NJ / NYC wedding photographer

I’m a wedding photographer, based in NJ, and also photograph weddings in Manhattan, New York; Connecticut. I work further afield too, including destination weddings.

My approach to wedding photography is a flexible one – borrowing from the best elements of classic wedding photography, liberally mixed with modern photo-journalistic story-telling. I love working with my bridal couples in getting the best possible images of their wedding day. It really becomes a collaboration in that way, as we have fun on the wedding day and get wonderful images that will evoke memories for a life-time.

My work can be seen in this wedding photography gallery, as well as my wedding photography blog. If you are interested in using me as your wedding photographer, please contact me.

Neil vN

 

tips, advice & techniques for wedding photographers

This resource page is a listing of articles on the Tangents blog which relate directly to wedding photography.

The articles encompass a wide range – lighting and posing, and advice on how to develop your own style in wedding photography. The advice is ultimately geared towards enabling you, as the photographer, to deliver the best possible images to your clients.

 

wedding photography – developing a personal style

Developing a personal style is a never-ending journey as a photographer – honing your style along with your approach, technique, understanding and skill.

tips & advice for second shooting weddings

For me, a second shooter is a fully fledged photographer working independently, but closely with, the main photographer. A second photographer is there to augment the main photographer’s coverage of the wedding. As such, there are certain things that could be (and should be) expected from a 2nd shooter at a wedding.

best lenses for wedding photography

Choosing which lens to use while photographing a wedding, is obviously an extension of your own style. It affects how you want to portray your subject, or the scene, through choice of depth-of-field, perspective and angle of view … or even through some special effect, such as a fish-eye lens or tilt-shift lens.

shooting wedding portraits in bright sunlight

Hard sunlight overhead is some of the most difficult light that you can find yourself shooting in. When you’re able to move your bride and groom (and even bridal party), and don’t have the opportunity for off-camera lighting, then you still have a few simple but effective options.

exposure metering for the bride & the bride’s dress

From a technical point of view, photographing a bride in her dress can be a challenge … depending on the lighting. The simplest way for me then to get accurate exposure, is to use the histogram. I place my brightest relevant tone at the edge of the histogram. All the other tones will fall into place. In this way, you simply expose correctly for your subject – the bride in her white dress.

top 5 tips on shooting engagement photo sessions

I love doing engagement photo sessions because this allows me the opportunity to connect with my clients before their big day. There are many other advantages to doing the engagement photo session. Here are my top 5 tips for a successful photo session with your clients.

what else is in your camera bag?

Some extra non-photography related goodies I keep in my camera bag to make my life easier as a wedding photographer.

 

as the wedding day unfolds

  • photographing the wedding processional
    The processional is technically probably the most difficult part of a wedding to shoot and get right. Light levels are low in cavernous churches while people are walking towards you. Getting enough light on them, and having that light look good, as well as getting the image sharp .. that’s a tall order.
  • flash photography during the wedding ceremony in church
    Whether or not to use flash during a wedding ceremony in a church, is a tricky decision to make. You have to weigh the solemnity of the occasion, with the contractual and artistic requirements to create awesomely awesome images.
  • wedding photography – light & lighting; posing & direction
    Posing, directing and lighting a bridal party group outside – there’s a way to break it all down to simple elements which will help the photo session come together naturally, without being overwhelmed by the decisions which have to be juggled simultaneously.

 

romantic portraits of the bride and groom

Trying different lighting ideas, whether in posing or with lighting, to give the bride and groom a variety of images.

 

wedding photography technique & style

 

lighting the wedding formals

When photographing the family portraits, you can really help yourself by nailing your lighting. Get it down.  Then you can concentrate on getting the groups together, and concentrate on posing the groups. But your lighting works! Much less stress.

 

working with tungsten / incandescent light

Since much of wedding photography is done indoors, we constantly have to deal with Incandescent / Tungsten light. The best advice … embrace it! Some of this applies during the romantic portrait session with the couple, as well as the reception.

 

photographing the wedding reception

Wedding receptions, for me, are the easiest part of the day. People are having fun, and the activity is generally contained to one area only. And for the photographer, the pressure is generally off by now. Now you can have fun as well with the party photos, and still nail the images and give the bride and groom the best you can. There are a few techniques I use to give consistency to what I deliver.

A few years back, I would regularly use additional lighting to add extra light to the reception room, in order to avoid the dreaded black background which everything faded into. But I rarely do so these days, relying on higher ISO settings and wide apertures … and bounce flash.

A common technique used in photographing wedding receptions, is to use additional lighting to lift the general light levels in large reception rooms. The additional lights can be wirelessly controlled TTL flash .. but more often would be manual flashes. Then an on-camera flash can be used, either in manual, or in TTL


 

wedding slideshows & end-of-year slideshows

My best work as a wedding photographer, in an easily viewed way – a slideshow.

