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tips n tricks



The aperture controls the camera lens which light
passes through. Aperture is in f-stops such as f/8. The
larger the f-stop number is the less light passing
through making the photo darker.

The depth of field is the amount of distance between
the nearest and farthest objects that acceptably sharp
focus in a photograph. Depth of field depends on the
lens aperture, the focal length of the lens, and the
distance from the lens to the subject. The closer the
subject is to the camera makes the depth of field
You can use aperture to adjust the depth of field.
Higher aperture gives more depth of field, allowing
everything to be in focus and vice versa with low
aperture. You must also set the shutter speed accordingly to the aperture.

Close down
smaller to add
the image

aperture to f/8 or
a starburst effect to

ISO up in low light

Down in bright light

Tricks & Tips
10 Questions to Critique A Photo
Where is the visual weight?
Are there any didstracting elements?
Is the exposure/metering correct?
Would it look better though a different focal length?
What is the background doing?
How is the composition & balance?
Does the photo require post production?
Is the color accurate?
Does the depth of field suit the photo?
Is the photo clique?

10 Photo Cliques to Avoid
Flowers, pets, and sunsets
Fake lens flare
Vintage iPhone apps
Unnecessary black & white
Selective color
Dodgy borders and garish watermarks
Oversaturated HDR
The ‘Dutch tilt’
Heavy vignette
Writing on photos


Stabilized lens
External flash unit
Flash transmitter
Beauty dish
Lighting stand
Gray card
Polarizing filter

Reasons Photos Suck
Bad lighting
Wrong white balance
Motion blur
Poor depth of field
Shooting at the wrong time
Poor composition
Too much photoshop

Wedding Photography Tips
1. Create a ‘Shot List’

One of the most helpful tips I’ve been given about Wedding Photography is to get the couple to
think ahead about the shots that they’d like you to capture on the day and compile a list so that
you can check them off. This is particularly helpful in the family shots. There’s nothing worse
than getting the photos back and realizing you didn’t photograph the happy couple with

2. Wedding Photography Family Photo Coordinator
I find the family photo part of the day can be quite stressful. People are going everywhere,
you’re unaware of the different family dynamics at play and people are in a ‘festive spirit’ (and
have often been drinking a few spirits) to the point where it can be quite chaotic. Get the couple
to nominate a family member (or one for each side of the family) who can be the ‘director’ of the
shoot. They can round everyone up, help get them in the shot and keep things moving so that the
couple can get back to the party.

3. Scout the Location
Visit the locations of the different places that you’ll be shooting before the big day. While I’m
sure most Pros don’t do this – I find it really helpful to know where we’re going, have an idea of
a few positions for shots and to know how the light might come into play. On one or two
weddings I even visited locations with the couples and took a few test shots (these made nice
‘engagement photos’).

4. In Wedding Photography Preparation is Key
So much can go wrong on the day – so you need to be well prepared. Have a backup plan (in
case of bad weather), have batteries charged, memory cards blank, think about routes and time to
get to places and get an itinerary of the full day so you know what’s happening next. If you can,
attend the rehearsal of the ceremony where you’ll gather a lot of great information about possible
positions to shoot from, the lighting, the order of the ceremony etc

5. Set expectations with the Couple

Show them your work/style. Find out what they are wanting to achieve, how many shots they
want, what key things they want to be recorded, how the shots will be used (print etc). If you’re
charging them for the event, make sure you have the agreement of price in place up front.

6. Turn off the sound on your Camera
Beeps during speeches, the kiss and vows don’t add to the event. Switch off sound before hand
and keep it off.

7. Shoot the small details
Photograph rings, backs of dresses, shoes, flowers, table settings, menus etc – these help give the
end album an extra dimension. Flick through a wedding magazine in a news stand for a little

8. Use Two Cameras
Beg, borrow, hire or steal an extra camera for the day – set it up with a different lens. I try to
shoot with one wide angle lens (great for candid shots and in tight spaces (particularly before the
ceremony in the preparation stage of the day) and one longer lens (it can be handy to have
something as large as 200mm if you can get your hands on one – I use a 70-200mm).

9. Consider a Second Wedding Photographer
Having a second backup photographer can be a great strategy. It means less moving around
during ceremony and speeches, allows for one to capture the formal shots and the other to get
candid shots. It also takes a little pressure off you being ‘the one’ to have to get every shot!

10. Be Bold but Not Obtrusive

Timidity won’t get you ‘the shot’ – sometimes you need to be bold to capture a moment.
However timing is everything and thinking ahead to get in the right position for key moments are
important so as not to disrupt the event. In a ceremony I try to move around at least 4-5 times but
try to time this to coincide with songs, sermons or longer readings. During the formal shots be
bold, know what you want and ask for it from the couple and their party. You’re driving the show
at this point of the day and need to keep things moving.

