Everybody love to take photographs at weddings so, with this in mind I thought I would compile a few ideas to help guests get great pictures!
The quality of light is one of the most important aspects of photography. In fact I named my business ‘Lightworks Photography’ because I do, literally work with light. Light is my raw material and learning to read and use it is key to creating great images. Always look for directional light, have it coming from one side only for example beside a window, and avoid photographing in direct sunlight if possible. If the sun is out shoot into the light, that means with the light behind the subject, not with the light shining into their eyes and making them squint! On more overcast days cut the top light by photographing under archways, trees or awnings.
Try to use your camera both in landscape and portrait orientation. Turn it round or photograph on a slant to make your images have more variety. So many people just photograph with the camera in lamdscape and at eye level. Move around- look for high and low viewpoints, very rarely is the best picture to be had where you are standing, walk around and try different angles.
On camera flash is horrible!! Always try to avoid using flash – switch it off! It is never very flattering. Try increasing the ISO rating on your camera if possible, using an external flash and bouncing the light of the wall or ceiling or simply taking photographs where there is enough natural light instead.
Get in close. Work out what the subject of your picture is and get in close to avoid any other distracting details. Also abstract images, parts of things can make subtle and atmospheric visual suggestions. Being close to people can give an emotional impact to the image that is otherwise lost.
Try to avoid cluttered backgrounds. If you are photographing a person look for a nice clean background such as a hedge it looks so much better than a row of parked cars! Obvious but a common mistake!
Interact with people! You will probably be photographing people you know or love! Don’t just say “smile” – chat, interact and make them laugh and, if you press the shutter at the right time you will get much more natural and spontaneous pictures.
Upload and share your images on photobucket or a similar site. It’s then so easy to let other people see them. Make a slideshow, use photobox or similar to make a photobook or keyring, mug, jigsaw or tea towel! Try Moo.com and have some mini cards made and make a wedding collage from them! Whatever you do USE the images in a creative way. The main problem with digital photography is that so many images just get forgotten as files on your computer hard drive and never see the light of day.
Composition – we prefer to have the main subjetc of an image away from the middle of the frame. Put it on the “line of the third” – basically divide your viewfinder into thirds horizontally and vertically and put the inportant elements on or close to these lines.
Observe and anticipate – as a guest you will generally be a participant in the proceedings. Try to stand back for a while and simply observe, anticipate what is going to happen next and be in the right place at the right time to get the shot. Try to keep your camera at the ready all the time, not down by your waist but closer to your eye ready to frame and fire!
Finally, please please try not to get in the way of the professional photographer! Please have a chat to us about our work and cameras, lenses and such like but give us a little space to get on with our job!!