12 TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING DECORATIVE WEDDING DETAILS (AND SUCCEEDING)

I would dare to say that the best advice I can give you if you have received the great news that you are going to be the official photographer of your best friend’s wedding, or that of your cousin, or that of your neighbor, and always after basic advice: breathe, breathe, breathe, try to convince him to look for a professional, or at least make it clear that you are not, that you will do everything you can for them, but that, for the moment, nothing professional … After all those basic tips, the great advice to get out of a wedding in 70% of the photos quite graceful is: look for the details .

Why? Well, because a wedding is prepared from millions of details, a lot of dedication to them, a lot of hours, tests, searching and above all a lot of love and illusion. So the best gift you can give to the married couple, is to recognize them and help them immortalize their effort and dedication to each one of them. Having said that, let’s see how we can succeed in the face of such a gigantic challenge

  1. Tie all the ends
  2. Find inspiration online
  3. Leave home with 10 pictures on your head
  4. Check the settings before you start
  5. Take advantage of natural light
  6. Play with depth of field
  7. Choose a semi-manual mode
  8. Take care of the composition
  9. Establish a center of interest
  10. Photograph it all
  11. Put on some comfortable shoes
  12. Be creative
A wedding is made from details

BEFORE STARTING

Since you will not only go to photograph the details of the wedding but you will also have to be attentive or attentive to the great moments of the ceremony, before presenting yourself there pure nervousness, take a look at the following articles:

  • Your best friend’s wedding
  • Don’t photograph your best friend’s wedding without reading this first
  • 25 inspiring wedding photographs

And if you really took a liking to photographing weddings, you could take a look at this: The complete guide to get started as a professional wedding photographer (step by step)

1. TIE ALL THE ENDS

Make sure you carry everything you need and more. Better than that, sure that what you do not need someone will keep you safe and not that you get there and you are missing half of the things. To get started make sure:

    • Take the batteries well charged (at least 2) and it does not hurt to also take the charger.
    • Several memory cards : As comfortable as the large capacity are, the truth is that they have a major drawback, if they fail you lose neither more nor less than all the photos. It is better to carry several smaller ones and be careful with them when storing them.
    • The brightest objective you can achieve. The brighter (lower f values) the more freedom we have when working in low light without using a flash and also allows us to work with a very shallow depth of field, which for details you will see is going very well.
    • Two bodies and two lenses : Okay, you may not have two bodies, but you may have, by now you have already discarded your first SLR camera out of necessity or on a whim and you have it disgusted in a box, or You may not, you really don’t have more than one, but I don’t think you don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a DSLR and can lend it to you for a day. It is super comfortable and opens up a world of artistic possibilities to carry two cameras with different focal points to be fast and agile and not miss a shot.
  • Flash : The best results, especially if we are not lighting experts, are usually achieved by working with natural light, but sometimes we have no choice but to pull the flash . If you have an external flash, welcome be. If not, we will pray that you have enough light, that of the camera usually gives somewhat disappointing results.
Prepare all the material well before leaving home

2. FIND INSPIRATION ONLINE

There are people who make authentic virguerías, so many that they even make you want to get married just to hire them. Take a walk through specialized websites, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. to find inspiration. Nobody is born knowing, and photography in the end is a language, which you can master almost everything.

3. LEAVE HOME WITH 10 PICTURES ON YOUR HEAD

The first time you do something and under so much pressure, it is easy for you to crash, get nervous and not see the way to start. If you have done your homework and looked for some inspiration online, surely you have seen at least 10 photographs that have fascinated you. Well, keep them in your mind, on paper, or on your Smartphone, wherever you want, but learn them well, because it is your insurance to start. And once you start with a few, there will be no one to stop you. Starting is always the most difficult.

Keep in mind some ideas to break the ice

4. CHECK THE SETTINGS BEFORE YOU START

Make sure you have the lowest possible ISO depending on the circumstances (remember that the higher the ISO, the more noise in the image), but at the same time make sure that you are not shaking or shaking. Ideally, you should be working at a minimum speed somewhat higher than the focal length of your lens . That is, if you have a 50mm, with a speed of 1 / 60s, unless you have a very bad pulse or that what you photograph is in motion, it will be enough to freeze the movement. It may not be very scientific but it is easy to remember and it usually works well.

5. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NATURAL LIGHT

It is, without a doubt, your best asset. Natural light is the one that will give you the best results, so when you go into any room to hunt and capture a good image, look at where the light comes from, where would be the best place to place your detail to photograph (if it is that you can move it), etc. We always say that windows with light curtains or soft light inputs are the best possible lighting studio.

Try to take advantage of natural light

6. PLAY WITH DEPTH OF FIELD

A luminous lens is not only wonderful for the entrance of light but for the reduced depth of field that it is capable of reaching, which allows you to blur the background of the scene, focusing interest wherever you place the focus on the scene.

This will be very useful to eliminate unsuitable backgrounds and especially to focus attention on the detail you have chosen.

Play with depth of field

In this video Mario gives you a fun introduction to depth of field.

7. CHOOSE A SEMI-MANUAL MODE

As a fan of manual mode as I am, in this case, with little time and not a little pressure, I do not recommend adding more stress to the equation. If you know how to use the camera’s semi-manual modes , I encourage you to use them. To photograph static details, a very good option is to work with the aperture priority mode , deciding the depth of field and the entrance of light to the sensor. If you do not know them, do not get overwhelmed and make sure of the result by working automatically.

8. TAKE CARE OF THE COMPOSITION

In this type of more “static” images, composition is everything. You have some time to think and lightly prepare the scene, so try to think about the order of the elements within your shot . Rules such as thirds or gaze can be very useful when composing your detailed photographs, so as not to always bore with the same compositions.

Take care of the composition

9. ESTABLISH A CENTER OF INTEREST

Try to establish a clear center of interest in the image. That is, what is the reason for your image? What or who is the protagonist? Remember that you can do it by composition, lines , focus, negative space , color … and so on.

10. PHOTOGRAPH IT ALL

Be methodical, that nothing happens to you, remember that each detail is chosen with love and affection, so try not to be confused and be very attentive to everything you see. You always have time to erase later

Photograph all the details

11. PUT ON SOME COMFORTABLE SHOES

Come on, no matter how good friends you are, this is a full-fledged job, right? That’s a few hours on foot, from here to there and carrying all your photographic equipment up and down. So the more comfortable, the milder it will be

12. BE CREATIVE

  • Search for different points of view
  • Look at the elements that surround the scene and think about what can help you. How about a reflection in a window, in a mirror, etc.? How about a nice natural frame to frame your details?
  • Come a little closer and then another and a little more still.
  • Create your own compositions : If you have been asked a favor in confidence, they will surely be happy to let you experiment a little with your compositions with flowers, rings, cufflinks if there are any, shoes, and all the typical details of a wedding.
Create your own compositions
  • Don’t forget the context : Okay, I just told you to get closer, get closer and closer, but don’t forget also that those details are part of a much larger ceremony, take advantage of the context and help yourself to frame your details and tell his story.
  • Do not forget black and white, for this it is best to  shoot in RAW, which is the format that best supports conversion.
Be creative

What do you think ?, Have you found yourself or are you in a situation similar to that of having to photograph your best friend’s wedding? What you expected Oh, and if you think it may be useful to any of your contacts, share it with him or her. Thank you and see you next time


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