Good morning! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend in the sunshine. I’m often asked lots of photography related questions at weddings from guests who are eager to understand their camera a little better. Here is a little guide on things that you can do to improve the photos that you take.
Look for the light
1. Location – When you are taking a photo, always make sure the the light source (such as a window), is behind you. If the light is in front of you then the camera will have a difficult job seeing what you are photographing because of the bright light and this will often mean that the people in the photo become very dark.
2. Type of light – You may not know this but light has different colours and this can affect your photographs. Let me give you an example – if you are inside, at night time, and there is a lightbulb lighting the room, you may notice that everything looks a little more yellow than normal. This is because the light bulb has a certain colour, or colour temperature. This is not the most flattering light to photograph in because it can leave skin looking like it belongs to a Simpson’s character. There are a couple of things that you can do to stop this from happening. Look for natural light from windows or even venture outside. The colour temperature of natural light is white and so it is the most flattering light that you can photograph in. If it’s night time, or the weather is bad (because this is England), then using a flash can sometimes help to remove the yellow.
3. Sunlight or shadows – Wedding guests often say to me that it’s wonderful when the sun is out and it really is. From a photography point of view, it can be tricky. See, when the sun is out is causes squinting, very bright photos and lots of dark shadows. It’s not particularly flattering. Next time you are out in the sunshine at around midday, look at the faces of those you are with. You’ll notice shadows under their eyes and under their noses and these shadows will show up on photographs. If you are taking a photograph outside, particularly during early afternoon and the sun is very high, look for areas of shade. If you take a photograph in the shade, you’ll have stacks of beautiful light without it being too bright and no pesky shadows.
Have a look at what is in the background of the photo you are taking. It’s a good idea to avoid distracting objects that can take the attention away from the person in your photo. Make sure there are no bins, rubbish or emergency signs in the back ground. Take a bit of time to look through the lens at what you can see and what might also be in the photo. You don’t want trees sprouting from heads. Plain backgrounds such as walls are great and keep the attention on the people in the photograph. If you’re on holiday, or on a day trip, beautiful landscapes are a great backdrop for photos too.
If you are photographing children, then it can be difficult to get them to smile. I’ve found that the a few silly faces and noises is a great way to get some big toothy grins.
Practice is so important to perfecting the perfect photo. Keep your camera with you, photograph the little moments as well as the big moments. Chances are, you will treasure the little moments just as much as the bigger moments when time has passed.
The most important thing that I can tell you about photography is to have fun and experiment. Shoot from different angles, take photos up close and from further away and be creative. It’s so much fun!