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

Traditions You May Want to Include in Your Southern Style Wedding!

If you are a proud Southern girl who is soon to become a bride, then you may want to include some of the charming Southern wedding traditions that have existed since the civil war in your own big day. Choosing a beautiful venue that really reflects Southern charm and style is the first thing to do, for example the Boondocks Event Center in North Carolina – a stunning old livery building now used to host events, weddings and other functions. Then you can incorporate all the great traditions you want into your event!

Ensure Sunshine on Your Wedding Day by ‘Burying the Bourbon’

This is a strange wedding tradition that according to Southern folklore will stop it from raining on your wedding day (not really a major risk in some Southern cities at certain times of year, but it is still a fun thing to do!). Exactly a month before the date of the wedding, someone from the wedding party is to go to the place where the bride and groom will marry, and bury a bottle of bourbon (it doesn’t matter what size – use a miniature if you want!) in the ground. It must be buried upside down (for some reason) and be unopened. Of course, after the wedding is over, you may want to dig it back up and drink it (or even on the wedding day if the magic doesn’t work and it rains!).

Give Your Man a Groom’s Cake

Another cute Southern tradition is for the bride to give her groom a special cake that is designed to reflect his personality or his hobbies and interests. This can be something you make yourself, or buy. It doesn’t have to be wedding themed, so in many ways can be more like a birthday cake in that it is just supposed to be a fun gift that suits him! This is a really nice touch because so much wedding stuff focuses on the bride, it is nice to have a tradition that gives the groom a little attention!

Bridal Portraits

Of course, in the modern day we would never dream of a wedding where no photos of the bride were taken, but in the past, not all weddings had such technology, so painted portraits were often the only way to keep a picture of the bride in her wedding finery for posterity. Many families would hang these in their homes. It is still traditional for some Southern brides to sit for a portrait, which while you may not want to have on your walls in 2015, still makes a beautiful memento of the big day, and is so much more interesting than posed photographic portraits!

These are just some of the interesting Southern wedding traditions you may like to consider using to add color to your Southern wedding. Of course, if you don’t even live in the South anymore and are having your wedding elsewhere, it is also a fun way to show your roots!

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.

Wedding Photography Tips for Beginners

wedding photogaphy tips 2

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.

wedding photogaphy tips

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!

5 Maternity Photography Ideas for Expecting Clients

Becoming a mother is a special, special time in the life of a woman who chooses to walk that path. As cliché as it might sound, women who want a child and manage to become pregnant with one are truly experiencing a touch of the miraculous in their lives, and expecting couples are often so touched by this experience that working with them as a photographer can be the source of great inspiration. It is very often that these couples – or women – want to immortalize the special time they are currently experience through a beautiful photo shoot, and this is where you come in. If you take these few maternity photography ideas into account when you get contacted by expecting clients, the results will surely make them happy, and make you a better photographer in the process.

1. Combine the maternity photography niche with the boudoir photography niche.


Sometimes, the altered body appearance of a pregnant woman is the main thing which she wants to immortalize in the special photo session, and posing semi-naked for it almost comes naturally. Although for most photography outsiders, the ideas of maternity and of boudoir photography don’t mix very well, in professional practice they mix perfectly, and quite often (as we’ve shown you before in a post about boudoir photography). If you think about it, it actually makes perfect sense: a woman who wants to document her journey with professional photographs wants to beam with joy over her swollen belly, but wants to feel feminine and attractive too. Therefore, nude or semi-nude photos (perhaps just with a silhouette) are one of the best maternity photography ideas ever.

2. Make the belly important, but don’t make it your sole focus.

Styled maternity session at the Propel Workshop 2013

One of the most common novice mistakes when it comes to experimenting with maternity photography ideas is making the belly the main focus of each photo. Sure, the unborn baby is sort of the main point of the shoot, but if you center your photos on it, all of them will end up looking the same, and you will have missed other crucial aspects which should have been captured. Try alternating the focus and concentrate on other things like the people’s facial expressions, how your props are making the whole setting change and so on. Speaking of props, when shooting indoors in your studio (though it shouldn’t be a must, as we’ll develop further on later), some of the best maternity photography ideas include using unlikely pieces of furniture for comfortable poses. If the woman feels very comfy in an armchair, try creating the same pose with her in a kid’s wagon, for example, and so on.

3. When photographing couples, make the other partner feel important as well.

Butter Media Inc.

