So far in our Professional Photographer to the Rescue series we’ve revealed a pro’s tips for music photography and the secret to shooting wild landscapes. This week we meet a professional photographer from one of the more stressful niches you can shoot: wedding photography. Our pro joins an amateur photographer on his first wedding shoot, offering his expert wedding photography tips and insider knowledge on the best equipment to have, posing tips, photo ideas and more.
Our Professional Photographer
James has been a professional photographer for the past 10 years, and has dedicated the last five mostly to weddings. He specialises in documentary, ‘fly-on-the-wall’ style shots. James photographs almost 100 weddings a year!
Gbenga is a crime scene examiner from Hertfordshire who’s enjoyed taking photos as a hobby for the past three years. He’s agreed to photograph his sister’s wedding, but with no wedding photography experience he needs pro tips – fast!
Before they got ready for the wedding shoot, our professional photographer watched carefully as Gbenga set up his DSLR, then suggested a few settings.
Check the histogram
“I shoot in Manual mode indoors and only take one shot at a time rather than bracketing photos,” says James. The histogram is very handy indoors and out, as it’s the only way to guarantee that you have your exposure correct.
“On Gbenga’s 400D, he should press the Disp. button (when in Playback mode) until the image thumbnail and histogram appear. If you start to see the built-in clipping warning flash over the bride’s dress, you know you’re in trouble. Look for a nice, even histogram, without any warning highlights.”
- Learn how to read a histogram
Set a custom white balance
When shooting indoors under dull or tungsten light, it’s essential that you custom-set your white balance to avoid any ugly colour casts on the bride’s dress.
James explains how: “You’ll nearly always need to use a white balance card in a ceremony room, be it a foldaway disc, a piece of white card, or even the bride’s dress if it is pure white.
“You’ll need to take a photo of the white area, making sure it fills the frame, then go into your menu system and select Custom White Balance from the available options. Then select the photo you want to use and press Set. Press the WB button on the back of the camera and scroll to the far right to select Custom.”