Wedding photo ideas from our professional photographer
Choose the aperture first
“Kate got me thinking in a completely new way about the exposure settings I was using,” says Viv. “She said you should choose the aperture first as this gives you the all-important look for your portraits. To create a narrow depth of field, I went as wide as my ‘nifty fifty’ prime lens would go, selecting an aperture of f/1.8 in manual mode.
“Kate then told me to choose the ISO as this sets the image quality for the photograph – and she explained that I needed to get used to changing this setting much more frequently than I was used to. The shutter speed was the last thing to check in her exposure triangle.
“This, of course, needed to be fast enough to avoid camera shake, but if it wasn’t I simply had to go back to the ISO and increase it. I love the soft effect this approach to exposure gives to the posed portrait of our bridegroom, Adam, as he leans into the fireplace and turns his head to create a sculpted sidelit pose.”
Making the switch to manual
Kate advocates manual exposure for wedding photography because it is so much easier than keep having to add exposure compensation. Viv has a look at her first efforts in using M mode, to check that the shots look okay.
One approach to posing the men is to make them look strong by posing them like Greek statues, with their feet slightly apart. Here, Viv uses the alternative casual approach to posing, with Adam leaning into the fireplace, and his hands nonchalantly placed in his trouser pockets.
Keeping the groom relaxed
It can be difficult for the bridegroom to look relaxed in wedding pictures. Kate advises enlisting the help of the Best Man to keep him entertained as you shoot.
Look for small details
“As the bride was still having her make-up done, Kate and I concentrated on shooting details of the shoes, headpiece, flowers and the dress,” says Viv.
“Kate encouraged me to move everything to take best advantage of the window light, and to incorporate the furniture and furnishings of Pipewell Hall – the stunning stately home in Northamptonshire that we were using for the shoot. I love the simple elegance of this shot of the velvet shoes and the beautiful bridal bouquet.”
Using window light
“With make-up done, we had time to shoot a bridal portrait,” says Viv. “Kate said that this was a great thing to have in the book, but that you should never promise them as brides often run out of time before the ceremony! We used the soft light from the window for the shot, with a reflector on the right side of Rachel providing some soft fill-in.”
Kate advised that when shooting with a wide aperture that you shouldn’t use the central focus point and the focus lock when focusing on the eyes, as this will lead to a soft shot. Instead, I switched to manually selecting the AF point that was closest to the bride’s face.
Check the direction of light
“I don’t own a fast 70-200mm f/2.8 like the one that Kate likes to use for shots of the couple, but I was able to borrow one for the series of shots that we took in the grounds of Pipewell Hall.
“We had discovered this boat on our walk around the lake at the start of the day and knew it would be great for a romantic shot of the Adam and Rachel. Kate says that you need to recce the location early on the day of the shoot, so that you can be sure that things are unlikely to have changed by the time you take your pictures.
“When you are back at your pre-chosen spots later in the day, Kate showed me how to hold up your hand so you could check the direction of the light, and where the shadows would fall – that was a particularly useful trick on the overcast and chilly spring afternoon that met us as we took photographs around the lake.
PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: Wedding photo ideas from our professional photographer
PAGE 3: FInal wedding photography tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
PAGE 5: Shot of the Day
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