Another potential mistake you could make is to overlook the other partner or make them just a supporting character within the photos. Maternity photography ideas should be more than simply photographing the pregnant woman with her partner behind her and holding her or her belly. Ask them to play around until you find the potential for something funny, like the partner’s surprised facial expression being the focus of the photo, right next to the pregnancy itself. In real life as well as in photographs, the non-pregnant partner of expecting couples can sometimes feel like the third wheel, and it’s part of your job to counteract this effect in the photographs and make everyone feel like the united family they are.

4. Help your subjects relax and feel attractive.


Keep in mind that your subjects are not only non-professionals who don’t know how to pose and how to not get tired by it, but they are also pregnant women who may have some trouble feeling attractive during this delicate time. The better they feel while posing, the better will the photos be, so do our best to help them feel relaxed, to prevent exhaustion and to keep their spirits up.

5. Don’t settle for classic poses and try something creative.


Your first two or three couples who come to you for this kind of photos may challenge you enough just by requiring a classic maternity photo shoot, but after you become a bit more experienced in the field, you will soon notice how all studio photos will start looking more or less the same. After gaining a steady hand, try a more creative approach. Your artistry and your customers will both have to gain from the fresh view. For example, go outside the studio: try shooting the photos on the beach, if conditions will allow it, or simply somewhere outdoors. Some of the most creative maternity photography ideas we’ve seen around often involved being outdoors, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Have fun and good luck!

5 Sensible Ideas for Couples Boudoir Photography

During your career as a photographer working with people, if you manage to successfully transition from doing this as a hobby to becoming a pro, you will be approached by couples quite often. When two people feel happy together, when they are at the beginning or when they have simply reached a new relationship milestone, it is quite often that they want to celebrate that feeling by commissioning a series of couple photography. But on that note, you shouldn’t be surprised that sometimes they want to try couples boudoir photography, since it’s one of the most popular commercial trends of the present. It can’t be all wedding photography or classic portraits; but on the other hand you shouldn’t feel queasy about it: boudoir photography is by no means erotic photography, which is much more explicit or debatable. To prepare a bit for the time when you’ll receive a request like this, here are 5 sensible ideas for couples’ boudoir photography to achieve the ideal balance between enticing and tasteful.

1. Combine the niches of boudoir photography with maternity photography.


Sometimes, pregnant mothers want to contract a photographer to help them immortalize their new bodies in a beautiful light. It is a way for them to feel beautiful at a time when their bodies are going through miraculous and tremendous change, and you need to be highly imaginative as a photographer to be able to capture the exact angle that will produce a suitable photo. The final result must be neither too revealing or overtly sexy, nor too abstract, as if you don’t want to show the body at all, nor focusing entirely on the belly. The good news is that if you get this right, your client will love it, and you will add a very desirable niche to your portfolio.

2. Use lights and shadows to highlight only one area or shape of your subjects’ bodies.


When photographing bodies in a delicate and non-overtly erotic manner, the play of lights and shadows can be your friend. In the example above, the shadows help make the photo not too explicit, while the lights make the contours stand out in an alluring way. Tasteful boudoir photography can be easily achieved through light and shadow play, so it’s a trick you should keep in mind for every such photo shoot.

3. In couples’ boudoir photography, your people skills must be extra sharp.


Brushing up on your people skills to make sure your subjects are relaxed enough to pose and to also prevent their exhaustion is an important part of any kind of photography work, but in the case of boudoir photography, perhaps it is even more so. A person’s body is the thing they often are the most self-conscious about, and it is your job to make them feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible. They must feel so throughout the photo shoot, and the results have to make them feel beautiful. Perhaps a talk with your subjects about the body parts they feel most self-conscious about or the body parts which they are proud of and would like to bring into focus can prove itself useful, if you are as tactful about it a possible.

4. Try shooting the photos from partially concealing angles.


If you manage to tactfully find out what areas of their bodies your clients are comfortable with and what areas they would like concealed, you can use this as a guide. If there isn’t anything to be concealed for this reason, then just try to follow this rule of revealing something and concealing something else, in order to make sure the final result is tasteful and just slightly erotic. In couple’s boudoir photography, you have to deliver a result which will make your clients happy with their decision of posing for you even after a long while has passed.

5. As much of a cliché as it sounds, focus on the feeling of the overall setting than on the bodies per se.


The décor is very important in couple’s boudoir photography, as it will set the whole feeling for the entire series of photos. Not only will this feeling be visible to the viewer of the photos, but the subjects themselves must be successfully be immersed in it to relax properly and glow. This setting includes not only the objects in the room, but also the way you choose to frame the image you want to capture.

