About Amanda Jones

Professional photographer and freelance writer, Amanda is specialized in wedding and travel photography. Every day she enjoys taking long walks around the city, from where she takes inspiration for her day-to-day work. She always hunts magical locations to astonish her subjects.

Wedding Photography Checklist Ideas

The wedding day is a special moment that nobody will forget. To ensure that all the special moments are captured, you should consider creating a wedding photography checklist. By doing this, you will know what to capture, when to capture, and how to capture. Just keep in mind that each shot may take up several minutes.

Before we get started, there are a few things worth mentioning. For example, as previously mentioned, the photographer will have to spend several minutes for each shot that has been requested. That is why the list must be planned accordingly. Some moments might not even be captured due to the shortage of time. In the end, it all comes down to the photographer’s skill. Speed is of the essence. Discuss with your clients in detail, to get a better understanding of the types of photos they want to see in the wedding album.

wedding photography checklist

With these things in mind, we created a wedding photography checklist that should help you organize:

Before the Ceremony

  • The bride with her family.
  • Groom with his parents.
  • The bride with her Bridesmaids.
  • Bridesmaids helping the bride with her makeup and hair.
  • Picture of the bride’s veil.
  • The groom with his best man and groomsmen.
  • Mother helping the bride with the last details.
  • Dad helping Groom to get ready.
  • Groomsmen getting ready by putting their bow-ties or boutonnières.
  • The Bride in her Wedding Dress.
  • Dad providing one last advice to the groom, before the ceremony.
  • Bride and groom getting ready to go to the ceremony.
  • Touching shots with the bride and groom discussing, crying, hugging parents, siblings, and friends before the ceremony.
  • Bride and groom going separately to the church. Pictures can be with them in the limo backseat, getting a cab or walking to their destination.

During the Ceremony

  • Shots of the location where the ceremony is held, before and after wedding party members arrive.
  • Groom and groomsmen assuming their positions.
  • Shots with guests taking their seats.
  • Shot with the grooms expression as he awaits his bride.
  • The bridesmaids walking to the altar.
  • Pictures with the flower girls and ring bearer.
  • Shots with the bride going to the altar.
  • Grooms reactions as his bride comes to the altar.
  • Shot with the bride being given at the altar.
  • The happy couple during the ceremony.
  • Picture with the parents watching the ceremony.
  • Wide angle shot of the altar, from the guests’ point of view.
  • Shots of guests from the couple’s point of view.
  • Special shots of the ceremony.
  • Close ups of the bride and groom as they recite their vows.
  • Close-ups as the couple exchange rings.
  • Another close up as the couple kiss at the end of the ceremony.
  • Shots with the couple as they hug their parents and friends.
  • Picture with the bride presenting the ring to her bridesmaids, parents and friends.
  • Shot of the couple as they leave the ceremony.

Previous to the Reception

  • Pictures with the couple.
  • The bride and her parents.
  • The groom and his parents.
  • The happy couple with all their family members.
  • The couple and bridesmaids.
  • The couple and groomsmen.
  • Bride and groom with the flower girl and ring bearer.
  • The couple with family and friends.

The Wedding Party

  • Pictures with the exterior of where the reception is held.
  • Pictures with the interior of where the reception is held. 
  • The couple making their way to the reception.
  • The couple at their table.
  • Pictures with the parents and guests tables.
  • The wedding party wishing the best to the newlywed couple during their toasts.
  • The couple drinking champagne.
  • The parents of the groom and bride chatting with each other during dinner.
  • The couple talking with guests.
  • Very important, shots containing the first dance as man and wife of the groom and bride.
  • Parents dancing.
  • Dad and bride dancing.
  • Mom and groom dancing.
  • The senior family members waltzing.
  • Children dancing or playing.
  • Shots with the band or DJ.
  • Guests dancing.
  • Picture of the cake.
  • The newlywed couple as they cut and share cake.
  • The couple sharing to one another cake.
  • The bouquet toss.
  • Bride and groom saying their goodbyes to family and friends.
  • The newlywed couple as they depart from the reception.
  • Picture of the car as it departs.

Wedding Photography Checklist

The wedding day is probably the most beautiful moment in both a man’s and woman’s life. As such, it is important to immortalize the beautiful moments that come along with it. Preparation is everything. Alongside having to plan the reception, what wedding dress to wear, the bouquets and much more, the list of moments to be immortalized on film is also paramount.

Communication is the key, so let your photographer know what moments he or she should capture. They will remain forever so it is important to not have regrets. Just keep in mind that around five minutes will be required for each shot, so some of them may not make it on the film. Nevertheless, if everything planned correctly, then all special moments shall remain forever, not only in our minds but also in our photo albums. So plan ahead the wedding photography poses checklist to make sure all the moments important to you will be captured.

This brings to an end our article on wedding photography checklist ideas. We hope that our tips were most useful. Also, feel free to let us know what other moments that have not been written down should be captured. Simply leave your idea in the comment section below. We are most confident that there are many more moments worth capturing on film.

