Reportage wedding photography: pro tips for achieving a modern look

Reportage wedding photography: professional tips for achieving a modern look

In our latest Professional Photographer to the Rescue post, one of the UK’s top wedding photographers, Brett Harkness, shares his best tips for shooting reportage wedding photography.

Reportage wedding photography: professional tips for achieving a modern look

Meet our professional photographer

Manchester-based Brett Harkness is one of the UK’s top wedding and portrait photographers. He’s been taking pictures for more than 20 years, and shoots around 15 big weddings a year. Brett runs wedding portrait workshops, and has produced two wedding photography training DVDs. For more information, and to see Brett’s portfolio, visit

Meet our apprentice

Yasmine Ellis is a Fire Services Teacher from Devizes in Wiltshire, and she’s been taking pictures for 15 years. Yasmine has already shot a few  weddings, and she wants to improve her skills with a view to one day becoming a professional wedding photographer.

Technique Assessment

Yasmine has a good eye for a shot, but she needed a few pointers to help her get the best from her 5D Mark II

Reportage wedding photography tips: use P mode

P is for Professional!
“I often joke that the P shooting setting is for Professional!” says Brett. “I shoot mostly in Program mode for weddings, then adjust my exposure compensation up or down to brighten or darken shots. I find that P mode and the Evaluative metering mode work well together to deliver good exposures. I’ll only switch to Aperture Priority mode when using my 50mm lens, as then I want to boss the aperture, and Manual mode for shooting with flash.”


Reportage wedding photography tips: raw vs JPEG

JPEGs vs Raw
“I prefer to shoot JPEGs rather than Raws, which may be controversial,” says Brett. “I find high-res JPEGs are perfect for clients, and it’s a lot quicker from shoot to album: I want to minimise the time I spend in front of the computer editing images. However, I know what I’m doing so I’m confident I’ll get good shots that won’t need much work. I got Yasmine to shoot in Raw+JPEG mode, so she had the Raw file if needed to correct exposures.”

PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: Reportage wedding photography tips for during the shoot
PAGE 3: Our professional photographer’s final advice for reportage wedding photography
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
PAGE 5: Shot of the Day


Wedding photo ideas: how to shoot a wedding classically and creatively
12 wedding shots every bride wants (and how to get them)
Wedding photography tips: 10 steps to pro-quality pictures
Bridal photography tips: best camera settings to preserve highlights in the wedding dress
Free wedding photography cheat sheet

  • gsmudger

    I’m a semi-pro photographer and I find this fashion for crazy angles mystifying. I’ll crank the angle for high-speed, aviation subjects, for example, or to add a little bit of disorientation or menace to an urban scene – it seems logical when it emphasises movement or puts the viewer off-balance. Are we supposed to attribute movement or menace to this lovely couple? Frankly, adding 45 degrees of crank to this otherwise nice shot just seems demented. A lot of the advice in this piece is fab but this obsession with tilt is incomprehensible.