WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY - VIDEOGRAPHY - DO'S AND DONT'S
Our team of Photographers and videographers at TOGETHER WE ROCK are one of the best talents around. we have set up certain guidelines to help new photographers shoot better as they get into wedding photography.
Anything going wrong- please inform us immediately as a solution may be worked out at that point of time and it may be too late, later on.
WATCH OUT FOR OTHERS
Try not to be in the frame of the other fellow photographers. Avoid the umbrellas at least.
Please wear Black as much as possible. If not Black keep it dark- Greys, Blues are also fine as long as they are towards black. Strictly avoid bright colours. Ideally wear "Together we rock" deep Blue Jackets / T-shirts.
You may wear smart comfortable casuals or formals but keep it towards blacks only.Strictly Avoid wearing whites.
UNDERSTAND YOUR EQUIPMENT AND BE SELF SUFFICIENT
Please understand the equipment well before hand and do not drastically change the settings.
Keep all your extra lenses, batteries etc with you so that you are self dependant and do not need another person to assist you with your immediate requirements, like changing the battery or the lens.
Concentrate on the composition, angles and expressions. Do not leave too much space on top of the head.
DO NOT TILT THE CAMERA
While the tilt above is accidental, the photographer did not align the horizontals properly, the tilt in the photographs bellow was intentionally done but its not looking so nice. Its not really adding to the composition or the framing.
Following is a Good use of tilting the camera
Here the tilt of the camera is working in synch with the tilt of the subject.
Use focus lock if needed. If people are on the side and not in the centre, Focus on one of them and recompose the frame without lifting the finger.
Keep the camera parallel to the subject. This will help avoid distortion. The distortion does not happen just by using a wide angle but by using it too close or by tilting the camera / by keeping one part of your subject too close to the camera
MAKE THE BEST OF WIDE ANGLE LENSES AND NOT THE WORST
Do not use a wide angle lens unless there is no other option. It is perfectly fine to use wide angle if you are not distorting the subject. In the photos bellow, focal length could have been increased slightly to reduce the distortion. Most of the times, due to limited space and crown one ends up using wide angle lens. with practice, you will understand the camera position which gives minimum distortion or the distortion compliments the shot, somehow.
Following is a Good use of Wide angle lens
Its a myth that good candid moments can be caught only with a 70-200mm lens. And that too 2.8. Candid means natural photos showing expressions or gestures. This can be done even with a wide lens.even with aperture closed down.
During engagement, no need of taking the close shots of the hands while rings are being exchanged. During this time, one camera can be a tight shot of the couple while another camera can include the surrounding people as well. Later, if required, a close shot of the hands with rings may be organised.
Adding foreground not only adds interest but also relates the subject to the existing decorated environment. Its not that you shoot the decoration and its done. You can use the decoration and the subject together to compliment the mood and look of the place. And the decoration may not just be in the background. Foreground elements also work well to direct the eye to the subject.
EXPOSURE - Error on the underexposure side rather than on the over exposure side. You may use highlight alert to get an idea.
APERTURE : its good to have an out of focus background but its very important to keep everyone in focus as well. Especially with more than one person in the frame do close down the aperture to cover everyone with depth of field. 5.6 / 6.3/ 7.5 work well.
Don't just judge your photos from the camera LCD. Due to small size they appear to be sharp but they may not be so close down the aperture for safety.
ISO - Go to the higher ISO only if you are unable to get a good exposure otherwise. Also you may go to the higher ISO to bring up the ambient lighting which may otherwise get suppressed by the use of flash lights / strobes. Try to strike the right balance between the strobes and the ambient light.
FORMAT- Shoot on RAW - the largest file size of your camera. You may also opt to shoot RAW + jpeg (small)
For the interviews, lets avoid the flash. So, while interview is going on do not shoot stills. But this may not be always avoidable.
Also take some Close up and detail shots but not at the expense of missing the main action.
DIRECTION OF LIGHT -
The light when falling from the right direction compliments the subject and reveals depth in the photograph.
Wrong direction of light. If shooting a group, the flash should not be too close to one person. Bring the flash closer towards the camera but still not along the same axis. so that you get the depth and directional light but do not overexpose one area compared to the other.
If the flash was a bit more towards the camera, the couple would have got equal illumination.
FRAMING - what and how much to include !
Framing tight is not a bad idea as it excludes the unwanted elements but Do not frame too tight and cut the frame at the wrong places. If an extra face is included, let it show completely....
Shadows are not bad but they dont look great all the time especially at parties and events as they instantly suggest an amateur approach. No Hard shadows. Use Bounced flash /off camera / soft box /reflector etc. Do not get confused with hard light and directional light. Directional light creates shadows but the light may not necessarily be hard. If the shadows are unavoidable, place the subject away from the wall behind, so that the shadows are not visible.
ITS ALL ABOUT GOOD FOOD BUT NO EATING SHOTS !
Do not take photos of people eating food, at least not when they are just putting it in their mouth. Take long shots instead or take photos when they are not actually putting food in the mouth. Holding the plate / glass is fine. or posing with the plate on the table is fine but strictly not while putting food in the mouth. Though most of the people do not want photography around the eating area some people want specific food shots as well to showcase the kind of variety they had put together.
During Dance, shoot at the peak moment. watch the steps and you will get an idea with experience, as to what would be the right time to release the shutter.
Movement and trails in Dance shots. use the highest synch speed of your camera instead of 60th of sec. However, during other times its better to use 60th of a sec as it helps in recording the background /ambient light better, without having to increase the ISO.
CATCH THE MOMENTS
This is possible, if you are alert and keeping an eye around anticipating at times as to what could possibly happen next.
WATCH OUT WITH OPENED LENSES !
while applying Shallow depth of field, focus on the eyes. Do not take all such shots only. Try to show the expensive attire as well.
At times, focusing elsewhere instead of the eyes, works better
Do not Physically touch the Bride /Groom. Communicate through directions. Also, when you come physically closer, you come in the frame of other fellow photographers who are shooting candid and natural photos.
SOUND is just as important to us as the visual, Be careful when speaking. Pay attention to the conversation of your subjects as well. And do not switch off in between.
Do coordinate visually in terms of the angle of view with your fellow videographers so that both are shooting differently. If one is wide the other one can mostly stay tele/close. However do not include the other partner in the frame. so do not shoot in opposite directions but at different angles and with different focal lengths.
Lets try to place the light sideways somehow, instead of placing it on the hotshoe unless unavoidable. Warm light is better.
White balance - let's keep all cameras on the same white balance.
Time. Let's match the time of all the video cameras. This helps in faster editing. All our cameras are time matched.
For couple portraits, Posed photos made for the still camera are not important but for the video, get them to do some action and record that. Let's say, walking from opposite directions and then hugging each other and striking a pose.....just an example. So include a lot of movement in your recordings rather than recording the stationery posed couple.
On the stage, pan the camera while shooting posed group shots. Rather, for video, its more important to shoot the people as they greet the couple or as they are in the process of posing....the intention again is to include movement rather than shooting people stationery. And in that case, the camera may be given movement.
Interview -sound recording - Do not use the autofocus lens as the sound of the focusing gets recorded as well.
During performances, use one camera on tripod, if we are shooting with multiple cameras.