Image Sources: 1, 2.

How to Make Money with Photography in 2015: Shoot a Wedding in Style

Wedding photography is probably one of the most profitable photo niches today. Why? Consider the glam of such events and how much couples spend on having those unforgettable moments captured by a pro. Is being a good professional enough? I don’t think so. That is why I have put together a few things that will change your perspective on how to make money with photography in 2015. Learn how to value yourself as a wedding photographer.

professional wedding photographer

How to Make Money as a Wedding Photographer

Learn to Value Yourself

Being a wedding photographer is no easy business. One of the hardest things about this job is the attention clients pay to etiquette and business image. Being professional in your studio is not enough. Looking professional is key. As a tip, make sure you dress smart for the occasion.

So, being great at photography and being good at business is equally important. How to make money with photography? You first need the look of a trusted, enthusiastic and professional photographer.

Plan Ahead

Regardless if you are an experienced photographer or a professional at the beginning of his/ her career, planning is essential for a successful wedding shooting. There are so many unexpected things that can overturn your expectations anyway, so why not be as prepared as possible? Here is a short list of things to consider:

  • Contact the bride and groom (or their wedding planner) prior to the photo shooting, not only to discuss business aspects, but mostly to create a connection. It is essential to get to know who you are shooting for in order to meet their needs and preferences. Remember that the happy bride will sign you the check eventually.
  • Rent photo equipment in case your current gear is not sufficient to perform a great job.
  • Prepare yourself for a few harsh hours of work. A wedding shooting can jump up to 15-20 hours of continual focus and mental effort. Hydrate yourself and make sure you take a snack with you. There will be plenty of drinks and foods at the reception, but it is better to have something to boost your energy as time will be precious.
  • Think of the wedding as to a story in images. Even if this is a tip I would recommend to beginners, try to envision how the photo album will look like. What are the key-moments you need to shoot? What can you add to it so that it would make it fabulous? Create a list with the shots that you must include, and be creative
  • Consider the post-processing phase too. How long it will take until you deliver the final results? Be careful with your commitments and realistic about pricing.
  • Pay attention to the couple’s loved ones as well. Pleasing a wide range of people participating in the wedding makes for more referrals to help you enhance your presence on the market.

how to make money with photography

Get a Second Shooter

What is a second shooter? Well, any big wedding requires more than a single photographer. As I have already provided tips for second shooters, I believe it is the right time to put together a few pieces of advice for the ‘protagonist’.

Weddings are exhausting. That is why it is important to maintain a positive attitude, especially when you need to team up with another professional. The better the connection, the better the photographs.

Even if you are the main shooter, it doesn’t mean that the other photographer cannot express his or her own vision. No matter if you know each other well or not, try to establish an effective communication from the start. Show him how your portfolios look like, how you organize gear, and how photos will be taken without affecting the general style. Ask for his opinion and value his or her contribution.

Upgrade Your Pricing Packages

Do you have the charm, the skill, the energy, and also the best pricing packages? Then making money as a photographer shooting weddings is as easy as pie. However, the truth is that it needs time. Your skills and knowledge will developed with every experience. That is why I want to share with you a few things that have done the trick for me.

First, remember that as a wedding photographer you sell experiences, not just quality images. The final results matter, but what matters most is the memories you offer to the happy couple. A natural attitude and a more personal approach to your job will help you build a loyal clientele that will return to your services for the person you are.

Also, build a style rather than going with trends. Listen to your creative voice. Clients will hire you for your uniqueness.

Second, try to customize your wedding packages. Bring to the table as many options as you can:

  • Include a free engagement session (it will help you build the connection with the couple).
  • Think of an online gallery they can share with friends afterwards (free advertising).
  • Consider an incredible Trash the Dress session as well.

Third, don’t keep your prices low if you know you can deliver best photo services and customer experiences. How to make money with photography? Don’t sell cheap. Your work is valued and valuable.

Add Something Special

how to make money as a wedding photographer

There’s always something unique you can do for your clients. Whether you add something new and memorable to the photo album or you surprise the bride and groom with an impromptu video, don’t be afraid to stand out of the ordinary. The beauty of digital photography and other tech advancement is that it offers so many possibilities to boost with creativity and deliver quality pics in a matter of minutes.

If you want to add brightness and other glowing effects to your wedding photography, you might find my editing tips useful. However, I would definitely go for the second option. Create an impromptu wedding video or simply an amazing slideshow, comprised of memorable moments you have captured that day. Show it to the happy couple and their loved ones by the end of the wedding reception. What to include:

  • Shots taken prior, during, and after the ceremony.
  • Images of key-moments: pics with the happy couple at the altar, pics with the bride and her mom, the groom and his best men etc.
  • Group photos.
  • Candid photos of funny moments.
  • Emotional reactions of wedding participants.

