I’ve shot weddings since I was age 15. Now at 16 I’m currently the youngest wedding photographer in Singapore under the label Chuttersnap. I’d like to share three short tips from what I’ve gathered during my tenure.
1. Using large aperture primes
The gear I use to cover shoots draw much interest from clients and other photographers alike. “You mean you use only primes? Isn’t that very inconvenient?” Yes I’ll admit, I do envy the allure of having a 70-200mm at times!
However, I’ve discovered using prime lenses forces me to be engaged in a more active role, constantly searching for the best angles and right framing. Furthermore, these large apertures create gorgeous images with the distinctive blurry backgrounds all clients love.
The selection of 20mm, 50mm, 105mm macro and 180mm lenses I bring ensures the entire range from wide angle to telephoto focal lengths are covered. All their apertures don’t exceed f2.8.
This beautifully compliments the high ISO capabilities of my current D750 (ISO 12800 at times) which enables me to shoot in extremely dark conditions that will make viewers gawk at.
2. Have a posing sheet
For shoots I always bring along a few of these A4 papers (see screenshot above). They’re printed in colour, with 3x4 grids containing 12 poses printed in colour. These poses serve as useful guidelines on how the clients should arrange their hands or pose their bodies etc.
My clients love this concept, finding it useful in that they’re able to follow as I guide them along. They have an effective visual aid to imitate, rather than listen and stare puzzled, awkwardly trying to arrange themselves (like in a game of Simon says).
As photographers we’re focused on producing the best images for our clients, and poses that we’d really like to try out do slip our minds at times. The posing sheet is a lifesaver in this scenario.
Of course I do let some spontaneity happen during shoots, this posing sheet aids as a communication tool to convey what I have in my head into reality.
3. Back button continuous autofocus
There have been many blog posts about this floating around, however I cannot emphasise this enough. One may escape using an AFS function during pre wedding shoots with static poses, but on actual day weddings it’s about “capturing the moment”. Candid moments: Laughter, the first kiss, the dance floor. All these happen in the blink of an eye.
With the back button autofocus function and AF- continuous mode, I can ensure my readiness to capture such moments with tact sharp focus. With my thumb always on the back button, and my index finger on the shutter button, the brilliant autofocus module of the D750 never misses focus. No more accidental trigger of the shutter when too much force is applied during the half press focusing! This works for street, wildlife and sports photography too.
Hope those starting out wedding photography, or photographers in other genres would find these tips useful.
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