image during the ceremony. She informed me that normally I was not allowed to be in that spot to capture an image like this. Then she leaned and whispered to me that if I do it discretely, that I can go up during that part of the ceremony and capture this moment.
As a result, on the day of the ceremony, I winked at the coordinator and quietly positioned myself in that spot to capture the moment of the father giving the bride away. I had my camera settings memorized from the rehearsal. I was a bit disappointed when he did not smile at his daughter as big as he did during the rehearsal. But he did something different that I was able to capture because I positioned myself to be there. He kissed his daughter’s hand before giving her away. (Image 5)
I also captured a moment, which I did not anticipate. The groom leaned over to the side and gazed at his stunningly beautiful wife-to-be and gave her a big smile. (Image 6)
All of these simultaneous moments happened in about three to five seconds. If you were not positioned in the right spot, you probably would have missed everything. These are emotions that you cannot duplicate and the clients are very appreciative that you captured them. By studying your subjects ahead of time, you are positing yourself to win. Whether its that next point or the “Kodak” moment, we can increase our chances of winning by practicing ahead of time.
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