Believe it or not, many of those who are new to wedding photography often find wedding portraits or formal group photos the most challenging. It can be difficult to corral a large group and unlike in a studio, photographers have less control over the area’s lighting. Weddings are set in all kinds of places, from religious buildings to outdoors spaces, and photographers need to do their best to adjust. To make things a bit easier, here are some tips to consider.
Scope the Place Out
To avoid too many adjustments during the event, visit the area before the big day. Familiarize yourself with the venue’s layout to assess which areas are ideal for portraits, and take note of how the lighting affect certain spots. Marie Leslie discussed in this post how lighting can make or break a portrait, which is why proper positioning is very important. When you’re done studying the venue, you can prepare your camera settings and other gear beforehand.
Mind the Placement of Your Subjects
A great group photo largely depends on the arrangement of people. Whimsical Wonderland Weddings explains not to group everybody together at the same height, because not all subjects will be visible in the shot. You can have people stand on a few steps or a slope, or you can capture the photo from a higher perspective.
Keep Your Distance
Veteran wedding photographer Denis Reggie claims that you should not move too close to the group, as the resulting photos may display distortion. This means that people at the front row may seem larger than those behind them. To even everything out, it is advisable to use 50mm lenses or lower so the distance will give the illusion of symmetry on the portrait.
Consider Candid Moments
Candid photography is a popular trend in weddings today, since many couples prefer to have a wedding album filled with pictures of different reactions. Candid moments make for good portraits because of the emotional authenticity encapsulated in the shots, which is also why they are usually considered as some of the most memorable and priceless photos. Entertainment Daily discussed how candid portraits are usually remembered fondly even years after the occasion, especially because they have a natural quality that can bring back the beauty of the moment. As the photographer, be aware of your surroundings, and always have your finger hovering over the shutter button so you can quickly photograph spontaneous reactions. If you have more than enough file space, you may consider taking burst shots to further increase your chances of capturing the perfect moments.
Although unplanned scenarios are the best, you may also orchestrate candid shots. And aside from the couple as the subjects, you can pull it off with groups, too. Arrange everyone as recommended earlier, then have them laugh or smile at one another. You can even get creative by using props such as balloons or confetti. Overall, the idea is to bring out a scene that looks as natural as possible.
Guest Bio: Jules Ranger is a freelance graphic artist who specializes in logo design, album covers, and event posters. She has a passion for photography and accepts side jobs as a photographer for events and family/friend weddings. Her prized possession is her Nikon D750.