Sunday, 30 December 2012

Shooting Portrait Outdoors - The Bride!

It doesn't really matter if we're shooting the bride's first or second (or third) marriage, she has to look her best and I mean magazine best!
Most often time is not enough for the shoot and I have to act fast and act right to make sure that I have the proper settings not to mess up capturing the event.
All rights for distribution of this image belong to Kamen Kunchev!
So, here's what happened behind the scenes:
  • A week before the wedding I went looking for a unique place close to the restaurant. It all had be in one day so I knew that my time for taking more artsy photos was very limited.
  • I prepared myself with flashes and all that but used none because the light was fantastic. I helped myself with 1 light reflector though.
  • I mounted a prime lens for the shoot so I could get a nicely blurred background and emphasize as much as I could on the bride.
  • I made sure I had enough light on the face of the bride. It's always good to set it all up first and have less to fix later.
  • I had a fellow photographer helping me out throughout the shoot (this is really important and can save your life!). That's the guy holding the reflector for the photo above!
  • I cracked a joke to break the ice and have the bride smiling and thinking it's all a breeze.
As you may have noticed from my previous articles I like simple setups and basic stuff when shooting. I also manage to achieve a very good performance while shooting only on manual settings. This way I can be sure that I will take the photo the way I want it and not the way my camera is guessing. This way I get consistency from image to image, camera to camera, and one shoot to the other.
All rights for distribution of this image belong to Kamen Kunchev!
Anyway, let's move on, shall we?
Different setups can be applied using multiple flashes and reflectors but remember that it's the final result that counts and it doesn't really matter how professional you looked using all your equipment for the shoot if in the end the images look bad.
The good preparation is not in purchasing the best equipment. It's about the right equipment for the case, the timing and the location (with a little bit of improvization)

We need to have the bride looking feminine and beatiful in all our pictures. We need to always have her in focus (always) and either follow the rule of the thirds or keep her in the middle. This is where she'll like to have herself.

Watch out for overexposing the dress! This is really important because the bride will want to look at how wonderful she looked on that day with her dress on. So, try and expose the dress right.

Check your shots for shut eyes. If you don't you'll be deleting images without any chances of recapturing or giving them to the bride.

Make sure the bride is relaxed and she's showing only happiness and smiles in every picture that you take.

If this is your first shoot of this kind then look at and learn all the classic poses and do not experiment unless you have lots of classic shots already stored safely on your memory card.

Check out how to build a nice wedding collage here.
Or you can practice some casual winter holidays portraiture.

This is probably my last article for 2012. Enjoy the holidays and don't let your cameras rest too long!

All the best,

Kamen Kunchev