You can include other innovative elements in your wedding photography packages, such as the possibility to shoot their honeymoon, or transform their favorite photos in fancy canvas gallery wraps.

Smile. Enjoy Every Moment.

Finally, wedding photography is hard business, but it’s also a joyful experience. Don’t forget to smile and enjoy every single moment.

I hope you enjoyed reading my post on how to make money with photography in 2015. For any questions, ideas, suggestions, or experiences you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a comment. Until next time, wish you all good luck and happy shooting!

Brighten Your Wedding Photography: Editing Tips

Now that you have enjoyed your photo shooting with the happy couple and are left with gigabytes of photos to edit, you probably think of the insane workflow required to deliver your final result. All you need is a great, easy-to-follow plan, which involves great time management and creativity. We have already taken care of the first aspect and we will share with you the 10 efficient steps to a victorious editing process.  

Step 1: Photography is Storytelling

If you imagine editing photos is a ‘post-production’ process, you are wrong, my friend. Before getting started you should have already discussed with the couple the touch and mood they want to add to their wedding album or, in other words, to their story. Wedding photography is above all a story you tell by means of images. Why not check out our tips for visual storytelling first?

warm touch to wedding photography

The story line you wish to create will totally influence and ease your approach to the final result. Here are two options to bring up at your initial meeting with the turtle doves:

  • Do you remember that antique, sepia touch so popular years ago? Some clients still prefer the retro, vintage style and are interested in traditional posing.
  • If your clients are looking for a more contemporary style, be bold and suggest a Pop Art approach to their story.

Step 2: Download Photos and Select the Best Shots

Importing photos from camera into computer is not only necessary for the editing process, but also easy, especially if you follow our tips. Be clever and consider your needs first. We recommend you to choose a software that both downloads and helps you edit your photographs. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom is our top choice.

Selecting shots is one of the best skills a photographer can have as it will save more time than you imagine. Lightroom allows you, for instance, to rate your already imported photos. Once you added a start rating you can use the filter settings to access your favorites. Try to select the photos you want to keep and not the ones you wish to delete! It is essential to keep a positive attitude.

Step 3: Always Store the Originals Safely

In our article on best ways to import photos we have discussed the importance of storing your originals on an external drive. This is desirable especially if you tend to save edited photos over the originals. If you decide to use Lightroom, it will allow you to select an alternative import location.

Step 4: Basic Editing Tips

Whether you use Lightroom or Photoshop to edit and retouch your material, there are some basic options to consider. As we like Lightroom (you have already figured that out), here are some editing steps to follow:

  • Warm the Photos by Adjusting the White Balance

For a bright but detailed result, try to reduce background highlights and increase shadows.

  • Smooth Out the Noise

Noise reduction is another aspect to consider as you will probably shoot outdoors as well and won’t always use a tripod. Lightroom allows you to easily adjust Luminance, Detail and Contrast. Keep the luminance slider between 40 and 50 and lower the contrast.

Lightroom Noise Reduction

  • The Key to Sharp Images

Sharpening is another essential step of the editing process. Try to focus on the main characters, but do not insist on unnaturally sharpen their skin tones and faces. What you can do is boost the Masking slider a bit and keep the Detail slider to around 10 as to avoid noise.

  • Make Them Glow

Of course there are many settings to play with, but try to stick to the essentials. Be careful with details and work out the exposure and clarity so as to brighten the photographs. Let the sun shine in all photos.

Step 5: The Bride is Your Priority

Bridal portrait

Yes, the couple is important, but if you want your wedding photography to be successful you have to fulfill the bride’s expectations. Bridal portraiture should be one of your main treats, but don’t miss the big picture! Weddings are perfect occasions to capture emotions and general excitement. That’s why candid photography is another must for the photo album.

Step 6: Add Brightness to Your Clients’ Wedding Photography

Weddings are cheerful occasions. Regardless of the theme and style of the story, make sure you catch the glow of happiness on everybody’s faces. Keep in mind that:

  • Foreground elements are important too. Brighten or darken the background according to the mood you want to set to the scenes.
  • Warm and glowing effects are a must!
  • Bright eyes speak joy and happiness.

Step 8: Retouching

Do not panic, not all photos need to be retouched. Choose the ones that will be gathered in the photo album and retouch especially portraits. The trick is to make them look realistically amazing. Focus on whitening teeth, reducing bags or dark circles under eyes, and adding light to the eyes.

Step 9: Export Your Photos

Now that the editing process is almost finished, you will need to export your edited material in JPEG format and name the files according to your inspiration.

Step 10: Share Your Story

The final step is gather the main scenes and characters and create an amazing photo album. This is where your creative skills take part into the story. Make it memorable and let the images speak for themselves.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

5 Essential Tips for Indian Wedding Photography

More and more spectacular and complex, Indian wedding photography has become over the years a niche in itself. You might be surprised by the popularity of this wedding theme as not only native-Indians want to add something eye-catching to their once-in-a-lifetime event. Many people all over the world choose the Indian style for their wedding. Wonder why? Well, who has watched at least one Bollywood movie, could see how sophisticated and luxurious everything is.

