Wedding Photography Techniques to help you have fun and have good photos

Our wedding photography techniques are little secrets to help make things go easier – so you can enjoy your day and still have images that “capture the moment”.

Today’s brides want a far more relaxed and casual feel to their images. This compares to earlier times when the emphasis was on staged group portraits.

True, many will want some family groups and these photographs should fit into a well-balanced wedding portfolio.
You could, of course, go to the opposite extreme and have NO family or group photographs.

This is often the case with true reportage photography where the photographers brief is to capture the day as it happens.

At first sight this may appear an extremely attractive option but in practice could result in a portfolio, which omits many of the key personalities.

Woe betides the photographer who hasn’t included Mum in all her finery!

How to have relaxed family photographs without standing around for ages
One point which always crops up, is how long the guests are kept waiting by the photographer.

Ages!
It can seem an eternity for the photographer to complete the shot list. But, why, is this? Well, the reasons are many but a lot of the blame is unjustly, in my view placed upon the photographer.

The photographer is contractually bound to take ALL the photographs on the list at some stage of the wedding.

There are lots of reasons for the delays, some people nominated for a particular group may be unavailable or need to be coerced to attend.

Group photos at the ceremony can usually be completed very quickly as the photographer will have a “captive audience.

Guests will be in situ and easily invited when their turn comes. That same list left to the reception venue can take 50% longer to complete.

This presupposes that the ceremony venue is a suitable place for the photographs.

It may not be particularly picturesque or desirable from the couple’s point of view. If a second venue (reception) is to be used, more time will be needed to allow the guests to find their way there.

Guests have been known to lose their way between the ceremony and reception venues!
Most couples these days are looking for a far more spontaneous approach to their wedding day and their photographs should reflect this. So how do you do this?

Here’s a few tips.

Take fewer groups photographs and don’t do them all at one time.

Check out which members of the family must be included. The family can be photographed, either before or after the ceremony, be it a church or civil ceremony.

Before the ceremony, photograph the bride and her immediate family and then (out of sight of the bride) the groom and his family.

At a stroke, we have cut in half the list that would have been traditionally photographed after the ceremony.
This, of course, leaves fewer groups to be photographed when all the guests are standing around with nothing to do.
They’ll get to the reception and a glass of bubbly lot quicker and thank you for it!

If you are having a lot of group shots, an assistant, preferably someone who knows the family, can be very helpful in speeding up the process.

Cutting down the number of groups (and when they are photographed) allows you to have more fun. It allows the wedding to proceed seamlessly.

There is far more spontaneity.

You, your guests and photographers will probably enjoy themselves a lot more. You�ll be able to mingle with your family and guests, which should provide many more opportunities for the photographer to capture the mood of the day.

Receiving Lines

One aspect of weddings that is guaranteed to have your guest standing around for ages is the “receiving line”.
Usually it takes place at the reception on the way into the meal. Sometimes and it is usually unintentional the couple greet their guests out of the ceremony.

This will cause a real bottleneck, as people are unable to exit the church or ceremony room. It may be that you want to greet people right after the ceremony.
It’s ½s your show but it can be very time consuming.

A formal receiving line will need approximately half a minute per guest, which for 100 guests adds up to 50 minutes standing in one position exchanging greetings.

It is, of course, for you (and sometimes your parents) to decide how you wish to spend your time.This is definitely a point to consider.

If your goal is to get a good collection of relaxed spontaneous photographs, receiving lines are not good for this. It is difficult for the photographer to have an unrestricted view of people without guests inadvertently jumping into frame!

The time spent in a receiving line might be better spent chatting with your guests and would almost certainly result in a more interesting coverage of your day.

That pretty much covers the family groups except to mention the photographer.

The photographer

Try and find someone capable of switching between the two distinct photography styles, i.e., relaxed family groups and spontaneous unposed reportage shots.

It takes personality to gather the correct people, chat with them in a friendly positive manner and most importantly, produce pleasing images of everyone with all with their eyes open!

Look for someone with a tactful manner, a sense of humor, who can put people at their ease and help them to enjoy the day.

I always think of weddings as one GREAT BIG party.

