Tag Archives: photography tips

Wedding tips- do your homework

Do your homework before you schedule a consultation with any potential photographer for your wedding. Take the time to really think about what you want from your photographer and what sort of images you love to look at. Are you drawn to a particular style of photography? Do you love big bold color and highly posed images or do you like a more soft and natural photograph? Flip through wedding and fashion magazines to get inspired. Spend an afternoon or a week poking around blogs and websites of the wedding photographers in your area. There are many different kinds of photographers out there each with their own style and expertise. The more educated you are the easier it is going to be to narrow the field and find just the right person to document your wedding. If you go into the consultation having thoroughly researched the photographer ahead of time I guarantee you will have a much more productive meeting. It is exciting when you find that person you know you can trust to tell the story your wedding.

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Tips for taking better photos

This past weekend I had the honor of speaking in front of my friends and colleagues during Arizona’s Association of Bridal Consultants state meeting. I wanted to talk about something that non photographers, bridal consultants or anyone would find useful in their own personal life and business. My topic was tips on how to take better photographs. Most of the tips I give can be applied to point and shoot cameras, the key is to really take the time to think about light and composition.

Think about your background
Look at the photograph as a whole when composing your image. Notice ugly and distracting elements behind the subject. If you see a trash can or a palm tree sticking out of the subject’s head you can often easily change the camera angle to eliminate the clutter. Solid colors such as a curtain or blue sky make for a cleaner less distracting background.

Move away from the middle
Take a minute to think about framing the subject in the viewfinder. Often a photograph can be more dynamic when the main subject of your photograph is off to one side rather than always in the middle of the frame.

Take vertical pictures
By simply turning your camera you can change the framing and emphasis. Try taking the same picture both horizontally and vertically to see which way you think looks best.

Use natural light whenever possible/ turn your flash off
Look at where the light is hitting your subject while composing your photograph to find the best camera angle.  Cloudy overcast weather is often better than bright sun because you won’t have as many dark shadows. Remember to use the available light to your advantage such as birthday cake candles or DJ lights. Using the natural ambient light can create more of a mood in a photograph. Window light also makes for beautiful pictures.

Get low
When approaching the subject you want to photograph try shooting the picture from a couple different angels. If you are taking a picture of a floral centerpiece try shooting the picture from the guests eye view. A lot of times just by bending your knees you will see a whole different picture.

Turn your pictures black and white
I am assuming most of you are using digital cameras this makes it possible to easily turn any picture from color to black and white. The advantage of black and white images is that when you eliminate color the focus of the image turns to it’s content. Black and white has a classic and timeless look.

Frame your subject
Use elements such as interesting architecture, fountains, Christmas lights, trees etc., to frame the subject. Using these elements can enhance the subject and elevate the frame.

Take time to set up your shot
Don’t be in a rush when taking a picture. Take your time, it might take you a minute to find that perfect angle and lighting combination that will help you best capture your subject. You should also think about getting extremely close to the subject or far away to create the best picture possible.

Anticipate the moment
Get into position when you know a photograph is going to happen. There are certain events during a wedding or party that are predictable so if you want to capture the moment make sure you are in the right place at the right time.

Try selectively focusing
Pick a point in your frame and only allow that one point to be in focus. This technique creates emphasis and a singular focal point. By choosing only one area to be in focus you are telling the viewer what is the most important part of your picture.

Get your flash off the camera
If you have the capability use a handheld flash to create shadows and highlights in interesting places other than directly in front of the lens.

Take a risk
Try a crazy angle or play with your flash settings. You never know what it possible until you take a chance. You might even end up creating a little magic.

Make sure your batteries are charged!
The night before you are going to be using your camera whether to document a wedding you have planned or simply a family gathering, remember to charge your batteries. All your new skills won’t be worth much if you don’t have a functioning camera.

Have fun!