Whether they are made traditionally or according to a more contemporary fashion, Indian weddings will charm you. If you are to add an Indian wedding for the first time to your portofolio as a photographer, get ready to break the conventional. Here are a few tips that will help you prepare for the experience and push some boundaries.

indian wedding photography tips / holding hands

1. Do your Homework

Before planning your day, make sure you do a bit of research in relation to what you can expect from an Indian wedding. Did you know that there are many great award-winning Indian photographers specialized in wedding photography willing to travel the world for their clients? You can check their profile and learn more about the ‘industry’. Here is a useful list that will take you through a variety of styles and skills.

You should know that common Indian wedding photography requirements used to be quite old-fashioned. What was expected from the photographer was that he simply take snaps of all the guests, which, honestly, can be exhausting and less satisfying than anything.

indian wedding photography tips / wedding ceremony

Now, young Indian couples are more open. This means that you, as a creative professional photographer, can add depth and a sense of story to the wedding photographic album. Get your homework done first, and then be as imaginative as possible in accordance to their wishes.

2. Find the Ideal Photographic Technique

Indian weddings are very colorful. If you are a black-and-white-photography pro, you might want to think again! I have never heard of Indian brides wishing to go all black and white for their wedding photography. For this type of weddings, bridal portraiture and candid photography are the ideal photographic techniques to take into consideration.

indian wedding photography 2

Indian Bride Portrait

Be bold and transform the bride’s portraits into art.

Candid photos are the best choice for Indian weddings if you know how to capture special moments. Timing is really essential! It is all about capturing the emotions that the bride, the groom and the families feel and express during the event. These ‘paparazzi style’ shots require skill, special equipment and versatility.

For everything to look as natural as possible, you have to be everywhere and try to interact with everybody at the ceremony and party. Candid photography is of a special kind in terms of techniques as well. In order to get the most of it, you have to try not to use the flash, for instance, and always mix the perspective.

3. Get in touch with the couple and with the wedding planner

indian wedding photography / couple hugging

Try to get in touch as much as you can with the bride and the groom, and even with the family, but especially with the wedding planner if there is any. It is important to get familiar with how things generally work and also acknowledge their particular needs. It will be a lot easier for you as well to know them better. Their organization might seem to you a bit hectic as there may be events planned during several days and will need you to be there and capture every significant moment.

Depending on the budget, Indian weddings have teams of people hired to make everything run smoothly. Some Indian families even hire an astrologer to decide on the auspicious moment for performing the marriage ceremony. Speaking of which, ceremonies can take a long time. The average Indian wedding ceremony lasts around two hours, but some of them even have pre-wedding arrangements, so it might take three to four hours until the party starts.

4. Find the Perfect Venue for the Photo Album

You might wonder why you need to find a venue when there is already one the couple has paid for. If you wish to make the wedding photo album a memoir it takes more than comprising fine snaps from the ceremony. Be creative. Make something new and exciting. If you master nature photography, for instance, you can plan in advance a mini-photo session outdoors after the ceremony or even on a different day.

indian wedding photography / photo album example

For more inspiration you can have a look at South Asian bride magazines or check the photos of this fabulous Indian wedding in Chicago. Try to include the city as a character into the story if the couple agrees. Be it Houston, Dallas or New Jersey, there are some surprising venues to discover and artistically explore.

If the wedding is more traditional in style you can choose a temple. These may be the perfect locations for an after-wedding photo shooting session. One of the most impressive places for Indian wedding photography is Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta. ‘Mandir’ is a place of worship and spirituality for the Hindu, but it is also a social and cultural space where people can gather and hold different activities.

5. Keep Calm and Enjoy Every Moment!

A lot of unexpected things can happen during an Indian wedding. First, they are known to be not very punctual. So, don’t stress out if you get there on time and start your work after a few hours. Have a glass of something and enjoy the experience.

indian wedding photography / choosing the venue

Second, there’s the food. Do you fancy Indian cuisine? What you should know is that during Indian weddings, dinner might be served around midnight as they are accustomed to eat very late. However, if the couple is not that traditional, everything can run according to common wedding planning.

Even if you are a beginner don’t miss an ultimate Indian wedding experience. The secret ingredient that will make you stand out of the crowd is your mood and attitude, not your experience. Let the magic fill your soul and your photography.  Enjoy every moment and bring life and color to every snap.

We hope that these Indian photography tips will help you further expand your  portfolio.

Picture source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Visual Storytelling Tips & Tools for Creative Photographers

Visual storytelling is, as the name suggests, a narration done through visual means. It is one of the most powerful communication methods available in the world today. Today, we’re going to discover the sheer force of visual storytelling, how photographers can use it and we’re also going to share a few tips and tricks with you on how to create a great visual story through your photographs.

