Wedding photography can be a very challenging and demanding task. Not every individual holding a digital camera can cover a wedding. You need unique sets of skills, direction, and enthusiasm to photograph the event. But the first thing you need is an appropriately professional camera. And what better camera can you get than the Sony A6500. Sony’s top tier APS-C mirrorless model comes highly recommended for all kinds of photography and videography.
One of the most frequenting problems that wedding photographers have to face is that of focus. Since a wedding is attended by tens, if not hundreds, of people, getting the camera to focus on just the couple, or any individual for that matter, becomes very difficult. The movements in the background always distract the auto-focus system. This often leads to important moments like the ring ceremony being blurred out of focus.
The Sony A6500 comes with a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor with 425 phase-detection points, which means it can keep a focus on hold at 425 different points. Such a technology lets you capture crisp and clear pictures of the couple, regardless of how much movement is happening in the background.
It also comes equipped with 5-axis in-body image stabilization and a tilting touch screen, where you can simply touch to focus. Perhaps the most incredible feature this camera boasts is facial recognition, which allows you to focus on the couple directly, and you won’t have to take multiple shots.
Here are 5 tips on using the Sony A6500 for wedding photography.
Find The Perfect Venue
In the wedding photography business, the venue is almost as important as the couple itself. Since the couple has to be photographed at a location that will enhance the picture’s overall aesthetic, you have to put time and effort into figuring out where you will photograph them. When speaking to the couple, you have to note down what kinds of aesthetics they like and where they would prefer their wedding photographs to be taken.
In fact, one tip is to get the couple to send you pictures of the venue of the wedding ceremony, and you can take elements from there and set up different locations. For example, suppose the wedding is to happen in a lodge, and the place has a wooden theme. In that case, you can ask the couple to come to a park or a forest for some extra pictures around trees and nature.
This will create a holistic ambiance in the wedding album. So, you’re basically taking up elements from a larger theme, in this case ‘nature,’ and creating a storyline out of it through scouting different venues.
The Sony A6500 is the best camera for all kinds of venues. Most parks and forest locations can be dark, but with the A6500’s 100-25600 ISO range, you can take the best shots anywhere. If you turn up the multi-shot NR, you can get a whopping 51200 ISO, which will fill any dark place full of light. In terms of exposure, it also holds a ±5 EV range, in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps, which makes for a very clear white balance.
Maintain A Low Presence
The one thing you should always remind yourself of is that the center of the wedding is the couple, and not you. It is your job to make them feel comfortable and allow them to enjoy the day with their loved ones. So, when you take their pictures, do so quietly and maintain a low presence.
You should know the balance between asking them for directed pictures and allowing them space for candid ones too. In fact, a good candid is worth much more in sentimental value than a purposefully posed image. The former can give the couple fonder memories to look back at, and it provides your photography style a little flair. Luckily, the Sony A6500 helps you out in that.
With the camera’s 11 frames per second shooting speed, you can be sure to not miss any moment of laughter or joy. With its silent modes, you can easily take pictures without the couple noticing. In fact, the A6500 packs a 2.36M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder, which will make taking pictures even more manageable as you will not have to be in front of the couple to take their pictures. This way, you can maintain distance, stay on the down-low, and take excellent, well-focused images of the couple having a fantastic time with their families and friends.
Perhaps the most incredible way this camera makes sure you don’t get seen is through its powerful shutter speed. It has a 1/4000 sec maximum shutter speed, which means you can capture a moment as fleeting as a blink or a sigh, and these are the most precious moments that every couple wants to look back at.
Picture Composition Matters
Another essential aspect of wedding photography is that of composition. How does one compose a picture? Think of it the same way classical musicians compose a piece of music, you just have to create that music in the form of an image. This can happen through many variables, including lighting, framing, posing, and editing. You have to use these elements to make the picture come to life and speak to you.
You can perhaps take one element like lighting and juxtapose different levels of lights to make a contrasting image. These contrasts can also develop through the loudness and softness of poses. For example, if the background is a plain white wall, you can maybe get the couple to do some crazy poses, but if the background is loud, you can have them stand still for the artistic effect. Similar tactics can be applied to framing and editing as well.
The Sony A6500 really helps you out in this respect because it has an extensive range of ISO settings so it can cover all kinds of lighting moods. Additionally, it also has a 169-point contrast-detect Autofocus, which generates better quality, focused images, despite how difficult the composition. The camera also has a built-in 5-axis SteadyShot image stabilization feature, which not only optimizes images to their full capacity but also allows room for creativity. So you can have people jumping, running, and in all kinds of compositions and still be able to generate a stabilized image.
Have Backup Gear
Since a camera is a piece of machinery, it can break down and malfunction. You, as a photographer, need to think this ahead and make sure to carry sufficient amounts of backup options. This backup gear will either serve as your literal backup when your primary camera breaks or a second camera to use simultaneously with your first. The backup equipment does not only mean carrying an additional camera. It can also mean additional memory cards, an extra battery pack, a charger, a flash, or even a tripod if something breaks.
While one can never be too careful with backup equipment, you should also not overburden yourself and look at the probabilities. The Sony A6500 has a metal body, with strong rubber grips which are difficult to let go of. All of its internal functions are covered by magnesium alloy with an additional anti-dust coating.
It also has a pop-up flash, so you may not need too many extra flashes to carry around. The camera also has a Sony NP-FW50 Li-ion rechargeable battery with 1080 mAh to support an extended lifetime. It can take up to 350 shots on a single charge or record 1+ hours of video in 4k resolution.
Besides all of this, you also have to see that the A6500 only weighs 16 ounces, which is incredibly light for a professional camera. So its likelihood of breakdown or malfunction is very meager, and you shouldn’t stress too much about it. Just make sure to carry one additional camera with you.
Back Up Your Files
Lastly, every wedding photographer must religiously back up their files. If possible, you should back up your files every 20 minutes. This is because the wedding is a very precious and a once in a lifetime event, and these memories may never return for some, so you must treat the image files as moments that need to be protected. You can do this through multiple channels, but the recommendation is that you use all of them simultaneously. You can transfer the images to your device, either on a phone or a laptop or onto a USB. It is preferred that you also transfer your images to a cloud, just to have a secure location to be accessed from.
The Sony A6500 supports many memory card types, including Memory Stick PRO Duo, PRO-HG Duo, SD, SDHC, SDHC UHS-I, SDXC, and SDXC UHS-I. This wide range allows you to choose what type of memory card you want to use based on your preference or availability. The camera also has a built-in Bluetooth 4.1 with NFC (Near Field Communication), which allows you to transfer the photographs directly from the camera onto your device and don’t stress about losing your data.
You can also use the USB port to transfer data, which doubles as a charging port. So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your photography ventures today, and don’t forget to backup.