Lighting and Posing Tips for Beautiful Wedding Photos

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  By Jennifer Berube
Lighting and Posing Tips for Beautiful Wedding Photos

One of the most highly stressful photography jobs out there is the wedding photographer. You have to capture a person’s happiest day, and you only get one shot at it. If things don’t go well, there is no do-over. Making sure you get the lighting and posing right is crucial, but don’t despair or begin to worry, we have the tips you need right here to make the great pictures possible.

Create the Portrait

Sure, shooting the wedding details is super important and can make for some great photos, but the most important part of the wedding is the portrait. This is what is going to hang on the wall of the couple in their home. It is vital you capture the right image, and there are a few steps to getting the image that you want with the couple:

1. Posing is extremely important when it comes to the portrait. You want it to be fun, but also to show the couple in love. Make it a bit edgy, and even make it a bit sexy. Have fun with it. This is a happy day for them, so show it in the pose.

2. Before you take a picture, you make sure you got your exposure right. You don’t want to find out your exposure was off after 20 minutes of taking pictures.

3. Don’t be afraid to compose the scene. You may think it is better to have things natural, but composing the scene takes out the variables and the risk factors and allows you to create something truly memorable. Have fun with it.

4. Never, ever forget about your lighting. You want the lighting to be right, so make sure you have some portable lights and that you play with the lighting around you. Failure to do this can make a great looking photo look horrible.

5. In post-production, don’t be afraid to lighten things up just a bit as well.

What about Posing?

So, posing is one of the most important parts of any wedding portrait. What should you consider when you do this? There are a few factors that can really make your image pop. The biggest factor is the background. You don’t want it to be too busy, but you don’t want it to be too bland either. You want your background to incorporate itself into your photo. Use it to your advantage, don’t ignore it.

You should also pay attention to your curves. These are your C-curves and S-curves, and they will help to accentuate the bodies of your subjects, and it will help bring more of an interest to your photo. Never ignore these because they can be your best friend when it comes to getting an amazing photo.

The lighting once again is crucial. You can use natural light, or artificial light, but make it work to your advantage. Don’t leave things to chance. You make the light flatter the people you are taking, not take away from them. The importance of lighting cannot be understated, so make sure you get the lighting just right.

If you are shooting with artificial light, do it when things are dark because you can have more control with your studio lights than with the fluorescent lights above you. It is all about controlling the lights and making them work for you. Don’t be afraid about being a bit creative with the lighting as well.

Keys to Success

If you want to make the most of the posing and the lighting, and the wedding in general, then you need to keep these things in mind:

1. Be professional because that is incredibly important in a wedding setting.

2. Always be consistent with your subjects and what you want from them.

3. Educate your subjects on what you want so they know what you are doing as well.

4. If they’re camera shy, try a few things to make them comfortable. Take your time and provide lots of direction.

5. Look for inspiration around you.

6. Never be afraid to get ideas from your subjects. It is their day after all, so why not listen to them and find out what they might like out of the pictures. You won’t be sorry you did.

If you are going to be at a wedding, don’t be nervous, don’t be uptight. Have fun because if you do that the subjects around you are going to have fun. When you are taking portraits of the happy couple, work with them and have fun with them. Sometimes the best photos are the ones that happen spur of the moment, without planning, and sometimes you need to plan things out a bit more than you would have thought. The important thing is to be flexible and to adjust to the circumstances around you. You never know, you may get a portrait that gets you more business. The main thing is the couple’s happiness, and if you follow these tips, they will be very happy with the work you provide.

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Before I became Editor-in-Chief of PHLEARN Magazine, I spent over five years specializing in Photography Writing and contributed articles regularly to sites like PictureCorrect, Sleeklens, and PhotoWorkout. Photography has always been a huge passion of mine; I may not be professionally trained in the art, but the knowledge and experience I have gained writing about photography techniques, interviewing some of the biggest and most inspiring photographers out there, and covering industry events has been invaluable!

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