Visual Storytelling and Its Power

We’ve all heard the saying a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, it’s true! Content might be the king, but a powerful photo will override a thousand words in a matter of seconds. In today’s society, people are always looking for access to quick information and we’re all very blessed that we can have access to it. If you want to create a visual story, then showing, instead of telling will help your story.

Child with toy bear cub

Promotion is the Key

Creating a good, even great visual story doesn’t guarantee its success. The thing that does guarantee success is promotion. Your online presence, as a visual storyteller and a photograph, needs to be strong. You need to promote your story or stories and ever social media website known to man. This means quite a lot of work and time, but without this promotion, your work will remain unknown to the masses.

Use Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest first and foremost. These three are the backbone of social media. Be active, be social and be present.

Caption Your Images

Even though an image is worth a thousand words, adding a caption to your images will help people put a name and story to your visual story. Try to keep it as brief as possible, you don’t want to bore people or to take attention away from the photograph. You should know that captions are easy to read and remember and should really capture the gist of what your photograph is saying.

3 Tools for Visual Storytelling

  1. Defrozo – when it comes to creating visual stories, Defrozo is THE tool to use. It is an awesome online workspace that enables photographers to manage their business and workflow online. Log in and you’re ready to create a free photography website to tell your visual stories.
  2. Storify – is a free tool to help photographers create their visual story and share it with the world. As Storify says on their home page, today, everyone’s a reporter and social media can make anyone source as events unfold.
  3. Magistro – is another free tool for creating video stories. Using snapshots, music and videos, you can make your visual story in a matter of minutes and promote it however you please.

5 Rules for Visual Storytelling

1. Know the Story You Want to Tell Before Taking the Photographs for It

If you have something in mind that you want to put into photographs, then it better be clear. Before you start creating the story with your photographs, you should know exactly what it is that you want to evoke. Having a clear picture of what you want to share with the world will make sharing and creating the story much easier.

2. Fact or Fiction?

Visual stories are usually facts, not fiction. As soon as you, the photographer, starts directing people on how to act in front of a camera, your visual story has become fiction. Try to be much a journalist as you can, try to present facts, which is why you need to include some factual details in your visual story for credibility.

3. Assumptions the Viewers Male Have to Be True

Because you’re presenting something that is fact, not fiction, all reasonable assumptions that your viewers are making have to be true. For example, we see a picture of a person crying, and we assume that the person was sad, not that they were acting and the crying fake.

4. Visual Storytelling Means Images, not one Image

Try to capture as many images as you can about the subject you’re trying to make a visual story about. You’ll have a much easier time to select the good ones!

5. Edit Like There’s No Tomorrow

Editing and sifting through your photos is hard. All the photos are your babies, but you need to pare away everything that’s not vital to telling your visual story. Be brave!

Image Source: depositphotos.com

Wedding Photography Mistakes You Need to Avoid  

Weddings are serious events. So, if you are not actually a professional photographer yet but still want to venture in the vast world of wedding photography you need to keep your eyes open for some pieces of advice.

Here you will find some of the most common photography mistakes you need to avoid if you want to master the art of photography.

This list will include mistakes from both the photographer and the soon to be married couple’s points of view.

Wedding Photography Mistakes

Wedding Photography Mistakes From the Photographer’s Point of View

1. Not Knowing your Gear

It is very important to think ahead when it comes to any sort of serious event you are the designated photographer at. Always make sure you have a plan B when it comes to your equipment. At a wedding, you are usually set with having two cameras, a tripod and a couple of different lenses. This way, even if one of your cameras malfunctions or runs out of battery, you will not lose precious time and moments charging your camera or not being able to replace it.

Another problem is having expensive equipment and not knowing how to use it. Take your time to find out every little function your camera is capable of. A wedding is not exactly the right place to see what a new setting on your camera does.

2. Poor Exposure

Poor exposure is always a problem when it comes to big objects in a light color. You big, white object at a wedding is the bride’s wedding dress. You certainly do not want all of your shots with the bride to appear like someone sank in a large white mass, this is why you need to play around with the exposure.

An exposure set too high will make the bride’s dress look like its glowing while a too underexposed picture will make shadows look noisy and the white looking grey. Given the fact that you have a light dress to shoot, you can use a slight under exposure to capture all the shadows casted on the bride’s dress and a little underexposure can be edited fairly easy after the photoshoot.

3. Lack of Experience

Do not let anyone talk you into becoming the main photographer at an event if you are not sure that is what you want. Let’s say your best friends in high school are about to get married and they are almost forcing you into becoming their photographer even though you haven’t shot any weddings prior to theirs.

A wedding needs one of the happiest events in the married couple’s lives so do not consider the task of being a wedding photographer as easy. If you are not 100% certain you will be able to end the task successfully, offer your services as a secondary photographer, experiencing with different angles and details and let a professional photographer take the blame if the photos are not good enough.

4. Focusing too Much on the “Best Shot”

If you want your wedding photographs to really stand out, do not spend way too much time on taking the best shot of the married couple. Usually, a couple who wants beautiful wedding pictures with only the two of them will arrange a private photoshoot where they can focus on being with each other.

