Waging war against winter weather
Whether it's a stressed-out bride or an unrealistic schedule, wedding photographers all know just how challenging it can be shooting the big day. But, throw in the added elements of rainy weather, a cold bride and poor lighting and you're going to need some sharp photography skills and a pretty big bag of tricks to create wedding day photographic magic!
Dean Bentick, from Inlighten Photography, in Sydney, has been shooting weddings, rain, hail or shine, for the past 22 years. Below are his top five tips to turn winter woes into inspiring images.
1 - Look for alternative light sources
Early sunsets mean that you're going to need to get creative with your light sources. Rather than relying on direct camera flash, look for alternative light sources in the environment around you. Car headlights, shop window lighting, lamp posts and street signs can all act as a distinctive and artistic source of light. “In most cases, you've got the headlights of the wedding cars right there,” Bentick says. “Use them to create a glowing light and romantic feel in the photos.”
2 - Don't be afraid of higher ISO settings
Obviously, you're going to need to test and do some practice prints first to see just how far you can push your camera, but don't be afraid to use a higher ISO setting. Although this may create some camera noise, it will still often look more flattering on the couple than direct flash. Plus you can always use Photoshop plug-ins in post production to reduce any ugly noise. And remember, you’re far better off having a noisy, but sharp image over a blurry image!
3 - Carry a set of matching white umbrellas
Not only do they look fantastic in photos, but they also act as a light box, filtering a soft light onto the couple’s faces. Providing even a small service such as this really helps set you apart from your competitors, and shows the couple that you really care about them, as well as creating amazing photos for them. The impact is huge for a relatively small investment. Check out www.weddingumbrellas.com.au for some ideas.
4 - Add a hand-held video light or remote triggered flash to your camera bag essentials
Positioned behind the couple, this light source will create a dramatic silhouette-look that not only highlights them, but also the rain. “Our off camera flash shots are so amazing, we've actually had some couples say they hope it rains on their wedding day!" Bentick say. As you develop your skills, you can get even more creative by building up your exposures. This is achieved by having your camera set on a tripod, then moving around inside the frame during a long exposure, with multiple manual triggering of the flash. If you find yourself without one of these, ask the videographer if you can borrow their video light.
5 - Be flexible in your location selection
A bride may have an iconic beach scene in her mind that she’s wanted all her life, but it simply can't be achieved in 100km/h winds and pouring rain. You need to have the couple’s trust already established prior to the day so that when you suggest an alternative location, they are excited to go along with your plans without delay. A phone call the day, before coverage commences, to start suggest alternatives, should they be needed, will also help the bride feel like her plans aren't being sabotaged at the last minute. Opting for indoor locations, such as a cafe, the foyer of the hotel where the couple are staying, or even arriving early at the reception before the guests and using the room as your backdrop, can produce stunning images that are personal to the couple, plus they won’t risk getting soaked.
For more information
Contact Dean Bentick at www.inlighten.com.au.