If you manage to apply these few ideas for couples’ boudoir photography, your clients should feel very happy with both the shooting experience and the results of your work, and your reputation as a reliable photographer will have nothing but to gain from it.

The Best Photographers We’ve Encountered Online in 2013-2014

Talking about something as definite as “best photographers “ can be more than a little bold, if truth be told, since the visual arts in general and photography in particular are so highly subjective that picking absolutes is impossible. But since we’re not claiming to choose the best photographers of all time, but only a few select ones which caught our eye since last year and the months that passed from this one, we dared to give it a go.

1. Davina Palik and Daniel Kudish


This couple of photographers, based in Montreal and Ottawa, specialize in wedding photography, taking beautiful pictures of couples around the world on their big day. Although wedding photography seem to be a field where you can’t improvise all that much, at least not in a completely innovate or shocking way, these two are some of the best photographers out there precisely because they can demonstrate the contrary.

Take a look at their superb portfolio here and see for yourself how fresh wedding photography can actually be with Davina and Daniel behind the camera. We especially love the occasionally funny moments captured, because one rarely gets to see something funny and romantic at the same time.

2. Spencer Murphy


For the portrait photography niche, our favorite is Spencer Murphy, one of the best photographers in Britain, in our humble opinion. We especially like the serious air of his portraits, because sometimes, there’s just more to the realm of photography themes than autumn foliage (not that there’s anything wrong with being into that). Pictured above, you can admire the portrait of a female jump jockey right after the jump (part of a wider series of specialized portrait, which won him impressive awards).

You can take a better look at this photo series of his here.

3. Rafael Marchante


This brilliant photographer from Portugal has reached a famous professional status on numerous websites after this iconic photograph of his was widely distributed in the aftermath of Nelson Mandela’s death. He managed to capture the spirit of the African leader’s legacy in a unique photograph of a well-made graffiti that was serious and playful and full of great impact all at the same time. His niche is taking pictures of seemingly banal street situations and homeless people, as opposed to most of our visitors who are mostly taking pictures of clients, but his images are a great inspiration nonetheless.

Take a look at his Facebook page here to browse some of the most amazing portraits you’ll ever see.

4. Camilla de Mafei


This brilliant Italian lady truly deserves a spot in the best photographers of recent years. Her work is hard to put into just one box, as she seems to move effortlessly through landscape photography, sad and eerie portrait photography or still life shots.

Her official website, where you can browse more of her photos, is here.

5. Michael Roud


One of the best photographers of Los Angeles, Michael Roud isn’t exactly a recent entry in the field of famous photography, but his works remain so edgy and impeccable that we couldn’t finish this list without him. Mostly into headshots (but also into wedding photography), he also impresses with his work as a director and with collaborations with celebrities. The one certainty about the work of this incredibly talented guy is that getting photographed by him is certainly an honor and privilege.

His official website and portfolio can be admired at will here.

These were, according to us, the best photographers of the recent years which you should check out every now and then for an inspiration bonus. All in all, there’s no improving your own skills without also getting familiarized with the work of as many photographers as possible, and they might as well be worthy of the attention.

5 Ways to Deal with Bad Wedding Photos

It’s another one of those photographers’ nightmares that everyone has to deal with, sooner or later in their career. It usually tends to happen to beginner wedding photographers: you shoot the wedding, spend tons of time editing the pictures, then, one day, you get the dreaded call. The client hates your work. They are disappointed with it. They may even ask for their money back. What do you do? How do you deal with bad wedding photos? Here are 5 tips from actual wedding photographers, with enough experience in their portfolios to be speaking with the best of intentions.


1. Don’t dwell

This is the most important step in learning how to deal with bad wedding photos, unless you want to end up too scared to ever pick up a camera again. The past is in the past and you can’t reshoot a wedding. You can analyze what went wrong, enlist the aid of a very skilled photo editor and try to do as much damage control as possible. However, at the end of the day, all you can do is learn from your mistakes (as everyone does) and move forward.

2. Analyze & acknowledge

Perhaps the conditions in which you shot the wedding were harsh. Perhaps you lack the experience to handle the weather, the light, the temper tantrums thrown by the wedding party, or anything else. Maybe your compositions are bad. Try to pinpoint the causes, in order to deal with bad wedding photos. Understand what went wrong, but make sure to be as objective and detached as possible. It’s actually a good idea to sit down with said ruined set and a trusted fellow photographer and ask for their opinion. A second call could be what you need, in order to prevent you from doubting your professional abilities altogether.