At the wedding, you need to capture moments rather than people. Group photos where half of the people are looking at your camera while the other half is looking on other cameras are starting to get really annoying. Focus you attention on how the wedding goes on and mark the most special moments with photographs of the soon-to-be married couple, their guests and also some their designs.

5. Choosing JPEG Format

You need as much detail as possible, especially when it comes to wedding photos. Most of your photos will most likely need some touch ups after the wedding so why not take advantage of you gear properly? Instead of choosing to shoot your pictures in a JPEG format, choose the RAW setting.

Wedding Photography Mistakes

From the Bride and Groom’s Point of View

1. Lack of Communication Between You & Your Photographer

Do not expect to find someone who will know exactly what, when and how to shoot right from the start. In order to get the best out of your wedding pictures you have to have good communication with your photographer.

Try pointing out what you actually want to see in your wedding pictures and what you expect out of all this wedding photography experience.

2. Not Finding a Focus Point

Do you want two dozen pictures with the two of you in different moments or do you want a collage made with pictures of your family and friends? Sort out what your photographer’s focus point should be, this way if he or she messes up, it will not be because you weren’t sure about what you wanted.

If you have ideas regarding what colors should be predominant or how you want the pictures to be taken, do not be afraid to share them with your photographer.

3. Details are not that Important

Thirty years from now, when you will be looking through your old wedding pictures you would have probably already forgotten what colors the napkins where or how uncle John spilled an entire bottle of champagne on aunt Mary. Photographs are special moment frozen in time, take advantage of them as much as you can.

Details and small moments are what you will remember from your special day so do not consider them less important.

4. Not Making Eye Contact

If you will constantly pose whenever you see the camera in your vicinity, you will automatically have dozens of dull pictures. Through posing you eliminate any trace of real emotion and you will constantly be distracted by the camera.

For your pictures to look as natural and as great as possible, always maintain a natural look and be spontaneous even when you see someone taking a picture of you.

5. Not hiring a Professional {Photographer

You may think you know enough about photography to trust your wedding photos in the hands of a beginner or a friend’s but without having some special training or experience in photography, you will most likely be disappointed of your photographer.

Although a professional photographer may be expensive and you might not consider him necessary, you will definitely love him after you see the actual pictures.

7 Wedding Photography Tips for Spring Weddings

Ah, spring! The season when nature comes back to life, everything is green and love floats in the air. Many couples choose to tie the knot during spring when the weather is warm enough for a great party yet cold enough to not force men to wear short sleeved shirts. We have comprised a list with the most useful tips for wedding photography for spring weddings and we are now sharing it with you!

Wedding Photography Tips for Spring Weddings

1. Take Advantage of the Natural Light During Spring Weddings

Spring is usually the season when you have the sun on your side so why make the best out of all that natural light? Invite the married couple in a place filled with the natural light coming from the sun and take some amazing shots without having to use any props.

Celebrate nature and the newly wedded couple and emphasize the scenery in the same amount as the couple to create contrast. Keep in mind that both the bride and the groom will eventually grow tired of seeing just plain pictures of them and they will expect something else even if they might not kno that yet.

2. Pay Attention to the Weather Forecast

Although you might have the sun on your side, during spring, showers are also common. If you want to be sure you are prepared for all scenarios, you need to check the weather forecast prior to the wedding and be sure your gear is waterproof if any rain is predicted. Even though you will not have as much natural light as you would during a sunny day, a photo shoot in the rain can be quite astonishing.

If the married couple can also adapt their wardrobe to the weather conditions (for example, they can choose to wear waterproof boots instead of fancy shoes), you will be able to create funny and touching stories through your photographs.

3. Play Around with Colors

You will most likely have a lot of flowers and green patches at your hand if you are the designated photographer at a spring wedding so make sure you include all of them in your photos. Any bride will look gorgeous with a flower crown on her head while the groom can have flowers instead of a napkin in his suit jacket. Use flowers to portray a picture where the groom surprises his wife.

To make the most out of all the freshness spring provides, make your couple put their imagination at work and see how they let their inner child loose in the middle of a green field. This way you will not only capture a wedding photo session, but a story of two people who were lost but found each other.

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4. Choose a Lively Background

There is nothing duller than a plain background that does not put anything in context, especially when it comes to wedding photography tips. Given the fact that you will probably have an entire sea of green available to use, seize the opportunity and create contrasts.

A great idea is to make the couple interfere with the wildlife. Let them explore the fascinating world of insects such as bees in search for flowers or see how birds begin building their nests. Be careful though! Do not consider dangerous wild animals as pets and do not put anyone’s life in danger.

5. Communicate

Before starting to plan your photo shoot, communicate with the bride and groom. What are they expecting from this photo shoot? Where would they like to go? What do they want to do? These are all questions to which they will most likely not have an answer but that gives you the opportunity to start getting creative.

