Friday, January 14

How to become the (UN)official wedding photographer

As I was doing some rounds of blog-hopping at work XD, I got into one of Dino Lara's post on how to become the (UN)official wedding photographer. Since I have a possible opportunity to attend at least two more weddings this year, why not try his advice and give it my best shot. ^_^

How to become the (UN)official wedding photographer

by Dino Lara Photography on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 6:07am

You may have purchased your first digital SLR and have been shooting almost everything in sight to learn everything about camera. You may have even attended a photography class. You are now attending a friend or relative’s wedding and you feel you want to prove that you can also do what the official photographer can do.

I’m here to give you some tips on how to become an effective (UN)official photographer.

First, I have to remind you that the couple has made a considerable investment in their photographer to capture everything according to their style and budget. Scrambling for position with the official photographer would be a bad idea. The couple also intended you to enjoy their wedding. So, just enjoy the wedding.

Tip no. 1 - Shoot the things or moments that the photographer is not shooting. We can’t be in all places at all times, so you have many choices on what to shoot.

Tip no. 2 - Wait and watch the photographer move and position. That alone is a learning experience. Shoot the photographer while at work. Most couple can’t see how we work and it would be nice to document it.

Tip no. 3 - Shoot at different angle. Different from usual eye-level shot.

We, photographers shoot at low level or we use a chair to get a high level shot.

Tip no. 4 - If the photographer is doing the pictorial with couple, better not shoot there. But if you insist, concentrate more on in-between poses. Those are natural moments most couple would love to see.

Tip no. 5 - Use one fixed lens. A 50mm/1.8 is a very cheap lens and is very good. Your natural instinct is that you may feel you are limited a certain angle. Most photographers use zooms during weddings. No zooms have 1.8 aperture, so you have an advantage already. Work within the limitation of a fixed lens and you’ll discover that it has no limitations after all.

For photo journalistic shots, fixed lens has its advantage. For moments that happens in split seconds, we don’t have the time to zoom and recompose. If we do that, we miss the moment already. Our eyes are trained already in different focal length which means if we feel a moment is about to happen, even if we are not looking at the viewfinder, we know already how to compose. Zooms gives us too many decisions to make which are unnecessary for split seconds moments.

Tip no. 6 - Shoot the people around you. Make fun with the camera with your friends. Do your own pictorial. We are mostly concentrated with the couples and we just do few poses with other guests. All guests prepared a lot for the wedding and they would want more pictures as possible. It would also be nice to put that in facebook!

Tip no. 7 - Shoot a lot of details. Shoot the flowers, decorations, everything you think the couple have spent on. We also shoot that but it would be a nice practice should you become the official photographer in the future.

Tip no. 8 - Invest a lot of time in selecting and post production. This is the hard part but even if you have the best camera and best lens, you still have to push a little to reveal the real impact of your photos.

Tip no. 9 - Print it. We are in the digital world and most pictures are left unprinted. Have it printed at least a few favorite ones.

Tip no. 10 - Seek critique from friends. This is the only way to learn. Seeking critique from professional photographers is a good option but for weddings, it is more valuable to have the opinions of friends and relatives.

Well I hope I get to practice this more. XD

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