For many couples, their wedding day is one of the most important days of their lives. Their family and friends all come together to celebrate their union, often after months of stress and tedious planning. But as the music plays and the guests file in to take their seats, the focus shifts entirely to the couple as they walk down the aisle.
As a wedding photographer, your job is to be ever-present, but rarely noticed, as you document the events of the day. Your photos will become precious mementos, little snapshots in time, and will be cherished for years. For the newlyweds, the day will likely pass by in a blur. That’s why it’s so important that you, as the wedding photographer, are knowledgeable, prepared, and always professional.
The newlyweds and their guests expect high-quality images and a high level of professionalism, so shooting the wedding with the Sony a6300 guarantees you’ll be able to provide both of those aspects while impressing your clients and their loved ones for years to come. The Sony a6300 is a mirrorless digital camera with a superb zooming lens and a lightning-fast autofocus feature, so whether your clients are posing in front of the venue or you’re scoring some candid shots of the reception, you’ll be ready.
After all, a wedding day is about creating memories that last a lifetime. Keep reading for five tips on wedding photography and how you can help keep that joyous day special for a lifetime.
Knowing Your Gear
Most importantly, you should know your camera gear like the back of your hand. No one wants to pay a photographer that struggles to operate his or her camera gear. Not only does it look incredibly unprofessional, but you’ll also very likely miss out on at least one important shot.
This also extends to having a plan for additional memory. If your memory cards are all full and the reception has just started, there will be a massive hole in the story your wedding photos tell and you’ll have a pair of dissatisfied clients.
Of course, the couple may request things you’re not quite prepared for. Maybe you’ve never shot a sunset portrait before or the newlyweds want a shot of them standing in the cascading rain, with the light catching each water droplet in the background. Being prepared and familiar with your gear will allow you to be flexible and confident as you experiment on the fly to meet the needs of your clients.
Fortunately, the Sony a6300 is an incredibly easy to use camera. It boasts 65 different shooting functions, so finding that function that matches your style is a simple and straightforward process. You’ll also be able to change modes on the fly, thanks to the handy controls on the camera’s ergonomic grip. Obviously, you should experiment with the various functions on your own time.
Proper preparation is the key to success in the wedding photography business. If you’re prepared, getting the shots you need won’t be an issue and you’ll be able to adapt on the fly to new challenges and requests.
Location scouting is another form of preparation required of all professional wedding photographers. You can’t just show up at the venue on the day of the wedding and expect to provide breathtaking photos that blow away your clients.
Since you’ve likely had a consultation with the couple, you’ll typically know what they expect regarding locations and settings. Taking the time to walk the venue provides you the opportunity to research ideal locations that fulfill their desires. Maybe you’ll notice the perfect spot for their requested sunset portrait or maybe you’ll notice the perfect way to capture all the pomp and circumstance as the couple leaves the reception hall. Location scouting will put you ahead of the game and your shots will be much better for it.
You should definitely bring your camera with you while you scout. Your Sony a6300 is light enough to carry with you while you search out ideal shooting locations, and setting up shots in your mind while you look through the viewfinder is a great way to ensure your photos turn out just as your clients want them.
As you can see, a wedding photographer’s day starts way before the wedding. Without preparedness and proper scouting, the logistics of the wedding day will be a mess and your shots will suffer for it. Thankfully, you’ll be able to avoid a lot of the headaches and frustration with just a few hours of forethought and by taking some time to research and walk through the venue.
All photographers know the importance of lighting. It can set a mood, help tell a story, and breathe life into a shot. Manipulating light is one of the most important skills in a photographer’s arsenal, and given that weddings are typically an entire day’s worth of festivities, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to showcase that ability.
Natural window lighting is the preferred lighting for indoor shooting. It’s usually very soft light that won’t wash out bright colors or facial features, so you can accentuate the beauty of the moment. You can also dramatically alter the shot by simply having the subject spin around and shooting them from a different angle.
At the ceremony, you won’t be able to play with the lighting much at all. Many churches prohibit flash photography, but even if they allow it, you wouldn’t want to disrupt the ceremony by setting off a flash every couple of minutes. Due to the unique design of the Sony a6300’s light sensor and image processor, it’s able to take in more light in dark atmospheres compared to other cameras, giving you a leg up in a dark location. Of course, you’ll still need to be prepared for the challenges a dark setting provides. Hopefully you’ve done your location scouting!
Shooting outside entails an entirely different set of challenges. While you and your clients are likely praying for a lovely sunny day, the bright sun can actually make shooting very difficult. Your subjects will need to be positioned in a way so that they don’t squint their eyes in the bright sunlight, but also need to be posed so that long shadows aren’t cast over their faces.
As a photographer, you’re likely intimately familiar with the rule of thirds. You’ll notice the viewfinder of your Sony a6300 uses four lines to lay a grid over the image, creating nine equal sections. You’ll want to frame your shot so that your subject is located on one of those dividing lines, as that is where the human eye is naturally drawn. You can add movement and liveliness to a photo by playing around with framing and focal points.
However, because a wedding day is often so busy with folks constantly on the move, it will be difficult to frame your shot appropriately. Your Sony a6300 has an incredibly quick auto-focus, so if your shot is lined up perfectly, you can snap it quickly before someone walks in front.
Another way to add more depth to a photo is to frame it within the natural lines of the venue. If you’re taking photos at a church, take a look at the sharp lines of the building’s architecture. You can add life and action to a photograph by posing the newlyweds at the end of the lines. What’s another obvious line you can use to frame your shots? The aisle the couple walks down! That’s perhaps the easiest shot to get, and one the couple will certainly cherish.
As long as you avoid shooting straight ahead and framing in the center of the photo, your shots will still look great. You won’t be getting ideal shots all day, but that’s okay!
While many things like lighting and location are out of the wedding photographer’s hands, posing the wedding party is where the photographer can take control and ensure their shots are breathtaking. There are a few important things to keep in mind regarding instructing your subjects’ poses:
- Keep instructions tactful: You never want to accidentally insult someone or their body, so if you spot an unflattering situation, address the entire group instead of calling out the lone individual. If it’s a solo photograph, you should just calmly recommend a different pose.
- Take candid shots: Sometimes you’ll need to forgo posing to get the best possible shots. This is especially true at the reception. Candid shots have a lively feel to them and perfectly capture the party atmosphere. The Sony a6300’s screen tilts up and down, so you can easily take shots with the camera high above your head or low to the ground.
- Provide dimension: Don’t line up the wedding party (or any group) side-by-side in front of the camera. That’s an easy way to make the image look static and amateurish. Instead, instruct the group to turn slightly, it makes a big difference in perception and provides depth to the shot.
- Accentuate lines and curves: Curves are more feminine while straight lines tend to appear more masculine, so keep that in mind when you’re photographing the wedding party.
- Say it loud: If you want people to listen to you, you’ll need to project your voice over the group.
Following these simple tips on posing allows you to provide the best work for your clients. They’ll appreciate your attention to detail as they look back at their wedding photos and marvel at how your simple instructions brought out their best.