Weddings are beautiful and intimate events filled with love and emotion, and as a wedding photographer, you want your photography to capture this. It is your job to capture personal photos of the couple’s family and friends as they are enjoying the day; photos of the food and wedding cake that the couple likely spent hours deciding on; as well as the beauty of the wedding venue. It is one of the most important days in the couple’s life, so it is important that you get it right. Having a beautiful album full of emotional photos of their wedding day is something that a married couple will treasure for the rest of their lives.
Whether you have been asked to shoot your friend’s wedding, you are starting your own business as a wedding photographer, or you are simply looking to improve your wedding photography, this article offers tips for shooting with the Nikon d3200. It is a great versatile camera, that is perfect for shooting all kinds of events. It has a high-resolution 24.2-megapixel sensor as well as a complete 1080p video recording capability, which allows you to create beautiful photos in various settings and lighting conditions.
Keep reading for 5 tips to enhance your wedding photography with the Nikon d3200.
Get To Know The Venue
As a wedding photographer, you will spend most of your time shooting wedding venues. Thus, it is important that you get to know each wedding venue inside out. Take your Nikon d3200 with you, and explore the venue, weeks before the wedding is scheduled for. Stay at the venue for a whole day and take photos in different lighting conditions. Find out where the nicest areas are, the best backgrounds for the bridal portraits or photos of the party, locate the best light at different parts of the day. If the venue is inside, look for beautiful wallpaper or staircases that you could use as a setting for your photos on the day. If it is an outdoor location, consider natural backdrops such as trees or greenery.
If you spend the time intimately getting to know the venue, the wedding day will run smoothly, as you will know and be prepared for all of the lighting conditions beforehand. Take as many photos as you can on your practice run, find your favorites, and make some notes in a notebook that you can keep in your pocket on the day.
It is also a good idea to test out your camera settings during this test day. Get to know the lighting conditions, shadows, and colors that best suit your Nikon d3200. Go through your photos at home and edit them like you would if they were the real thing. In this way, you will smooth out any mistakes so that you avoid them on the actual wedding day. Also, make plans for bad weather or unexpected situations and you will thank yourself later.
Learn About Your Camera
Learning everything about your Nikon d3200 before the big day is so important. You don’t want to miss a beautiful intimate moment between the bride and groom because you are too slow in changing the exposure settings. Portrait photos are especially tricky but are so important as a wedding photographer. It is a good idea to ask a friend or family member to help you practice your portrait photography before the big day arrives.
Get to know the advantages of your Nikon d3200 as well as its limitations, so that you are completely prepared on the day. Try out different lighting conditions and all of the different settings on your camera. Learn how your camera responds to the exposure triangle so that it becomes second nature to you.
It is usually a good idea to keep your Nikon’s ISO as low as possible unless you are shooting in lower lighting conditions but practice altering your shutter speed and aperture, and see what results you get. A lower aperture will give you a higher depth of field (blurry background) which is often used in portraits, a higher aperture will keep more of the image’s detail in focus. A slower shutter speed will capture motion blur, while a higher shutter speed captures movement such as dancing in clear focus. Becoming comfortable with your Nikon 3200 will help you to adapt to any situations that may arise on the wedding day.
In every medium of photography, lighting is important. However, to capture beautiful and original wedding photos, lighting is key. Every photographer photographs and uses light in different ways, so it is important to experiment and find your own style with your Nikon d3200 before the wedding day arrives.
If the wedding venue is located outside, try out different natural lighting conditions. Consider whether you want to shoot portraits in full sunlight or in shadow as the sun is setting. It is important to be comfortable in a variety of lighting conditions in the case of bad weather or unexpected timing. Make sure that you can adapt to every lighting solution possible. Take your camera everywhere you go before the wedding and get comfortable with altering your camera’s exposure to suit different light.
The Nikon d3200’s 24.2MP sensor and ISO range of 100-6,400 allow shooting in a range of lighting conditions, including low light. Learn how to use the Nikon d3200’s flash so that you can capture wedding photos in lower lighting conditions. The couple’s first dance will likely take place at night with artificial lighting, so make sure that you know what settings to use in these situations. It is important to be able to make use of both natural and artificial lighting sources as a wedding photographer. Knowing how to properly use light in your photography will also allow you to become more playful and expressive with the images that you shoot. Getting your exposure as perfect as possible will save you time when it comes to post-processing.
Some people are naturally talented when it comes to framing and composing beautiful photos, however, for others, it can take a bit of practice. Do some research by looking up photographs captured by your favorite wedding photographers and note the composition and framing that they utilize in their images. Use this knowledge as inspiration for shooting with your Nikon d3200 which comes with an 18-55mm lens which allows for a range of different compositions.
Weddings usually run at a fast pace and as a wedding photographer, you will not have a lot of time to think and plan each image on the day. Thus, it is a good idea to plan some images that you would like to capture, beforehand. However, make sure that you don’t get swept up in the excitement and rush, be careful to take your time and compose each photo properly. Slow down and make sure that your subjects are in the right position for each photo, as this cannot be changed in post-processing. Look around for any potential distractions in the image such as a branch or light that could ruin the photo.
When you are shooting photos of the bridal party, make sure that you allow room in the image for cropping in post-processing. Use the knowledge that you gained when you first scouted the area, utilize windows, trees, or landscapes are backdrops for your photos. Talk to the couple beforehand about potential poses and photo backdrops. Communicating with the couple will ensure that they are happy with the result.
When shooting and editing, it is important to have a desired photographic style in mind. Communicate with the couple before the wedding to determine the style that they are hoping for. Discuss the list of guests with the couple to identify the most important guests and those that they want the most photos of.
Don’t forget your own style either, if you are a classic or a modern photographer, make sure to show it in your photography and editing. Have fun and be creative with your Nikon d3200, as your passion for photography will show in the photos that you capture. However, remember that your main focus should always be capturing the wedding as best as possible.
Make sure that you are always ready for significant moments such as the first time the bride and groom see each other, the first kiss, the first dance, and the family’s reaction to each moment. These are the moments that the couple will treasure the most, so don’t worry too much about being adventurous with them, just make sure you capture them.
When it comes to editing your photos after the event, make sure that you are consistent with the color grading and brightness of each photo. Stay true to the style you showed the couple when you were hired. Staying consistent with your photographic style will ensure that the couple gets the photos that they expected.