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You’ve done your homework. You’ve gathered your research. You’ve scouted out your locations.
The big day is here, and the pressure is on.
Above all else, make it your goal to pace yourself. Your mind will be whirling a million miles an hour thinking through every piece of information you’ve gathered into your mind. How do you perform with intensity and keep yourself from going crazy?
I am going to walk you through one system that will eliminate stress and give you the confidence you need to produce a remarkable “first wedding” portfolio.
Write this down:
One window = Multiple shots
Too often novice wedding photographers operate on the idea that varied shots are captured only by varied locations. This is simply not true! Don’t fall into this trap! One well-lit window can provide a plethora of beautifully varied shots to satisfy both you and the bride.
How can one window be the key to your wedding photography success? One simple word: Light. At the center of a great wedding photographer’s work is his or her ability to find and work with the available light in each venue. With Church’s or community centers being the venue of choice for soft and romantic wedding ceremonies, these locations are also infamous for low lighting challenges. Window light can offer a superb solution to even the worst lit wedding venues.
5 Steps to Lots of Great Shots from One Window Location
Find a window of choice. You’re looking for a window that is relatively large, preferably with curtains, and has an outlook to a grassy area. If you are deliberate in your selection, you can create up to 8 dynamic and fresh shots with minimal set up.
Inside, set up your detail shots. You will want a table near the window, and different cloth textures for your background; you can use toile, lace, bridesmaid’s dresses etc. At this time, you can photograph the shoes, the ring, and any other important details on your shot list. Consider a few variables that will affect the outcome of your shots: 1) The available light from the window; 2) The distance your object is from the window, and 3) The angle of your camera to the object. Adjust any of these changeable and your shot will change as well.
One of the most important shots you must capture is the special dress of the bride. After you’ve taken appropriate time photographing the bride as she does her hair and makeup, borrow the brides dress. Carefully affix the hanger at the top of the window. If the lip of the window is not wide enough, find a tack to place at the top of the window, suspend the ribbon from the tack, and hang the dress from the ribbon. The window light will create a luminous glow around the dress for beautiful highlighting.
There is nothing more perfect for wedding portraits than window light. A window will provide several options for dynamic portrait backgrounds. Inside you can get a wide-angle shot of the bride in her dress with the window in the background. You can also get a few close up shots of the brides face.
If your window has a lot of variety (ie, panes, curtains, sheers) you can take some beautiful shots from inside the window looking outside. This will ad a lot of artistic interest – just be sure to watch your backgrounds! Also, from the outside, you can use your window as a background for more shots of the bride or bride and groom together.
Take my advice: With the “One window = Stellar shots” equation, you will never again worry about having wedding location define your images. Ready to start shooting? Go!
Look forward to our dynamic conclusion to this Wedding Photography Tips Series with Part III: The Office Work of legalities and post processing!