Category Archives: Photography

Equipment for Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography EquipmentWedding photography is a huge responsibility which you have to get right in the first go. This calls for the need to have all your essential camera equipment ready. This article will list out the equipment you need to get your wedding photography assignment in the right direction. Unlike still life photography, wedding photography is an uphill task. You not only have to pay attention to the minute details, but also have to appease the bride and groom with satisfactory pictures. After all, the wedding pictures are not something everyone takes lightly. Besides, wedding photographs are the only means for a couple to reminisce their wedding day long after the actual day has passed. All this just points us in one direction―of getting the perfect shots during a wedding photo shoot. For this, you need not just a camera but a lot of other equipment as well.

Given below are the essential equipment that every photographer, a wedding photographer in particular, must have in his/her photography kit.

Camera
One of the most essential equipment for wedding photography is a good full-frame DSLR camera. Wedding photography demands superior definition, detailing, and sharpness for which you need to possess a full-frame 5D camera. For obvious reasons, it is always better to carry an extra camera body with you at all times, especially for weddings. After all, you wouldn’t want to run out on business or customers because your primary camera decided to give way in between a photo shoot.

» Cameras like Canon EOS 5D, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Nikon D800, Sony a99, Nikon D600 among others can be your companion for photo shoots.

Camera Lenses
Owning a camera is not sufficient to call you a professional. You also need a variety of lenses to go with the main body of the camera. Candid photographs taken during receptions require long-bodied lenses that will be able to zoom into the subject without actually intruding. You will need wide-aperture lenses that will allow you to shoot at lower ISOs in low light settings. You could place your bet on a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and a 70-200mm f/2.8, for delivering perfect intimate details of shots taken both indoors and outdoors. You will also need macro and fisheye lenses for a couple of shots during the event.

» Popular choices are the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens, Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens, and the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens.

Flash Units
Wedding photography calls for working with natural light settings; however, one cannot rely on natural and ambient light to click photographs. As a photographer, it is always recommended that you carry your own light source. You could breathe life into those pretty wedding portraits set in low light with an additional source of light. Use of digital flash or slave flashes along with your camera flash should effectively bounce the light and produce soft directional light. Besides, flashlights can effectively light up nooks and crannies that your inbuilt camera flash won’t reach, and effectively provide you with a side light for enhanced photographs. Shoe-mount flashes can rotate to any angle, thus, giving you the variation you need to get the best light. Slave flashes, on the other hand, can be connected to the camera using a cable extension. Needless to say, it is always better to have an extra flash unit in hand during wedding ceremonies.

» When choosing a speedlight, rely on a SB-800/900 or 580EX II; however, even a SB-600 or 430EX II will do the trick. Canon 600EX-RT, Nikon SB-910, Sony HVL-F60M, Vivitar 285HV, Canon 580EX, Nikon SB-700 are some of the best flash units you can lay your hands on.

Flash Diffusers
Using flash units will allow you to take great pictures; however, the pictures could also include harsh shadows cast behind the subject and overexposed or unnaturally lit subjects. You could use different flash bouncing techniques and even control the flash output from the camera, but the easiest way to eliminate harsh lights is by using flash diffusers. Using a flash diffuser allows you to attain more natural-looking pictures by canceling out harsh lights and shadows that become a part of the picture when using flash. Depending on your needs, you could use flash reflectors, umbrella reflectors, and flip-up flash diffusers.
Battery and Charger
Attaching a flash unit to the camera is sure to drain out your camera battery faster. When shooting for grand ceremonies, it is always advisable to carry along extra batteries as well as a battery charger to immediately replenish the used up batteries.
Photo Filters
Photo filters alter the way your camera lens views the light. They can reduce glare, alter the hue, block out haziness, change the appearance of reflections, and will also protect the camera lens from scratches. You can sharpen those black and white wedding portraits and enhance the hues of colored photographs with colored filters. In short, filters will help you as a wedding photographer to add dimension to the photographs.
Memory Cards
Wedding photography employs taking loads of pictures for which you need to have a good storage capacity. It is imperative that you should have additional memory cards with you just so that you do not restrict yourself from taking great pictures. Remember, the more you experiment and go about taking natural pictures, the happier your clients will be.

