What’s Behind the Perfect Wedding Photo?
by Nicola Cox – October 12th, 2017
Getting the Perfect Wedding Photo
Making a good wedding photo is important. And being a wedding photographer is one of the most difficult jobs you can have. Unlike a studio-based job, you just never know what you are going to face on the day – whether that is the weather conditions or dealing with a logistical issue – you are working ad hoc. It requires a mix of technical skill, people skills, flexibility and the ability to keep a cool head.
The most important thing is to make sure that the lighting is correct, regardless of the weather conditions. The best way to light the subject is usually from behind, but this does have its challenges. Understanding lighting is the most important thing of all as this is your starting point during a wedding shoot.
Second, you have to pose the bride to make her look even more beautiful than she already is in her wedding finery. It’s important to ensure that there are no awkward angles that don’t suit their body shape. Choosing the right lens and thinking about how you are going to compose a wedding photo are also critical. And try not to cut the feet out of a full length shot as this can create an unfinished final look.
Perfect Color for the Perfect Wedding Photo
You also need to make sure your final images are as precise as possible. Using a colour card means that when you start to manipulate your images, you know that you’re getting the most accurate results. I use the X-Rite ColorChecker Classic card every time. ColorChecker Classic is very useful for ensuring you can replicate the exact shade and tone of the colour scheme. Otherwise, you might not get the shade of bridesmaids’ dresses right in the final images when you get back to base. Therefore, every time I change my location, I take a few minutes to capture the colour card in different light conditions.
Plan for the Perfect Wedding Photo
Do a location visit beforehand so you have some idea of what you are going to be faced with. You will also need to allow time to work around the other suppliers (drivers, caterers, etc.). You don’t want to make the bride and groom late for the meal to capture your prefect wedding photo. Nor do you want to keep them away from their guests for a long period of time. Having an outline of how the day is going to run will help you to plan the time more effectively.
Even if you haven’t got the wedding photographs you wanted to take, don’t delay the bride and groom, you can always recreate the set-up later in the day. Rather than taking hours’ worth of photographs, I try to pick out three 15-minute segments through the day. This keeps a balance between getting the shots you need and allowing the wedding party to still make the most of the day.
Finally, be nice to people. Don’t try to railroad the bride into a particular shot. By all means try to persuade her, but if she really doesn’t want to do something, then respect that. Try to get your signature pictures in, but don’t be desperate to get that award-winning shot by dragging the bride and groom all over the countryside.
In a nutshell, pre-plan your wedding photos as much as possible, while still being flexible enough to deal with what unfolds. This way you can do the best job on the day.
Kevin Wilson is an X-Rite Coloratti, specialising in portrait and wedding photography, based in Wimborne, Dorset UK.
He has been a photographer for 25 years. Kevin Wilson holds Fellowships in both Wedding & Portraiture of both the Master Photographers Association & British Institute of Professional Photography. This is totally unique to Kevin. He also has a Fellowship with the Royal Photographic Society.
Kevin has also won many awards for his photography, including Master Photographer of the year for the MPA. He has also been Kodak UK photographer of the year on no less than 5 times. Holding 17 Kodak European Gold Awards. He is now the President of the British Institute of Professional Photography and also has six fellowships with them, including an Honorary one.