If the couple is not entirely sure what to expect from their wedding photography session, you have the possibility to juggle around with different ideas and then ask the couple what would they like to go with.

6. Be careful with the Details During your Wedding Photography

Try to find one or more focus points in all of your pictures and do not ignore the simple or small things. Be careful to not overexpose details by using your built-in flash or simply by using too much sunlight. On the same manner, be careful to not underexpose your pictures if you are shooting on a rainy day. In order to make sure that everything is in the right place take a couple of test shots before proceeding with an idea.

The test shots will help you see what settings you need to work with to achieve perfection on your wedding photography tips.

Wedding Photography Tips for Spring Weddings

7. Capture feelings

One of the most important things you can do through photography is to capture the essence of a feeling or a moment. Always advise your subjects to avoid posing and be as natural as possible. Try presenting them a photo shoot idea and capture the moments when they start preparing for your photo.

Another idea is to catch them gazing into each other’s eyes, as eye contact is a true love statement and not only in photography. When two people are staring into each other’s eyes you can almost feel the passion and the love floating in the air. Imagine that if you capture the most perfect moment in the most perfect angle you can make that feeling last for eternity (or at least for a couple of decades until the photo will start decomposing).

As a photographer, it is your job to make sure you surprise every important and special moment, even though you might not consider it special. This is why it is very important to communicate and try to know the people you are about to work with and see what they like and what they are expecting.

Even though your mind might be filled with amazing photography ideas, you must always be aware of the fact that people have different tastes and different expectations and the only way to make sure that your ideas will be appreciated by others as much as they are appreciated by you, is through communication.

Image Sources: Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

Wedding Photography Tips for Beginners

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So, you’ve made the big step! The big step being photographing weddings, of course. We’re here to provide you with some basic wedding photography tips that will help and guide you on your photography journey. Wedding photography is not easy, but it sure is beautiful; you’re helping create a piece of history that a group of people will forever cherish and remember. There are some wedding photography tips and tricks you need to keep in mind before you press the shutter button, so here are our wedding photography tips for beginners!

Before we begin, let’s take a look at the three wedding photography DON’Ts that every beginner should be aware of.

DON’T Use Stupid Props

The bride and groom aren’t the bosses, no matter how much they like to believe that. If they want you to take a photograph of them holding a shotgun, insist on how bad of an idea that is and if you don’t get through to them, simply refuse. We know it’s good money, but do not compromise with certain things, such as stupid props.

DON’T Let Relatives Get in the Way

No matter how unique and special some weddings are, at the end of the day, all weddings are the same and the following thing will happen: some relatives will get drunk and will want you to photograph them extensively or even worse, they’ll ask for your camera. Decline as swiftly as possible and try to avoid letting relatives get in the way.

DON’T Upset the Bride

The entire wedding is all about the bride and groom, or the bride alone. Brides love to be in the center of attention, so they will do pretty much everything to achieve their goal and that includes bugging you, the photographer. Try to be as diplomatic as possible, follow the bride as much as possible and don’t upset her. If she’s asking for something that you, as a photographer, cannot provide, then explain that to her in a calm manner.

With that in mind, here are some quick wedding photography tips for beginners that will guarantee your success.

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Redirect Your Light When Shooting Indoors

One of the most important indoor wedding photography tips is to redirect your light when you shoot indoors. It needs to bounce off the walls, so use a flash unit, umbrella or at least a Lightscoop. When shooting wedding photographs, everyone needs to come out looking great, so do whatever it takes to make that happen. Lighting is the most important aspect, start there.

Shoot in RAW

One of the best outdoor wedding photography tips you could ever get is to shoot in RAW. Almost everything can be fixed if you shoot in RAW: lighting can be fixed if you shot in RAW, as well as shadows and highlights, but remember that focus is the only thing that cannot be modified. When you shoot in RAW, you save the most information possible of the photograph taken, which makes it easier to fix flaws when editing. RAW photographs are huge in size, so make sure you have enough space on your SD card and one as a backup.

Ask Ahead if There is a Theme

You might not think this is important, but asking ahead if the wedding has a theme is really vital to getting great shots. It gives you the time and information you need to know before assembling your camera, lenses and gear. Shooting at the beach requires different tools from what shooting at the wedding reception at night does. An Indian wedding means lots of bright colors, which you should be able to capture perfectly.

Hope this helped, good luck with your wedding photography!

The Quick & Dirty Guide to Wedding Photography Business Branding

We’ve written about branding at length before, with talk on finding your own niche and sticking to it, as well as several other techniques to help you stand out on today’s complex photography market. Today, however, we’re going to make everything simple and clear for your convenience, with a quick and dirty guide to wedding photography business branding. We’ll be covering all the basics, from getting your reputation off the ground, to putting it to work for you – all outlined in some simple, easy-to-follow steps. Oh, and good luck!

