Do you shoot weddings, babies, maternity, or families to earn extra income on the weekends or just because you enjoy it? Firstly, GOOD FOR YOU! Photography is fun and the challenge to get that ultimate shot that the family will enjoy is a wonderful feeling.
As I peruse the ads on sites such as Kijiji and look at some of the photos used in the ads or watch someone in action at a wedding there are a few things that jump out at me that I thought I would share with you to improve your business opportunities.
- Equipment – If you are going to spend more money, spend it on lenses first before buying the next new camera. Then of course go for a camera with a full frame sensor that captures as much quality light as possible and delivers the best quality images.
- Flash – Turn it on outdoors to eliminate shadows in the eyes, and push yourself to turn your flash off indoors and try to work with natural light. Too often, I see photos of people in broken light caused by the sun coming through the leaves of trees and to see deep dark shadows in the faces of people. Turn the flash on to give a little fill light and those deep shadows will disappear and provide some life to the image. Of course, make sure that flash is allowed in the facility you are shooting. Many times churches don’t allow flash during the service.
- Preparation – Check out the location a day or so ahead of time at the same time you expect to be shooting. Understand where the light is going to be coming from and when.
- Position yourself – I was at a friends wedding recently and the Wedding Photographer stood in one location during the ceremony and took the same shots over and over again. Walk around the entire subject, left, right, low, and high.
- Composition – Change your angle. Shoot Portrait, Landscape and push yourself to try Dutch Angle. Fill the frame with interest, too often I see photos that are centre weighted with no interesting elements around them. If all fails, use the Rule of Thirds.
- Backgrounds – Watch what is in the background of your shots. When I’m shooting I have already composed in my mind what I want the shot to look like, by the time the camera comes up to my eye I’m now simply looking for distracting items in the background. Look in all four corners of your viewfinder rather than straight down the middle, you’ll be surprised just how much more you see through the viewfinder.
- Tripods – You will always get a better quality image by using a tripod than without, but of course this comes with it’s challenges. Tripods provide a stable platform and are more solid than you can ever be hand holding the camera. Of course, balance this with convenience and check whether tripods are allowed in the facility.
- Post processing – be careful with your use of Photoshop. I’ve seen some images that are overprocessed in an attempt to make a poorly exposed image good again. Focus on getting the best quality image out of the camera possible, this will save you hours at the computer.
- Ownership of photos – NEVER EVER just hand over a memory card or disk of files with full printing rights. You never know what type of printer or computer setup your client is going to attempt to print your hard work on, and more than likely they will get less than desirable results. Your name is on this work and you should control the final presentation. Think of it this way, have you ever walked into Best Buy and looked at the TV’s displayed on the wall to see they all have a slightly different hue or saturation to the picture? Same thing with Printing! If you must hand over the files, insist your client take them to a high quality printing lab with a proper color managed workflow.
- HAVE FUN…
~ The RoTP Team