If there is one thing that wedding photographers should be quite skilled about in the area of portraiture, it would have to be playing around with angles and understanding the basic principles of distortion. And yes, in case you are wondering, if you would like to become a wedding photographer at some point or so, you will need to be more than well versed in the aspect of taking great looking portrait shots when it all comes down to it.
As a matter of fact, it will be more than safe to say that a huge percentage of the photos that you will end up taking as a professional wedding photographer will turn out to be portrait shots. The common rules of thumb are that shooting at a downward angle can make the subject look vulnerable, smaller and feminine whereas shooting from an upward angle can make the subject look bigger, more authoritative and masculine. Angles from down below can be somewhat unflattering. Distortion is something that you need to look out for especially during a bridal shoot. The person nearest to the camera is usually the one who look the biggest. Just try to keep that in mind all of the time for good measure.
Most wedding photographers will tell you that one trick that seems to work every single time is the aspect of over exposing the photos that they take. This sounds technical but there is actually a pretty simple concept behind that. You simply make the background lighting brighter than usual. You can adjust this through the exposure settings of your camera as well as bring in additional lighting or angle the shot in such a way wherein it will be able to make the most out of the naturally occurring light during that particular moment. Over exposing your portrait shots will make the background somewhat irrelevant and the focus will be more on the features of the subject.
Uniqueness and individuality
A portrait should encapsulate the personality and the individuality of the particular subject that you are trying to capture in your photos. You should now have a blanket approach to portrait photography given the fact that people are unique and interesting and altogether different in their own ways. Find out what makes your subject interesting and unique and try to bank on that. Let this be your guide when it comes to the direction that you need to take for the portrait photo shoot that you are initiating for the subject.
This already goes without saying but it deserves to be mentioned for emphasis anyway. You need to make sure that your portrait shots will be focused on the closeups when it all comes down to it. Bring a macro lens or a telephoto lens along with you so that you will be able to come up with detailed looking closeup shots for your shoot. You need to make sure that every frame is maximized as much as possible because this is the best way to make your portrait shots come out looking striking and impacting.
If you want to be a relatively invisible photographer in Reading during the weddings that you shoot, make it a point to employ commendable acting at some point or so. You don’t have to act as if you are in a spy thriller or anything like that. It does not have to be that extreme at all. As a matter of fact, the main goal for you to go ahead and aim for as much as possible is to opt for something that is somewhat a bit less obvious and a bit low key.
Try to act nonchalant.
Don’t act as if it really is a super big deal for you to shoot the photos. The best way to put it would be for you not to make too much of a show out of it. If you can sneak in your shots without the subjects noticing, then great. If they do catch you in the act (not that it’s a crime or anything, but it does ruin the shot), try to brush it off. Pretend as if you are done with the shot anyway and that you are moving on to a different person, scene, or object. Move or look away and pretend to point your camera someplace else but always keep them in your peripheral line of view as much as possible. This way, you will be well aware if they get distracted again and when your next window of opportunity shows up one way or the other.
Opt for natural light
A photographer in Reading should always opt for natural light as much as possible because it is the most flattering kind of lighting out there. Natural light is the primary choice for most of the professional photographers out there and it can be pretty easy to understand why it is such a staunch favorite when you go ahead and come to think about it. Natural light requires nothing to set up. It is fairly easy to go ahead and manipulate it depending on what kind of perspective or what kind of shot you are aiming for in the first place.
Natural light is broad and soft all on its own.
It means that it requires you very minimal effort to go ahead and check out at the end of the day. You can work in a few techniques and strategies of your own for as far as boosting diffused lighting is concerned. This is something that you can really be creative with for as long as you go ahead and put in the right amount of time and effort for it. You can practice with natural light every single day because you don’t need any special equipment of accessories. For as long as you have your camera and choice of lens, you should be pretty good to go when it all comes down to it.
Minimize your gear.