It’s great being asked to photograph a really important day.
Ask yourself would you invite the photographer as a guest? Follow your gut reaction and choose accordingly.
However, It’s a fact. Not everyone can photograph weddings effectively.

TOP photo sites in Venice (Part 2)

PIAZZA SAN MARCO – SAN MARCO SQUARE

GENERAL KEY POINTS FOR TAKING SUCCESSFUL PICTURES IN SAN MARCO SQUARE:
• Choose the right time of the day; lighting and illumination of the square and its surroundings is always changing.
• If you want a picture without people, then get up early! You will be surprised at how many photographers you will meet on the way. Be sure to include famous Venice landmarks in your foreground or the middle ground composition element.
• In case of rain or flooding, use water as your reflection surface to capture unusual pictures of places
• The best time for taking amazing pictures is during the sunrise (the whole square is illuminated)
• Be patient and wait to get a clean composition for your photo
• For some panoramic pictures of Venice, go to San Marco Tower

Positions and description

Position to take picture of:
1) San Marco Square – wide view of whole square
2) St. Marco Cathedral – front view & famous clock with horses
3) Panorama view of Venice – San Marco Tower
4) Doge’s or Dukkati palace
5) River bank of San Marco Square with famous Gondolas & Venice church in behind
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San Marco Square and the surrounding area is one of the most iconic places in Venice, recommends famous Eleventy Traveler Blog. It’s hard to find a postcard from Venice without a shot of San Marco Square, or at least some type of detail shot from this location. Some general advice is to watch for the light. Try to be there at sunrise or at least during sunset. Sunrise is preferable over sunset, because the whole square receives perfect morning light. During sunsets, most of the square is filled with hard shadows. Sunrise is also the best time if you want to take a photo without people in it.

On the square, you will find many of the iconic buildings and details that Venice is famous for, so be patient and walk around to find new ideas for your photos. Don’t forget to include some of the typical elements as your foreground, middle ground, or even background composition elements. If you combine morning or evening light with San Marco Square, you will be sure to capture some AMAZING pictures.

How to take photo on each of defined location:

Use a wide lens, as the square is at least 200m in width and the building (San Marco Tower) is more than 100m tall.

If you want to include people, then use an aperture setting of F-8 or F-12 and focus 1/3 from your focus point to get everything in focus and still maintain a sharp image.

Use a tripod and a long shutter speed (30s+) to remove people from your pictures, or take multiple pictures and combine them in post-processing.

We also recommend that you use “normal” lenses, starting from 35mm upwards. With 35mm range you will not be able to capture the whole square, but you will be able to keep perspective and show the Cathedral at its proper size.

From this position, you can also capture the building arches that surround the square as your framing tool.

Get there early for less of a crowd or no crowd at all.

Equipment:

Wide lens recommendation

Tele lenses for detail shots

Bring a tripod if you want to remove people or take pictures in a low light situation.

Use ND filters if you want to manage the difference in shadow and open lightening

TOP photo sites in Venice

Dukkati palace or Doge’s palace
Information and Tips About Location
The best time by far to be there is at sunrise (September-March). If you are there at the right time and have a nice sunrise, the shadows of the crosses on the building are illuminated in yellow. Once you see this in person, you will be blown away!

Play with the shadows, which the morning and evening light will provide.

Try to capture some movement (people) between the Dukkati palace arches.

Look above and take shots of the details, as well as those small statues that are all over palace.

Use the Doge’s palace as your foreground element and try to combine a picture with the San Marco Tower or the statue with the lions as your main focal point.

If you have time, we also recommend that you visit the museum at the Doge’s palace. It is one of the best museums that you can find in Europe.

Equipment:
• Use a wide lens if you want to combine San Marco Tower and other elements in one picture.
• A normal lens and a few steps back will give you a picture with very interesting perspective distortion.
• A Telelens will give you the option of capturing the details of the palace exterior.
• Tripod – in sunset or sunrise light

River bank of San Marco Square with the famous Gondolas
Information and Tips about location

From this location, you can take two iconic shots of Venice.

The first position will give you the perfect place to take pictures of Venice’s famous gondolas. This is a parking spot for gondolas so you are able to take a picture with repeat patterns and plenty of fascinating gondola details.

The second iconic shot at this location is the island where the church of San Giorgio is located. There is no postcard of Venice without the San Giorgio church on it.