3. Pay up… or not

Sometimes, when you are forced to deal with bad wedding photos, you must simply understand that some clients are out to get their money back. Nothing you say or do will feel like compensation enough for them, before you pay up. You can comply to any other request they make, edit and re-edit the photos until you turn blue in the face – they want their money back and that’s final. At this point, your options are those listed in the contract you signed with them. If the client has just cause to ask for their money back, both legally and ethically, there is little you can do but pay up. Whatever you do, don’t let yourself be bullied away from your money.


4. Get a second shooter, be a second shooter

The best way to learn wedding photography is by being a second shooter. Wedding photography pros recommend second shooting weddings for at least a year, before you attempt to go it on your own, as the main wedding photographer. Similarly, if you’re starting out as a main wedding photographer, it’s almost mandatory to enlist the aid of a second shooter you can trust. At the end of the day, they can make a world of difference, in terms of client satisfaction.

5. Trust your instinct

Lastly, the main takeaway, when you have to deal with bad wedding photos, is that you should always trust your gut when it comes to taking on a gig. If you feel you lack the experience and/or are worried the responsibility is too much for you to handle, find a gracious way to say no. You should never let a client pressure you into a booking, because chances are at the end of the day no one’s going to walk away happy – not you, nor the client.

How to Help Couples Relax in Photographs of Their Big Day

How to Help a Couple Relax in Photographs of Their Big Day Once a couple’s wedding day is here, their simply accepting to get married becomes a piece of cake comparing to the ordeal of getting photographed by a stranger. Well, this term is a bit harsh, but you get the picture. Never mind of you’ve known them your whole life or if you’ve just met them, you must be prepared for the worst-case scenario. You are just an outsider meant to mingle with their energy and show it all on camera. But it’s your job to help these couples relax in photographs  of their big day, photographs you are taking. People are different indeed, and so are the couples they form, and it goes without saying that life is better if you have a special someone to share it with, but what can you do, as a photographer witnessing their big day, to make things seem even more perfect than they could ever imagine? Here are some tips and tricks that are meant to keep the most self-aware bride focused on what you really need in order to take the perfect picture. For a more professional tutorial, find out more here.

Give Them Something To Do

How to Help a Couple Relax in Photographs of Their Big Day2 As a general rule, you should never leave your models without a focus point. Professional models are perfectly capable of finding their own concentration points, but as a wedding photographer, chances to work for professional models are quite seldom. So don’t get your hopes up high, but instead develop this simple trick that’s sure to work in every situation. No matter whom you are dealing with, just put your subjects to work. Ask them to tell jokes, to sing, to jump, to surprise each other, to tickle one another, basically any amusing action that crosses your mind. Take advantage of the fact that they can rely on each other. You can also apply this rule when you have to shoot separate frames, with just one member of the couple. Be creative. The explanation is quite simple: once your couple forgets about your being there, instead of struggling to capture natural and genuine beauty, it will just pop out! No one can act natural, they can either be natural or pretend. And we all know how the latter looks like. Not cool.

Make Them Think of Something Nice

How to Help a Couple Relax in Photographs of Their Big Day3 Well, some couples may be too agitated to think of games, or too excited, or too stressed, or too shy… But don’t panic, there’s always a plan B! Here is a softer version of the solution presented above. For introverts, try to delicately guide them into certain states of mind. Instead of bluntly asking them to stare into your lens, with an uptight smile on their faces, try to make them fall into pleasant states of mind.  Get them to tell you the story of how they met, or the day they decided to get married, or the best holiday they’d had so far, or about their honeymoon plans, etc. A nice mental image can always be seen in their eyes as well, and there you go! That’s your Kodak moment! When asked to think happy thoughts, people de-focus from the actual purpose of their being there. Therefore they will stop being uptight, because they will completely forget about you and focus on what made them happy at one time.

Don’t Forget That You Are Also in the Pictures

You’ll just need to click a button, and your work of art is complete. True, but not quite. It goes without saying that genuine human interaction can help you get the best of any situation. And that includes you as well. As a photographer, you are not only an invisible witness, but also an important part of the context. Even though no one seems to care about this, your not appearing in your photos does not mean that you are not there. So in order to help couples relax in photographs, be present, be warm and offer more of your presence in order to get the best from your models.