If you are going to be experimenting with vintage cameras, it is imperative that you keep a couple of film rolls in hand. This will ensure that you do not run out on rolls and extra storage space at all times.

You Will Also Need :
-Wireless Flash Receiver
-Remote Cord
-Camera Battery Grip
-Battery Grip
-Photographer Bag

Do not forget to put in a tripod or monopod stand, as well as an additional battery grip into your kit. You would need a couple of super clamps to hold the slave flashlights in place. That about covers the essentials you need as a wedding photographer.

8 Indoor Portrait Photography Tips

Here are some indoor portrait photography tips that does not require you to have access to expensive studio lightings, but will still be able to produce professional indoor portraits.

What say you if there are ways you can conduct indoor portrait photography at the comfort of your own home? Although with only one light source, you can still take photographs that look stunning. All you’ll need is an angle-poise lamp.

8 Tips For Indoor Portrait Photography

Photography Tips #1 – Background

To begin, position your subject to be sited in front of a light absorbing black velvet. The velvet creates a black background for your photo shoot. As to support the velvet, you can use about anything to hold it up. A bookcase for instance, is good enough.

Photography Tips #2 – Lighting Tips

After your model is comfortably sited, adjust the lamp so that it is positioned just slightly above his/ her head. Also, have the lamp positioned towards the right side of your model. This light setting will create a classic and stunning portrait photography result.

There are many other lighting effects you can try out. So go wild with creativity and don’t limit yourself.

Photography Tips #3 – Fast Shutter Speed

Set your shutter speed to be relatively fast. I normally set my camera to 1/160 sec at f/2.8, ISO500. Also, it is advisable that you use a tripod to complement your photography.

Photography Tips #4 – Use A Tripod

The tripod will get rid of camera shake, hence refrains from ruined indoor portrait photographs. The indoor portrait photos produced will be sharp when you use a tripod.

Photography Tips #5 – Longer Focal Length

I normally use the 80-200mm f/2.8 lens and set it to 145mm. This is because longer focal lengths will result in a much more stunning indoor portrait photograph.

Photography Tips #6 – Take a Few Shots

Another thing you can do is to take a few shots just to test the exposure and general set-up. If you’re satisfied with the settings for the photo shoot, you can start your indoor photography session. It will be great if you can discuss with your model beforehand about the various poses and expressions he/she can do.

Photography Tips #7 – Experiment The Various Lighting Conditions

Different lighting angles will result in a different indoor portrait photography effect. All you have to here is to try the different lighting positions and see which one works well for you. Such lighting angles include the right side, above, the left side, below and from behind your subject.

Photography Tips #8 – Use A Reflector

Whenever the light is too harsh, it creates unwanted shadow that ruins your indoor portrait photography attempts. What you can do here is to use a reflector on the opposite side of the light source. The reflector bounces the light onto your subject, thus creating a much softer light illumination.

Capture Spectacular Fireworks Display

Fireworks Photography Tips #1 – Slow Shutter Speed

When you photograph fireworks, it is very important that you set your camera to a slow shutter speed. Since slow shutter speeds will be in need, you will also have to ensure good camera support. This will make sure that the pictures taken will turn out looking steady and clear.

Fireworks Photography Tips #2 – Ensure Camera Stability

No doubt, one of the best ways to ensure camera stability is to use a tripod. Nonetheless, if you do not have a tripod, you can opt to brace yourself against a building, or maybe a tree. Otherwise, you can have your camera placed on wall. When you use DSLRs, you can use the shutter release cable or self-timer function. Using any of these 2 options will release the shutter without any camera shake.