If you combine both elements with nice light, you will definitely get an amazing shot, perhaps one of your best from Venice.

Be there at sunrise, as the whole riverbank and the Dukkati (Doge’s) Palace are perfectly lit with almost no dark areas. Be patient if there is no sun and watch for equally beautiful changes in the cloud color.

Equipment:

• Tripod – this is essential here, especially if you want to show movement in the gondolas or take pictures during sunrise and sunset lighting.

• A second option is to use a higher shutter speed (high ISO) to capture the free motion of the gondolas.

• Use a normal or wide lens to include as many gondolas as possible, as well as their surroundings

• No need for a telelens.

• Use an ND filter to extend your sunrise or sunset shooting time.

Tabletop Photography, just for fun

Tabletop photography has become very popular. It covers a wide range of interests from serious product photos to just having fun. This is one form of photography where you can let your imagination run wild.

You can have a great time photographing toys or your favorite figurines. You can also use tabletop photography to catalogue your insured belongings such as jewelry, stamps or coins.

Do you like to cook? Think about taking some shots of your favorite dishes for your recipe files.
If you run a business you could take shots of your products for those sales fliers and other advertisements, or you could take photos for other businesses and earn a little extra cash.

Some people even take the time to build elaborate sets to photograph. This can be great fun and gives you the opportunity to show off your talents. This type of tabletop photography includes anything from city scapes to farm scenes or even model cars and airplanes. My son loves to build models of the movie monsters such as alien and predator, he then sets up a scene and photographs them.

As you can see tabletop photography is limited only to the extent of your imagination. So get your mind working and see how much fun you can have.

Equipment you will need
· Camera
· Tripod
· Shutter release cable
· Sturdy table
· Lighting source
· AC adapter for the camera
· Light tent also referred to as a light box
· Backgrounds for the light box
· Close up set or macro lens

Settings
Set the white balance manually if you are using a light tent. Your owners’ manual will be able to help you with this. When not using a light box for your tabletop photography you may find yourself in a situation where there is more than one kind of light source. This may be a combination of tungsten and fluorescent for example. If this is the case try the different white balance settings to see which one produces the best result.

Bracket your shots in order to get the exposure correct. Correct exposure is vital to the quality of your photography. You may, however find that a slightly under or over exposed photo to be more appealing.

When shooting small subjects you may want to try using manual focus. This will enable you to concentrate on the exact area you want to emphasize in the scene. Your depth of field will be shallow when shooting close ups as well so you should be sure the important area is sharply focused.

You can use the aperture priority setting to select the depth of field and let the camera automatically select the shutter speed.

Taking the shot
Set the light sources further away to achieve a softer light or set them closer for more contrast. Have enough lights on hand to be able to eliminate any shadows or to set up the shadow effect just the way you want. A light box will help eliminate shadows as it diffuses the light over the whole scene.

You can use your close up set or macro lens to help make smaller subjects seem life size or even larger than life. This is also where your tripod and shutter release cable comes in handy. When shooting close up scenes it’s very easy to have camera shake if you aren’t careful.

Another advantage of using a tripod is that you can plug the AC adapter into the camera and save your battery power. With the camera stationary you don’t have to worry about tripping over the cord.

Use a background that will emphasize the subjects’ detail and color. You can get some colored cloth from the fabric retailer or use colored bristle board from a craft store. Keep in mind the background has to completely cover the floor of the light box as well as the area behind the subject.

Some of the most popular colors are black, white, blue, red, and yellow. You can of course rely on your own imagination for this and use whatever you find most appealing.

With tabletop photography there’s nothing that states you must use a light box. Try setting your scene up on the table without the box and see what the results are. If you wish to use shadows in the scene then setting up in this manner will be a benefit, as the light box tends to eliminate shadows.

As with any type of photography take shots from all the different angles. Use different lighting positions and intensities. Change shutter speeds and play with the depth of field. You can see that using the same subject but changing the angle or light or the camera settings can produce variations.

Priceless Photography Techniques

These photography techniques will save you a lot of time. Experience is the best teacher but being able to get a jump ahead is priceless.

Different techniques can be applied to the different types of photography. You may be interested in night photography or perhaps macro photography.