The definitive guide to wedding photography business branding: Newbie edition

1. Making a name and a living at the same time

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Back in the day, when print photography was much more important than it is today, in the digital era, photographers would make a name for themselves by getting gallery exposure, followed up with editorial work. Far be it from us, in our guide to wedding photography business branding, to dissuade you from garnering exposure via exhibitions. But, since they’re less likely to draw lucrative clients today than two or three decades ago, you’d be better advised to get some exposure online first, via curated websites. Promote any exposure you can get on your own social media channels and watch as the work rolls in.

2. Don’t underestimate stock photography

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As many a seasoned photog will tell you, stock photography doesn’t sell nearly as well as it used to, nowadays. However, if you manage to get a bit of reputation off the ground, you might be surprised to learn that stock will provide a welcome stream of steady income. The trick to making this work often entails taking up several assignments at once – the pay isn’t big, but it’s dependable, when you do strike a lucrative stock photography contract.

3. Have the best possible online presence

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In between running and maintaining a blog, several social media accounts (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are nearly compulsory) and setting up a professional website, you might even want to look into hiring an assistant to handle the workload for you. At the same time, even if you do choose to go down this route, it’s important to maintain a personal approach to your online presence. In other words, don’t make your fans and followers feel like they’re been talked at by a company, but by a genuine human being.

4. Consider hiring an editor

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What’s all this talk about hiring someone else do the work for you?, you may ask. After all, the best way to take care of business is to do it yourself, right? Most of the time, yes – but not all the time. If, for instance, editing your work is not your strong suit (which, incidentally, is something that a lot of photographers struggle with), you should definitely think about hiring someone to edit the photos for you. After all, your end goal is to put your best foot forward, as it were, and make sure that the images that get out there with your name on them are the best possible ones.

5. Work on as many projects as possible

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We’ve mentioned this before, in connection with stock photography, but it’s a good rule of thumb to go by, no matter the type of assignment. From shooting weddings pure and simple, to taking on editorial assignments, it’s a good idea to put out as much work as you can. You will thus expand your scope, grow your business, showcase your skill, and make sure you get your name out there, on as many people’s radars as possible. And that can’t be a bad idea, right?

Making the Most of Your Wedding Portrait Photos: 3 Trends in 2014

As many artists will tell you, wedding portrait photos are an art in and of themselves. They are very important to the clients, of course, and can also greatly enrich your portfolio and enhance its overall value. That’s why, for today’s post, we’re taking a look at three trends that have been dictating the rules for this segment over the past months. They’ve been confirmed enough for us to assume that they’ll also be around until the end of the year; so, pay heed and make sure you’re doing everything right, in order to make the most of your wedding portrait photos.

1. Posed shots are the past

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It’s not just wedding portrait photos that have become more dynamic and focused on storytelling. In fact, as seasoned family or pet photographers will confirm, the entire niche of photographic portraiture has become far more focused on natural settings and dynamism. Most photographers nowadays choose to photograph their clients in natural outdoor environments, thus lending an air of freshness and vivacity to their shots. It also helps place the subjects in a setting they love, since this will help them feel far more relaxed in front of the camera.

Another trend, which only comes to complete the above, is that of wedding portrait photos that could easily pass for photojournalism. What does this mean, in terms of actual images? It means that both the photographer and the clients take on a more candid approach. The end images are more natural and raw, less processed, more creative, and with a more ‘in the moment’ feel to them than ever before. Since photojournalism is all about spontaneity and capturing a good story within an instant, it goes without saying that the photos created like this are far more unique, fun for everyone involved and creative.

2. Pricing goes up with experience

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Given today’s rather harsh economic climate, many wedding photographers are reluctant to increase the pricing of their services overall – and of their portrait sessions in particular. However, as seasoned pros will tell you, this is not necessarily a good approach. After all, if you’re investing in your business, it’s only natural to expect the prices to match your level of experience. What’s more, portrait photography can even be regarded as a separate niche within the wedding photography segment. It requires specialized equipment and technical skills. If you’re committed to creating ever better wedding portrait photos, you’re probably also investing in this. Classes, lenses, accessories and other investments should be reflected in your pricing options. What’s more, as you continue to grow your wedding photography business, it’s probably also a good idea to book more clients – in the long run, this increasing roster of customers will also act as an argument in your favor, when it comes to asking for higher fees.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of the print

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Sure, everyone is online these days: wedding portrait photos garner impressive amounts of likes on Facebook, they’re shared by your clients over Instagram, and maybe even featured on Pinterest. But the problem is that they all too often end up forgotten on a CD or DVD somewhere. To help your wedding portrait photos enjoy a longer lifespan, but also to help increase your business, you should perhaps try offering a special print as a bonus to your clients, thus encouraging them to print more photos.

Also, one clear 2014 trend is experimenting with print materials. Canvas is very popular at the moment, but there are so many options the list is virtually endless. Some photographers over shadow boxes, others print on glass or wood, while others are experimenting with artwork products like metal and acrylic.