Wedding photography is an art on its’ own. Whether you’re taking up this job as a camera enthusiast or as a professional photographer, you should know that this is a very different genre of photography. There are an array of factors that contribute to making a memorable album that can be cherished for years. The use of lighting, correct angles and composition, poses, as well as the right click at the right moment- all work in harmony together.
While capturing the most intimate day of someone’s’ life, the aim is to bring magic to each moment with the way you capture it.
What makes wedding photography so exciting yet challenging is that you incorporate so many photography styles in the coverage. From solo portraits, to family and group photos, to capturing the little details, to taking wide-angle shots- there’s a little bit of everything.
In addition to your skills, having the right equipment is also key. The Canon 700D is one of the best professional cameras out there, especially for weddings.
Keeping a few tips and tricks in mind, you can maximize your cameras’ functionality and bring out the true potential of each photograph. When there are clients involved, you also need to be careful about files and crisis management. The following guide will help to make sure all important aspects are covered before you delve into the world of wedding photography.
Knowing Your Gear ; Equipment
A client’s big day is not the right time to get a first hands-on experience of your camera, lenses, or any gear in general. First, you should always learn your camera and its’ settings inside out. Of course, you can experiment with shots and styles during the event but you must know the basics. Check the tripod, lenses, external flash, batteries and especially the memory cards beforehand. Each one of these equipment must be working perfectly and you should be comfortable using them.
Even more important is your understanding and handling of equipment. You may have the best gear in the world but you can only be the best photographer if you have the knowledge to use it. Hence, read in detail about the equipment and its’ uses. Then go out and practice everything you learnt.
The Canon 700D has a multitude of advanced features you can benefit from, provided you understand their use. The dial has new picture modes like night portrait and hand-held night scene, in addition to the standard portrait, landscape, action, close-up modes. The Q button is another useful feature that gives you playback functions with easier access and command. This is a new feature for Canon users and one of the best options is applying creative filters on photos.
More important settings to learn about are aperture, ISO and shutter-speed as they can create a huge difference in your photography. And you will be using the cameras’ manual mode quite a lot during weddings.
Framing ; Composition
Photography is a skill. One of most important ways to master this skill is to be a pro at framing. Some people naturally have an eye for adjusting the composition. Others may need to learn it.
For weddings, the best angles are a must to get high-quality, aesthetic looking photos. The right frame should highlight your subject, not over-shadow it. You can take pictures through doors, windows, an archway, or any interesting elements. You can even use other people as parts of frame. It is best to hold the camera, patiently scan all aspects of the framing, and then take a shot.
When trying to create good composition, look at all the elements making up the picture and how they should appear in the frame. Think of your photograph as a work of art and how every detail can make or break it. Give special attention to proportion, lines, spaces and symmetry. The final result as a whole should be well-balanced with the subject in depth. The ‘rule of thirds’ is a popular way to learn this using a grid and lines.
Your Canon 700 D’s focal length and aperture will also impact the composition and framing. For a blurred background with the subject popping out, you can use a wide aperture. This is great for capturing beautiful bokeh shots at weddings. Whereas, a small aperture will give a larger depth of field, keeping all elements of the photo in focus. You can also use it to create the popular ‘starburst effect’
Lighting cannot be underestimated when it comes to photography. Weddings can happen anywhere- from a lakeside to a courthouse. You might be clicking away in a backyard or even on a dance floor. A good photographer must be able to tackle all these scenarios while capturing well-lit, magical looking photos.
Sometimes natural light is ample and works best; at others, using a flash is the only way to go. When you have a natural light source like a big window, you can ask the bride or groom to move there for the photo-shoot, with the light hitting them for a nice, warm glow.
You can also combine natural and artificial lights to capture perfectly balanced and illuminated photos.
The Canon 700D takes excellent low-light photos even without flash. It has an ISO sensitivity range of 100-12800, which can also be extended to ISO 25600. Depending on the conditions, you can easily adjust the ISO settings- lower for outdoors, and higher for indoors or low-light settings.
Remember that throughout the wedding day, you will most probably be shifting from one place to another with different light levels. Your best option is to use the cameras’ manual mode.
The best advice for any photographer is to practice lighting techniques till they are well-acquainted with this aspect. This is a far better alternative to spending time editing and fixing the light in post-production.
When using any electronic device, you cannot ignore even the slimmest chance of any failure or last minute issues. This is applicable to the camera, its batteries, lenses, or any additional equipment. This is a critical point to consider especially when your job is to provide wedding coverage.
It is necessary for photographers to bring backup equipment with them on shoot day. Make sure that everything is running and charged. Another tip is to use the cameras and gear in rotation, including the backup.
An extra pair of lenses is a must since lenses can break or shatter very easily if dropped. A 50 mm lens is recommended because of its’ wide and close range, and versatility. Another must-have is back-up (charged) batteries. You may be shooting for a longer time than expected, or they could have a sudden depletion- in any case, you simply cannot afford running low on camera battery.
You will benefit greatly if you have an understanding of your cameras’ troubleshooting. In case a problem occurs in your Canon 700D camera, you can always refer to its’ troubleshooting guide. The camera comes with an extensive manual covering a wide range of scenarios one can face and how to fix them. You should also follow their instructions for correct usage to prevent possible issues in the first place.
Remember, you are accountable to your clients and it is best to prepare for the worst even if the probability is low.
Imagine capturing an entire event with hundreds or thousands of photos and videos only to lose them at the end of the day. You may find your memory card corrupt or not supporting your device.
What if your Canon 700D memory card faces such an issue? This may result from improper handling of the device, a virus, physical damage or a formatted drive. You can, however, prevent these problems by following some tips. Do not ever remove the memory card while it is in use. Try not to take pictures or shoot videos when the battery is very low. Be careful when you are deleting files and avoid mishandling the card or digital camera.
There is always huge stress given to backup files and proper file management. It is in your best interest to create a solid, fool-proof backup strategy. This can seem complex, mostly because there lots of options such as hard-drives, USBs, cloud storage and so on. Each option has its’ own pros, cons and risks too.
No matter what backup option you choose, your main focus should be to create accessible copies of your data and photos. To be safe, create two or three backups rather than just one. Even better, store them separately.
You should also keep one option for file recovery in the case of data loss. This is not always easy but it’s possible with some software that you can install in your computer. Apple ‘Time Machine’ or Microsoft ‘Backup ; Restore’ are two reliable programs that can aid you at such a time.
At the end of the day, wedding photography is one of the most fulfilling experiences you can have as a photographer. The intimacy, happiness, and sheer importance of every moment you capture will be held on to forever. And you can make it count with each click of your camera. Remember, your experiences and practice will be your best-friend.