Those subjects will be covered here, and many more.

Don’t try to take in too much all at once. Pick a favorite and spend the time studying and practicing them.

You will find that many of the photography techniques can be applied to all or most of the photography that you wish to do. However there are some that are best suited to specific situations.

When studying these techniques remember that they are guidelines. Do not consider them as hard and fast rules. To be artistic with your photography you must be willing to bend or break them. Try everything that you can think of and take a lot of photos.

Remember that when you take a lot of photos there will be some that you are not very happy with. Don’t delete these you may be able to turn them into real works of art by enhancing them.

Now the first technique we are going to take a look at is photographing waterfalls.

Waterfalls are great subjects and you will end up with some stunning photos. The action of the flowing water set against its stationary background will draw the interest of viewers by giving the photo a sense of dimension.

Shooting at night can produce some of your best photography. The contrast between the subject and background can be subtle or very dramatic. Once again be prepared to take lots of shots.

If you would like to pursue the concept of contrast there is one technique that you simply must try. Contrast, textures and shapes are what this technique is all about.

Considered as old fashioned by some it really is a very artistic form of photography and may surprise you with how powerful your photos turn out.

If you have been unhappy with previous results or if you have not considered this technique yet check out these great tips by clicking on the link above. You will be quite pleased with the dramatic, emotional results you can achieve.

From the dramatic we will move along to the just plain fun.

Macro photography is all about having fun by displaying your subject as larger than life. There are a number of concerns to overcome and special equipment to consider. So follow along with these tips and get a big head start on this fun technique.

No matter which season we are enjoying there are always plenty of opportunities for photography. The trickiest of the four seasons though would have to be winter. Now when I speak about winter I mean ice and snow and very cold temperatures. I realize that not all areas of our little planet enjoy this combination during their winter but if you live in an area that does, then you will find these photography techniques invaluable.

Photo tips. Which is your favorite subject?

These photo tips will cover a wide range of subjects. Whether it’s wildlife, travel photography or digital sports photography you will find a wealth of information in these pages.

You can find subject matter for your photography almost anywhere you look. However we must start somewhere so let’s start out by discussing three of the most popular subjects, in no particular order.

More subjects will be added on a regular basis but these first three are the ones that interest most people.
· Travel photography.
· Digital sports photography.
· Wildlife photo tips.

These cover a wide range of interests from vacationing and family activities to scenic and action shots. So let’s get right into it and ask that all-important question.

What peaks your interest?
Exactly which subjects are you really interested in shooting? Perhaps you love to travel and would like to be able to produce some dynamite photos of your adventures.

Travel photography is a great subject. Everyone does some amount of traveling and photo opportunities can present themselves at a moment’s notice. You must be ready for them.

Another subject that is becoming very popular in sport photography. Almost everyone is interested in some form of sports.

It may be that a family member plays on a team or perhaps you are simply interested in fast paced action. There is a lot you can accomplish with this subject because of the sheer numbers of different types of sports.

There is always a sporting event going on somewhere close by and the opportunities are endless. This particular subject can cover indoor or outdoor activities and spans all four seasons of the year.

Perhaps wildlife photography is your thing. The chance to get out in the fresh air, do some hiking and shoot the wildlife that presents itself draws in many photographers.

It might be a nature trail or a camping trip for students that peaks your interest. Learning about wildlife in different regions and being able to document it in photos can be a very powerful incentive.

Wildlife photography isn’t just for nature trails and camping trips. Keep in mind all those great venues such as live butterfly collections, bird kingdoms and especially your local zoo.

The ideas are really endless and you can produce some fantastic photos of wildlife from the exotic to the domestic, from the small cuddly bunnies to the largest ferocious beasts.

Related to wildlife is landscape photography. This popular subject is more than just pointing your camera and shooting. There is a lot to consider when you are planning a landscape outing.

Some things to consider are the season, time of day, whether the location is forest, mountain or desert. Perhaps you are going to shoot shorelines or geographical formations. The point is there are truly an infinite number of situations that can occur.

With the rise in popularity of digital photography there has also been an increase in family photos. One of the most popular forms of family photography is that of the household pet. As full-fledged family members photos of pets at play and their portraits now adorn the walls of our homes and pages in the family album.