19 pro tips for capturing amazing wedding images
We quizzed the judging panel of Australasia's Top Wedding Photographers, presented by Sony, to get their top tips on how to capture and produce the most compelling and engaging wedding images. Below they share a whole host of precious pearls of wisdom. Some of the tips they share might just help you submit something that takes out top honours!
This years marks the second time we've run Australasia's Top Wedding Photographers, presented by Sony. The competition again is searching from the most talented wedding photographers in Australia and New Zealand, and offers a prize pool of $17,000, including $7,000 cash. There are two categories to enter: Single Shot and Portfolio.
Thinking of entering Australasia's Top Wedding Photographers? You'd better hurry as special early bird pricing ends after 24 July.
1. My favourite wedding images are never the ones that follow the trends. They are rarely perfectly lit, or perfectly composed, or even perfectly executed. My favourite photos are the ones that make me feel something and evoke something in me, reminding me of that emotion. It will give me goosebumps or stop me from scrolling. My favourite images remind me that life is fleeting, that these split-second moments are everything, and that it is an honour to be able to capture them, and hold them forever. – Jennifer Moher
2. Know your gear. Take the time to read the manual (as boring as it may be) and familiarise yourself with your camera and all of its functions. In the event that your camera malfunctions or you accidentally press the wrong button, the last thing you want to be doing is fiddling around with your camera trying to figure out what you've done. Trust me, I've been there! – The Kitcheners
3. Take some risks: don’t shoot whatever feels safe. Make mistakes. Don’t settle. That’s the only way to create something unique and tap into the wonder. – Cinzia Bruschini
4. Strive for consistency. Consistency in your approach, your storytelling, and the finishing of your images. This will help to identify a defined style for yourself.– Sanjay Jogia
5. So much of being a photographer is making people comfortable, and once you get into that groove together – that's when the real magic can come through. You don't have to stress so much about getting the perfect shot, and they don't have to stress so much about appearing a certain way. This is where meaningful images are created. – India Earl
6. Moments and emotion first; light and composition second. Leave the trends alone. The more you practise this, the more all three of these elements will tie together. – Jennifer Moher
7. Plan, plan, plan! The wedding day can move quickly so having some ideas and a plan in mind can help you approach the day with more confidence. For instance, scout the venue/s, map out some locations for the portrait shoot, and have a backup plan in the event of wet weather. – The Kitcheners
8. Being a wedding photographer, in some part, is the idea of shooting the expected but delivering the unexpected. Shooting a wedding is very different from other forms of photography due to the sentiment involved. It transcends purely documenting what happened. Any photographer can go in and shoot the expected. But it takes a special mindset to anticipate sweet moments, and it's a privilege to be trusted to capture them visually. – Luke and David Edmonson
9. Show connection – you are telling a story of people in love. Show them connected with hands, bodies, expression, and the like. I see a lot of beautiful images that are lacking connection and it ruins the entire image. – Sal Cincotta
10. When I'm shooting, the couple is my main focus. Not my gear, not my settings, not composition or making photos for my portfolio's sake. I'm focusing on being present with them, because when you can be present with them you can truly connect and see them for who they are and what their relationship is. – India Earl
11. Sometimes a split second of time can mean the difference between a good photo and a great photo! For certain situations, try and fire off multiple frames per second to make sure you don’t miss that perfect moment or expression. – The Kitcheners
12. Strive to shoot weddings with the skill of a master along with the empathy of a saint? To accomplish that, try to view a wedding day through the eyes of their loved ones, be it their mother, father, sibling, or friend. So, at any particular moment, you might try to think about what different people are seeing or experiencing and what is most important to them? It mainly comes down to having empathy and shooting not only through our eyes, but from our hearts. – Luke and David Edmonson
13. Minimize your gear where possible. Take a maximum of three lenses and stick to only using those so you can be more focused on being present than what focal length you're shooting on. I shoot with two cameras consistently on a harness so I don't have to waste time messing with my gear. – India Earl
14. Don’t fall into the ‘preview trap’. Take your time to review the pictures you took – all of them. Dig deep and find the right path through your images. It doesn’t take hours, it takes days. This is one of the most important stages of the job. If you go for the quick and shareable, you’ll end up with images without personality. – Cinzia Bruschini
15. Focuses on guiding families to envision that the memories we’re capturing will last for lifetimes, and let them know that it’s okay to feel and express their emotions and not to let our presence interfere with those genuine moments. – Luke and David Edmonson
16. Pay attention to details. This is where I see a lot of photographers miss the mark. Hands, arms, legs are super important to a well-produced image. – Sal Cincotta
17. Really understand who’s in front of the camera: don’t force your view on weddings to your clients. Try to understand what the day means to them instead. Then, and only then, tell the story through your lens. – Cinzia Bruschini
18. Try to balance your images by encompassing emotion along with demonstrating technical prowess and a well-thought-out concept.– Sanjay Jogia
19. Composition is crucial. You have to learn to see past the couple and start looking at what’s going on around them – leading lines, architecture, trees, etc. – Sal Cincotta
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