The Basics

Good photography requires an examination of the over all graphic, consideration of the background, the light­ing on the body, the lighting on the face, and the animation and styling of the subject.

When shooting rapidly in a wedding it is useful to have a hierarchy of decision making points, as good wedding photography occurs when the photographer is able to integrate a large number of variables, some controlled and some not, within a very short time frame.

The Art of wedding photography

Good wedding photography is not just an art, it is a process of optimisation, firstly attending to what is most possible and what is most important, and then loading on the next and the next variable to drive the shot as far as possible. All of this is done while capturing truthful and beautiful moments, or while encouraging more truth and beauty in those times where they may be in short supply!

It is a wedding photographers job to be flexible enough to organize formal shots while at the same time be ready to capture the can did and natural shots which are often the favorites in wed ding albums.

The process

The subject must be placed and modeled.

Then, lens length and shooting distance should be selected, for best shape of face and body.

When photographing with a mix of ambient and flash light, the light on the body is the first consideration since this is often the largest light — this is to create or minimise body shape — then the light on the face must be attended to. This last line itself needs a chapter or two for a studio portrait but in the wedding situation attend­ing to light on the face more often then not it is simply ask ing that their face is positioned/pointed such that it has nice light. Finally other sources of light may be introduced such as fill or bounce flash.

If the subject is to be lit primarily with flash then again the firstly main light ing must be chosen to flatter the fig­ure or face shape, and then second ary light sources added or allowed to into the shot, such as off camera back light or a window light, or fill, when the off camera flash is the main light.

The next stage is the area of photographic technique, where we want the appropriate depth of field, aper ture, and exposure. A lens is chosen to produce the desired effect in terms of focal length and depth of field. In gen­eral, for wedding photography, good exposure is taken from the face, with face in zone five.

Animation of the subject is next, either through discussion, walking, playing, depending on what the subject is able to do within the limitations of the context. In the end, it is the emotional content of the image, established through the use of light, tones, back ground and animation (emotion in face and body) that gives the image the quality that we want. the emo tion might come from the facial expression, or the back ground, but it is in between these elements that good wedding photography comes about. If the sub ject is not animated then the composition must be dynamic.

This is the over all and general technique we follow at Serendipity for photography. Be it indoors or outdoors, regardless of whether it is in a bedroom or on a seaside, there will be this same hierarchy of concerns.

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