As a photographer in Reading, you should learn how to go by with only what is necessary during a particular time. Don’t burden yourself with a bunch of stuff that you don’t even need. You don’t have to keep carrying those stuff around with you all of the time. Just carry what you need for now and change the gear up depending on what you might need a little later on.
In order for wedding photographers to be effective in their craft, they need to make it a point to really stay out of the way as much as possible when they are out shooting weddings. Staying out of the way or staying way below the radar can actually turn out to be so much more work than you would actually think. There is a whole science behind that, actually.
Although the fact remains that you will not really be able to perfect all of those things all in one go, it can help a lot if you at least get a few pointers to take note of that can help speed the process of learning up a bit for you. Try to observe what the other wedding photographers are doing during the weddings that you attend as a guest. This should give you a pretty good insight into how they operate and it will guide you and show you how you should do things as well.
Opt to use natural light, if it is possible for you to do so.
Most of the wedding photographers out there will always go for natural light over any other kind of lighting any time of the day and you should make sure that you do so as well. When you use flash photography, you end up startling the people that you are trying to photograph. It’s not something that comes out looking great in the photos that you are able to produce. More than that, it can also be blinding at times. Unless you would like to end up with batch after batch of pictures that have people squinting in them because of the flash, then you might as well proceed to tone it done a little and opt for the more visually engaging natural light.
Candid shots are something that are next to impossible to attain when you are using artificial light.
This is because it can only come off as something that is a little too obvious when you are shooting photos of people. They become a little too aware that they are being photographed. They can’t help it but to react in such a way wherein they attempt to compose themselves or arrange their hair and the like so that they can look good in the pictures. This is particularly true for women in general. Flash photography will give you away whereas natural light can give you the added advantage of not being noticed right of the bat.
Give people a break every now and then as well.
Try to capture objects or any other inanimate features of the wedding venue that may catch your eye one way or the other. Try to have a better look at flower arrangements or place settings or mantelpieces, and so on and so forth. These shots can turn out to look really great in your portfolio and more than that, it can give people a little more time to relax, knowing that they are not being scrutinized by your camera all of the time.
What wedding photographers should prepare for all of the time is the aspect of failing in the beginning. You will not really be able to come in with a bang. There will be so many challenges and so many failures that may come along the way that if you are unable to prepare yourself for it, you may end up being extremely disappointed and frustrated up to a point wherein you will end up quitting for all of the wrong reasons.
The truth of the matter is that wedding photographers will have to go through a lot of things before they will even get a chance to have some modicum of success somewhere along the way and that is something that you should also brace yourself for the moment that you decide to get into this one way or the other.
Not earn a lot at first
In the firs two years or so of your career, you will not really have a lot of clients and you will not earn a lot. You are going to have to find a way to make things sustainable so that you will be able to make it through the tough times one way or the other. During this particularly tough time wherein you don’t really have a lot of people booking you just yet, work on growing your portfolio by shooting personal projects on the side or by offering to assist other more experienced wedding photographers or by taking side jobs.
Take on anything and everything that might help you gain the kind of experience that you need as well as help you grow your portfolio at some point or so. Things will eventually happen for you. There are some unique instances wherein they are able to get the ball rolling the moment that the decide to become wedding photographers but it doesn’t happen to everyone. It is still important for you to make sure that you are able to go ahead and brace yourself for the worst of the worst at the end of the day.
Secure other source of income
And speaking of making things sustainable for you, you should make it a point to secure some other source of income other than what you are expecting to make out of your wedding photography career. Although you will have to wait out your first big break, you need to keep in mind of the fact that when it all comes down to it, your rent as well as the rest of all of your other bills will not. You can do away with all of the pressure as well as with the rest of the other worries that you might have by maintaining a job on the side. Getting a job will really take most of the edge away and more than that, at least you will have something to keep you busy all throughout the time that you don’t really have anything to do just yet. Keeping another job will also ensure that you get to expand your social circles so you have more chances to network.