Fireworks Photography Tips #3 – Do Not Use Flash

Don’t use flash when in attempt to photography fireworks. Flash will not help capture fireworks at a distance. Nonetheless, flash does help lit subjects; be it objects or even people in the foreground. A perfect example of this is when photographers shoot portraits with fireworks as the background; they will often use flash to illuminate their model.

Fireworks Photography Tips #4 – Set To Manual

Fireworks photography is definitely special photography genre where you will have to be brave and enter into the world of manual settings. Both your lens focus and exposure must be set to manual. Adjust the focus ring so that it is set to infinity focus. The symbol for infinity is similar to the number eight figure, except that it is turned sideways. A vast majority of lenses have distance scales imprinted onto them.

Fireworks Photography Tips #5 – Exposures

One thing that you should do is to experiment with long shutter speeds. This includes a shutter speed that is anywhere between 1 second and 16 seconds, about ISO 100. The shutter speed that is suitable varies depending on the amount of ambient light as well as the amount of fireworks in the sky. Why use relatively long exposures to photography fireworks? This is simply because long exposures can capture the burst of fireworks, producing moving streaks against the dark sky. Using long exposures will indeed produce stunning fireworks photography effects.

There really isn’t any perfect shutter speed. All you need to do is to try different shutter speeds and get the sort of fireworks photography you are after. Another thing you should do is to dial in a low f/stop. Anywhere between f/8 and f/16 will be good. Doing this will prevent the scene from being overexposed during the long exposures. Despite that, using low f/stops will also help refrain from light blooms that come from the explosions of fireworks in the sky.

Firework Photography Tips #6 – Use One Long BULB Exposure

With one long BULB exposure, you can combine a few fireworks together into one picture when you hold the shutter open for half a minute or longer. Adjust your camera settings so that it is set to manual, and use the top-mounted Main Dial. The shutter speed will then be set to BULB.

As long as you the release is remained depress, the shutter will also be kept open. This will allow you to photograph a few bursts of fireworks in one picture, rather than just one burst of fireworks.

While you’re at this, remember to block off the lens and sensor in between the bursts of fireworks. Doing this allows you to refrain from facing problems such as skies looking muddy grey in pictures. Yes, the sky can look muddy grey if it is continuously being overexposed while you wait for a few bursts of fireworks to occur.

6 Digital Wedding Photography Tips For Successful Wedding Photography

Taking digital wedding photographs can be much different from taking pictures with a standard camera. You will have a number of advantages available; however, there are also other considerations that must be made. Below you will find digital wedding photography tips to help guide you through the process.

Digital Wedding Photography Tips #1: Getting the Shot without Disturbing the Service

One of the most important digital wedding photography tips that should be observed is how to make sure you achieve the shot without actually disturbing the ceremony. First, you should always make sure the sound on your camera is turned off.

Nothing disturbs a ceremony more than the sound of a digital camera. In addition, make sure you time your movements with other activity during the ceremony so that you can achieve the boldness you need to get the right shot without being obtrusive.

Digital Wedding Photography Tips #2: Being Prepared

Being prepared when taking wedding photographs is always important but it is even more so when using a digital camera. You will need to make absolutely sure you have an adequate number of batteries. Batteries tend to drain quickly and you do not want to find that your battery has run out of power before the end of the event.

Memory is also another critical element that should be observed. Make sure you bring enough memory cards with you.

Digital Wedding Photography Tips #3: Types of Photos

Ideally, you should go over the shot list with the bride and groom ahead of time. You can always provide a shot list to the couple and allow them to add or subtract the types of formal group shots they want taken. Candid shots are always popular for weddings. Both photos taken before the ceremony as well as during the reception can provide an excellent opportunity for natural, candid shots.

When you are working on the shot list with the couple is an excellent time to have them review some of your prior work. This can help to manage expectations and ensure the couple knows what to expect from your work. Of course, you should always have a signed contract to make sure all contingencies are covered in the event something does not go as planned.

