There is limited time at weddings for posed portrait shots, so as a wedding photographer it’s essential to maximise your time and shoot as much variety as possible in the time you have. You always need a back-up camera at weddings, so why not put them both to good use by getting two completely different looks from scenarios?
The way I do this with my wedding photography is to use two cameras, each set up differently – one camera is controlling an off-camera flash and the other camera is shooting available light. Each camera has a different lens – one wide angle (with the off-camera flash) and the other shooting telephoto (with the available light). The result is two ends of the spectrum, in terms of light and depth of field.
As an example of this, here the bride and groom Emma and Jon are stood beneath a tree with backlight coming through the leaves of the tree.
This is shot with a 70-200mm telephoto lens, wide open at F2.8, which gives this picture a very shallow depth of field and results in the background being out of focus. The photographers amongst you will be familiar with the term ‘bokeh’ – meaning the aesthetics of the out of focus quality of a lens.
The result in this image is the focus is completely on the couple. It’s shot with available light – and exposed for the skin of the subjects which means that the backlight coming through the leaves is brighter than reality. This gives the picture a glowing, soft quality.
From the other camera, I created this look from the same situation.
There was a light off-camera, positioned on the bride and groom. The background is under-exposed by 2 stops, which darkens it; this gives even more emphasis to the couple, adding a dramatic feel.
This photograph is shot with a wide-angle, using the tree as a framing device in the composition.
The result is a completely different shot to the first one, taken in the same setting – both shots taken within minutes of each other.
Many thanks to Emma and Jon, the bride and groom in these photos.