How to become a more creative and artistic wedding photographer
If there is a factor that will differentiate a photographer from being just another wedding photographer taking pictures, to being an inspired, artistic wedding photographer; then it is the simple desire to create amazing works of art by challenging ourselves to constantly think outside the box. This blog outlines some simple tools that we can utilize to become more creative and artistic wedding photographers
Being obsessed with learning photoshop and various photography techniques made photography super fun for me. Everyday I wake up ready to learn something new. I often watch creative live and B&H Photography workshops to stay inspired in my photography work.
I used to say that I was a natural light photographer. Honestly, I just never really tried using professional lighting, and thus, my lack of knowledge made me a natural light photographer more then anything.
It certainly is the easier route to just bring the minimal amount of equipment to a shoot, especially for our backs. However, it can be worth it to bring the more advanced equipment that we tend to leave behind in favor for a lighter set up. if needed, you can even find an assistant to help you carry your bags for you.
Here are some of the toys and techniques that I use on a regular basis to create creative works of art for my clients, along with images reflecting the times I’ve applied these toys and techniques. Feel free to subscribe to my blog for more tutorials and wedding pictures <3
1> Honey Comb Grids.
These grids go over your flashes and prevents flash from spilling and traveling throughout the room, or in other words, they make your flash directional. These are excellent if you only want to light up parts of your image instead of the whole image. For the bellow image, I used a honey comb grid to light up just the bride. My flash was on manual mode on the lowest power, and I had a Tiffen ND filter (see number 2 bellow) on my 35 mm 1.2 lens to make the room darker. The bride was actually sitting by a window for this shot with lots of natural light coming through. I love using these grids for dramatic images. You can get them here for a very affordable price.
2. Variable ND Filter.
If you are familiar with my photographic style, then you know that I Love to capture clouds in my images. This can be challenging sometimes in Florida while shooting at a wide open aperture. The sky can look blown out and sometimes even completely white. My Variable ND filter allows me to not only shoot wide open in the middle of the day while capturing beautiful clouds but it also allows me to create completely different looks no matter what time of the day it is. I can also use flash in sunlight without shooting at f8<. The bellow image was shot at 10am on a super sunny day. For the phone booth image , I placed two flashes inside the phone booth to lighten up my subjects while using the ND filter on the darkest setting. The filter that I use is the Tiffen 77mm Variable ND Filter which can be adjusted 2 to 8 stops to create the look that I want. This ND filter can be purchased on amazon, or on B&H Photo.
3. Westcott flex LED mat.
I just love this super portable and super lightweight westcott light. I bring this in my purse to my sessions in case I feel like I need it. The light is super bright, easy to use, and you can roll it into an icelight, which is how I used it for the bellow two images! I also use this light when it is cloudy out casting shadows under my subjects eyes.
4. Odd angles
I love shooting from odd angles. I sometimes find myself inside bushes, shooting from really far away from the clients (or really close), or laying on the floor to create a different perspective.
I often use the rule of thirds, but sometime I break those as well! Using different angles can allow to viewers eyes to travel throughout the image and creating a more interesting perspective and mood
6. Placing objects in front of the camera lens.
I use this technique to create a story and to add an element of mystery to an image. An image can appear more dreamy and romantic when placing an objects in front of your lens to add just a touch of color to the edge of the image, bokeh effect or even lens flares when using a crystal – all while shooting with a wide open aperture. It also adds an artistic twist to the image.
7. Using flash with triggers.
If you have two flashes, get flash triggers with two flash stands to allow you to shoot with off camera flash. Using off camera flash can really up the quality of your image and allows for brighter, sharper pictures- all with a portable, easy to carry system. There is no limits to the creativity and artistic freedom you will have with off camera flash. I create catch lights and even replicate golden hour with warm gels! You don’t need to shell out a ton of money for triggers- Yongnuo offers triggers that are super reliable and good!
The takeaway of this post is that there are endless ways to be more creative and artistic as a wedding photographer. The more we learn and practice different techniques, the more skills we can offer our clients. I hope you feel inspired to think outside the box and to become the most amazing photographer that you can become. If you like this post, feel free to comment bellow, send feedback or share it with others whom you think might benefit from this post.
Yesenia and Joaquin’s Castle Hotel Wedding Photography
I had the pleasure of capturing Yesenia and Joaquin’s wedding along with a team of amazing vendors two weeks ago. The beautiful couple flew in on the same morning as hurricane Matthew graced the coast of florida. Luckily there was no extensive damage in Orlando, however the entire wedding party was stuck inside for a couple of days sure to torrential rains and high winds. What an adventure!
The ceremony took place at the spacious St. James Catholic Cathedral in downtown Orlando followed by a reception at the beautiful Castle Hotel, which was a first for me! I always feel the most creative when photographing at new venues for some reason.
During the break time, we managed to sneak off to take some pictures in downtown lake Eola and then at the Orlando Eye for some wide angle shots.
My favorite time of the day was just hanging out with Yesenia while she was getting ready, as well as the couples nighttime pictures around the grounds of the Castle Hotel. If you know me, you know that I love to shoot at night. I love the rich colors, the playing with lights, and capturing true works of arts using various lighting techniques.