11. Learn how to Use Diffused Light
The ability to bounce a flash or to diffuse it is key. You’ll find that in many churches that light is
very low. If you’re allowed to use a flash (and some churches don’t allow it) think about whether
bouncing the flash will work (remember if you bounce off a colored surface it will add a colored
cast to the picture) or whether you might want to buy a flash diffuser to soften the light. If you
can’t use a flash you’ll need to either use a fast lens at wide apertures and/or bump up the ISO. A
lens with image stabilization might also help. Learn more about Using Flash Diffusers and

12. Shoot in RAW
I know that many readers feel that they don’t have the time for shooting in RAW (due to extra
processing) but a wedding is one time that it can be particularly useful as it gives so much more
flexibility to manipulate shots after taking them. Weddings can present photographers with tricky
lighting which result in the need to manipulate exposure and white balance after the fact – RAW
will help with this considerably.

13. Display Your Shots at the Reception
One of the great things about digital photography is the immediacy of it as a medium. One of the
fun things I’ve seen more and more photographers doing recently is taking a computer to the
reception, uploading shots taken earlier in the day and letting them rotate as a slideshow during
the evening. This adds a fun element to the night.

14. Consider Your Backgrounds
One of the challenges of weddings is that there are often people going everywhere – including
the backgrounds of your shots. Particularly with the formal shots scope out the area where they’ll
be taken ahead of time looking for good backgrounds. Ideally you’ll be wanting uncluttered
areas and shaded spots out of direct sunlight where there’s unlikely to be a wandering great aunt
wander into the back of the shot. Read more on getting backgrounds right.

15. Don’t Discard Your ‘Mistakes’
The temptation with digital is to check images as you go and to delete those that don’t work
immediately. The problem with this is that you might just be getting rid of some of the more
interesting and useable images. Keep in mind that images can be cropped or manipulated later to
give you some more arty/abstract looking shots that can add real interest to the end album.

16. Change Your Perspective
Get a little creative with your shots. While the majority of the images in the end album will
probably be fairly ‘normal’ or formal poses – make sure you mix things up a little by taking shots
from down low, up high, at wide angles etc.

17. Wedding Group Shots
One thing that I’ve done at every wedding that I’ve photographed is attempt to photograph
everyone who is in attendance in the one shot. The way I’ve done this is to arrange for a place
that I can get up high above everyone straight after the ceremony. This might mean getting tall
ladder, using a balcony or even climbing on a roof. The beauty of getting up high is that you get
everyone’s face in it and can fit a lot of people in the one shot. The key is to be able to get
everyone to the place you want them to stand quickly and to be ready to get the shot without
having everyone stand around for too long. I found the best way to get everyone to the spot is to
get the bride and groom there and to have a couple of helpers to herd everyone in that direction.
Read more on how to take Group Photos.

18. Fill Flash
When shooting outside after a ceremony or during the posed shots you’ll probably want to keep
your flash attached to give a little fill in flash. I tend to dial it back a little (a stop or two) so that
shots are not blown out – but particularly in backlit or midday shooting conditions where there
can be a lot of shadow, fill in flash is a must. Read more about using Fill Flash.

19. Continuous Shooting Mode

Having the ability to shoot a lot of images fast is very handy on a wedding day so switch your
camera to continuous shooting mode and use it. Sometimes it’s the shot you take a second after
the formal or posed shot when everyone is relaxing that really captures the moment!

20. Expect the Unexpected
One more piece of advice that someone gave me on my own wedding day. ‘Things will Go
Wrong – But They Can be the Best Parts of the Day’. In every wedding that I’ve participated in
something tends to go wrong with the day. The best man can’t find the ring, the rain pours down
just as the ceremony ends, the groom forgets to do up his fly, the flower girl decides to sit down
in the middle of the aisle or the bride can’t remember her vows….
These moments can feel a little panicky at the time – but it’s these moments that can actually
make a day and give the bride and groom memories. Attempt to capture them and you could end
up with some fun images that sum up the day really well.
I still remember the first wedding I photographed where the bride and grooms car crashed into a
Tram on the way to the park where we were going to take photos. The bride was in tears, the
groom stressed out – but after we’d all calmed down people began to see some of the funny side
of the moment and we even took a couple of shots before driving on to the park. They were
among everyone’s favorites.

21. Have Fun
Weddings are about celebrating – they should be fun. The more fun you have as the photographer
the more relaxed those you are photographing will be. Perhaps the best way to loosen people up

is to smile as the photographer (warning: I always come home from photographing weddings
with sore jaws and cheeks because of of my smiling strategy).



Senior Year

If an athlete have the dark lighting with only an overhead light so have a downcast
shadow to make the person appear more fierce or intense



Want pictures to be fun and funny

Long exposure with someone running around them with a sparkler



Things to try

Dandelion on fire

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