Even for the professionals, wedding photography can present significant challenges as it involves almost every kind of photography. You have to capture portraits, still life photography, action shots, travel and landscape photography, food photos, and maybe even some aerial or underwater shots (depending on the kind of couple!).
While over time you get to develop your skills, it can still be particularly overwhelming for beginners to cover their first few weddings seamlessly. However, it’s not impossible to get impressive images.
Thebest Brisbane wedding photographershares the good, the bad and the essential expert tips for spectacular results in your next outdoor wedding photography session.
- Compile a “shot list”
Prior to the big day, ask the couple to provide you with a list of shots that they would like you to capture. Having a physical list of names and groups of people is really helpful when it comes to family shots. You want to ensure that you get some photographs of the happy couple with grandma who flew in from out-of-town!
- Designate a family photo coordinator
Speaking of family photos, this is the part of the day that can be the most stressful. At an outdoor , people have a tendency to wander everywhere, and the “festive spirit” can indeed make things a little too chaotic.
What you can do is ask the couple to nominate a family member (or even better, one for each side of the family) who can function as the “photo coordinator” of these shots. It will be their job to round up everyone who needs to be in the group photos, and ensure that when the couple looks at their pictures, important people aren’t missing.
- Scout the location
Another incredibly important preparation for outdoor is to scout the location. By visiting the places you will be shooting in, you will be able to brainstorm positions for shots and imagine how the natural light would be on the designated schedule (barring weather conditions).
If the area seems tricky, suggest visiting the sites with the couple, and be sure to take a few test shots.
- Be prepared for everything
No matter where the wedding is, there is so much that can go wrong on the actual day. This is especially true for outdoor weddings, so you will need to be well-prepared and have a backup plan in case of bad weather.
Additionally, ensure all your batteries are charged and that your memory cards are blank and ready to capture those precious memories. Don’t forget to consider routes and put together an itinerary of the full day, so you know what’s happening next and can prepare to take the necessary snaps.
It is always a good idea to attend the rehearsal of the ceremony as you will be able to gather a lot of valuable information about possible positions to shoot from, the lighting, and the order of the ceremony.
- Hire a second wedding photographer
Depending on the size of the wedding, hiring some backup may be the correct strategy. Especially when outdoors, having the two of you to shoot the occasion translates to less moving around during the ceremony and speeches.
One of you can focus on capturing the formal shots, while the other can work the space for candid shots. Not only will it take some of the pressure off you for being the one person in charge of every photograph, but it will also allow you to capture a broader range of images.
- Go RAW
Despite the extra processing time and extremely large file size, weddings are one of those times when it is essential to shoot in RAW.
Shooting in this format enables you to have so much more flexibility to manipulate shots after taking them — a blessing when you are presented with tricky lighting. Take it from experience, when it comes time to edit, you will be thankful that you are able to manipulate the exposure and white balance!
- Consider the backgrounds
A major challenge of working on an outdoor wedding is that there are most likely going to be lots of people gallivanting everywhere —especially in the backgrounds of your (otherwise perfect) snaps. While you are doing the walkthrough of the venue, pay attention to areas with good, dependable backgrounds that you can shoot some formal photos against.
Ideally, in all of your photographs, you want uncluttered areas and shaded spots out of direct sunlight where there’s unlikely to be a wandering great uncle lingering in the back of the shot.
Are you ready for your next wedding photo op? With these expert tips, you are guaranteed to shoot the most interesting and breathtaking photos during this wondrous milestone in the lives your clients.
Linda Pasfield is best known for her skill to capture emotion on film and expression in an art form. Linda has had 20 years of experience photographing weddings, portraiture and documentary. She is an award winning photographer and Linda’s career has taken her worldwide, photographing for Olim Aid International, Worship Centre and Cross Rds, and numerous other organisations. Photography is Linda’s passion and “capturing the true feelings on the day, blending creativity and lighting in the right way is a joy.”