Digital Wedding Photography Tips #4: Choosing your Equipment

A tripod can come in quite handy when shooting digital wedding photography because it allows you to set-up and maintain the shot with perfection. In addition, you should also make sure you bring along your extra flash just in case you need it. Try to predict in advance what kind of equipment and lenses you need, if possible by visiting the location before the wedding.

Digital Wedding Photography Tips #5: Editing

Digital wedding photography provides you with the unique advantage of being able to correct or enhance the photos after the fact. You can crop them in order to remove elements that are distracting or you can correct red-eye. These benefits allow you to focus more on capturing the image with the knowledge that you can always touch it up later through the editing process.

Digital Wedding Photography Tips #6: File Formats

When using a digital camera there are a number of different formats that can be used. RAW is one of the best formats due to the fact that this format allows you to manipulate the photos after they have been taken. It does require additional processing time; however, the benefit of being able to manipulate white balance and exposure can be well worth it for wedding photographs.

JPG allows you to achieve very high image quality along with good compression ratios. This is something that GIF is not able to do.

Even though JPG is a good compromise between file size and quality I would advise you to use RAW file format for all your digital wedding photography. The reason is the flexibility RAW format provides to adjust exposure and white balance.

You generally won’t get a second chance to shoot wedding photographs and using RAW file format provides can help you recover otherwise hopeless photographs.

This can make the difference between a very satisfied or dissatisfied couple.

Fashion Photography Tips For Success

We see them all over the place; in television advertisements, in magazines, and on the runway. They are the beautiful men and women who strut their stuff while showing off the latest styles from the hottest fashion designers. These are the fashion models of today and tomorrow, and the subject of high fashion photography. It is through photography that these models and fashionable clothing are brought to the public. Therefore, these photographs must be taken with a certain level of precision and a special attention to color, style, and lighting composition. Learning a few key fashion photography tips will help to make this possible.

High fashion photographers such as Mario Testino and Eva Mueller may not be as famous as the models they shoot, but they are actually sought out more than their model counterparts by fashion magazines and designers. While the dream of huge paychecks and hobnobbing with the rich and famous might appeal to the aspiring fashion photographer, it is not easy to become successful in fashion and model photography. For every one talented young photographer who makes it big, there are hundreds are left dreaming about the moment their photo will be chosen.

Here are a few fashion photography tips for anyone interested in getting started in the field of fashion photography. The first thing you must do is study your subject. As with any field, you can never learn enough. Read as many fashion magazines you can possibly get your hands on. There are a number of fantastic books on the subjects of fashion and model photography available. They can be purchased cheaply online at sites like Amazon.com or even cheaper if you get them used on eBay. You will also need a good camera, a tripod, and a lighting system. One of the more often overlooked fashion photography tips, is to ensure that you always have plenty of film and extra batteries available.

One of the most important fashion photography tips to focus on is having a portfolio. You need to start assembling a portfolio of your work and you need to keep this portfolio handy at all times. You never know when you will have the opportunity to show your work off to someone in the fashion world. Sharp, vibrant images on a 4 x 5″ transparency will best show off your work, so focus on them when putting your fashion photography portfolio together. If any of your work has already been published regardless of whether it was a local magazine, newspaper or contest, add a tear sheet (literally a sheet you torn out of the magazine) is a great addition to a portfolio. You should have a minimum of 20 photographs in your portfolio and showcasing different styles.

In this day of the internet, it is wise to display your fashion photography talent online as well. Setup a simple website displaying your work and submit your digital photos to online contests. Also, submit them to online fashion gallery websites. This will help tremendously with getting your work seen and showcasing your talent around the world. Probably the most important of all the fashion photography tips is to get your photographs seen by as many people as possible. There is no better way of doing this than by putting them online.

Remember that most fashion magazine editors are looking for your personality in the photographs that you take. Each fashion photographer will captures the essence of a fashion design and model differently. Most importantly, if this is your dream, do not give up, ever! Keep learning the latest high fashion photography tips and keep working to get your photographs on the cover of my next hot fashion magazine.