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This book travelled a long way (God bless Amazon) to get to my doorstep and jet, when it finally came, it suffered the fate every book fears the most: it was flipped through (with quite annoying „awwww“ with every beautiful photo inside according to my husband) and put aside at the „to-read-bookshelf“ (yes, I  have „to-read-bookshelf“). Months passed. Literally. I wasn’t able to find the time to read it properly. I had a cunning plan for our summer vacation (that actually worked this time): to “employ” daddy to look after our baby girl while I read.

Here are some advices/tips from the book:

  • Using Natural Light – keep it simple. Rather than manufacturing light for every situation, bring your subjects to the good light and work more freely. If you have to shoot outside in direct sunlight, backlit your subjects, exposing for the shadow on their skin.
  • Invest into a video light; it’s less intrusive obtrusive than on-camera flash and it brings more ambient light into the image.
  • Three rules that Jose applies at every wedding are: 1) Overexpose 2) Expose for shadows 3) Photograph with aperture wide open.
  • I loved Jose’s suggestions for releasing tension and creating fun, natural images:
    • Get a laugh: have them kiss, but do it with their eyes closed. “Because their eyes are closed, they always miss, and end up kissing each other’s forehead or eye or chin. Inevitably, they crack up, genuinely laughing at themselves, and that’s the moment I’m looking for.”
    • Take a walk: move your subjects around. “I’ll have the couple hold hands and walk away from me. They might kiss as they walk. They might giggle are just talk. They tend to relay and ease into their natural motions, and that process often leads to great images.”
    • Stroll down the memory lane: ask bride and groom to tell you something about the other one (goofy stunts or funny stories from their past).
    • Prop it up: throw some props into the portraits. “Having a prop to play with tends to loosen people up because they are focused on the prop and each other and not nervous about the photographs. Plus, it brings something special from their wedding design into the portraits.”
    • Winning shot: “Once they reach the last row or pew, I ask them to pause and kiss. I get that shot with my 16-35mm for a wide-angle view of them kissing and everyone behind them standing up and clapping. That is a winning shot right there. I did it as an accident once, and I’ve included it at every wedding I’ve done since.”
  • Consistency is critical – everything (your materials, images, website and blog, how you present yourself) must be consistent with your brand and overall business image.
  • A huge plus are footnotes under every photograph explaining all the camera data as how he get the wanted exposure. Also, as he goes through the stages of a wedding day, he lists all the equipment he uses in particular stage.

Hope this was helpful. Off to the next book: Social Media Marketing for Digital Photographers by Lawrence Chan. Enjoy the Weekend!