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How can I get the best possible photographs of my wedding? Part 1

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 5:20 AM

A question I often get asked: " what can we do on the day to get better pictures?"

The answer is not a simple one, and there are several aspects, hints and tips you can look at...

I'm going to start with what I consider the most important aspect. Yes, you guessed it... hire a professional and experienced wedding photographer who uses high quality equipment and makes your shoot a priority. There are no re-takes.

But...then you may think : "... how do I know the photographer is experienced and can produce good quality images on the day?"

The best solution to this is to ask to view a couple of previous wedding shot...  entire wedding, not just the highlights. This is one of the ways to determine the quality of the final product you will be getting, and gage the consistency of the images throughout the day.

Consistency? Consistency is so important, it means that you get high quality images throughout the whole day, and not just one "lucky shot" or a couple of happy accidents. A good photographer will be able to produce a high quality album for you from start to finish and can handle all those tricky lighting situations in-between. 

Good quality image? An age old question, what is a good quality image? You may think that you do not know anything about photography, but you have been looking at images all your life. Some quick things to look out for:

Focus -is the image sharp? There must be something sharp in the image... and hopefully it is the focal point!

Exposure - There should be detail in the white and the black parts of the image (sometimes with editing effects this will be taken away, but you will be able to see when these have been applied and if they appeal to you). If all the detail has been washed out of the dress, what's the point?

Colour balancing - Skin tones should be natural, not too red or too orange.

Composition - this is where your photographer plays a large role and shoots according to their style. A good rule to follow and look out for (and broken by those you know how), is the rule of thirds. Have a look at this link for more detail on this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds This rule creates the most "pleasing composition". Often the rule is broken quite succesfully by some, but again, you can decided if this appeals to you or not.

Finishing - the post production part of the images is also very important, but please keep in mind the most basic principle: A good editor can take a good image and turn it into something amazing, the same editor will never be able to take a poor image and make it amazing. Again, that is why you need a good photographer, to produce a good, workable image in the first place. Post production varies from photographer to photographer as we all have different styles. Personally, I believe in a full make-over - skin blemishes are removed, fine lines reduced, if requested tums, bums and arms are tucked and all unwanted items are removed from the image (no... we have to leave the mother - in - law there).  

Why high quality equipment? You may think that your cousin's newly acquired, entrylevel DSLR is fantastic, and in many aspects it is... but remember, weddings are not shot in a controlled environment, sometimes venues are dark, light often changes quickly outside, you need a photographer who has the experience to be able to quickly adapt to these changing situations and equipment which can handle shooting in various conditions including low light, and still produce a high quality image, something which the entry level camera is just not designed to do and when going into these extreme situations, the professional range of equipment far exceeds the entry level camera.

That being said, keep in mind this equipment does not come cheap and apart from the photographer’s skill level, albums and prints, is partly what you are paying for in the wedding package.

 

Keep an eye out for out next post… Part 2 “it’s the little things that count”

 

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