 

back to the main index page

 

 

photography books by Neil vN

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

 

newsletter / forum / photography workshops

If you find these articles of value, then you can support this website by ordering photo gear
via this Amazon affiliate link or any of the other affiliate links. Thank you!

If you need more direct help with photography, I also offer
photography workshops and individual tutoring sessions.

Join us on the Tangents forum for further discussions,
and stay informed of new articles via the monthly newsletter.

{ 9 comments. } Add a Comment

1 Naieem Kaiz July 31, 2010 at 3:56 am

Hi Neil,

I am from India.. congrats on having such a great website.. you are doing an awesome job.. btw this new section is really exciting and interesting at the same time..

Reply

2 drixel July 31, 2010 at 7:09 am

Hi Neil!

“Give, and it will come back to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. . .”

Thank you so much for your generosity!!! One day, I can share my images that matter because of your sharing and teaching. One day, too many will do the same! Salamat!!!

Reply

3 Corby Chapin July 31, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Neil,
I’m shooting my first wedding in about 2 hours. I don’t own a camera. Any suggestions?

Sorry – I saw your mini rant on another post and just had to….hope it gave you a chuckle and not a mini heart attack! Great posts, as usual!

Reply

4 Neil vN November 1, 2010 at 8:23 pm

You don’t have an iPhone or Crackberry to take photos with? Actually, I’m waiting for the first ‘out there’ wedding photographer to shoot a wedding on an iPhone.

Neil vN

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5 Alexis February 17, 2011 at 8:05 am

Hi Neil
I have just been asked to shoot my first wedding111 Really nervous. I only have a Canon 50D with a Meca Blitz Flash gun. Any tips you could give to get some good shots would really help!! Thanks so much…….

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6 April March 2, 2011 at 9:34 am

Wow – I opened so many tabs from link while reading your photo tips, I crashed my browser… you just have SO much great info!

You have been very helpful for a fledgling photographer like myself. I am trying to cram a bunch of learning in as possible in a very short amount of time.

Thanks for so much wonderful, free information explained plainly without being condescending or exclusionary.

Your shots are amazing and I am very thankful for your decision to share your knowledge. You have already helped me immensely!

Thanks!
April

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7 Juraj November 21, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Hi Neil,

If you don’t mind, could you share with us your approach to delivering your final product to the client (wedding couple)? I know every photographer might have a different approach, and as a wannabe wedding photographer I just don’t know what might work best. (Yeah, I know, I’ll probably find out when I actually start shooting weddings in my specific market, but still, I’d like to know your opinion).

I know there are successful photographers out there, like Lee Morris of Fstoppers, for whom the life is just easier without designing wedding albums. He delivers JPEGs, creates a video slideshow with music etc., but doesn’t deliver an album – and yet he charges thousands of dollars per wedding, which means there’s probably many clients who don’t care about the album.

Then there are photographers, like Jerry Ghionis or Joe Buissink, for whom their wedding albums or large prints are a kind of their trademark, and they may not do slideshows at all.

What are your thoughts on this, what works best for you? For a beginner photographer like me, trying to sort it all out, the amount of options is just overwhelming – what products to deliver, what medium to use (DVD or flash drive, ordinary or luxurious, in what package, where to get custom packages with one’s logo etc.), how to design albums, what software to use for slideshows, etc etc. There’s so much more to wedding photography than just “get a camera and learn how to use it”.

If you deliver an album, is that optional for the client, or do they HAVE to buy it from you, and you deliver JPEGs only after they paid for the album?

Basically, I guess I’d like to know what your “delivery workflow” is, in as much detail as you can share. Maybe this is something for a separate article, or next series of FAQ’s.

Thank you very much for any input.

Juraj, Slovakia

Reply

8 Neil vN November 21, 2014 at 3:04 pm

This is a hugely divisive topic, as you may have noticed. Since the early 00’s with digital overwhelmingly becoming the dominant medium (as opposed to film), the established way of divvying out photos, one by one via prints from negatives, have changed. With digital you can send unlimited copies.

I include high-resolution JPGs (edited or color, contrast, saturation, etc … but not retouched) as part of the basic package. Albums are additional. I would say about 60% of my clients take an album.

I do believe it will become even more difficult to sell yourself as a wedding photographer without including the digital files. It will become the norm, regardless of how the wedding industry leaders try to fight that tide. However you decide to do it, it has to be done with sound business in mind where your business as a photographer as sustainable. Purely doing “shoot & burn” for the lowest fee, is not a good way to run your business, and that just propels you towards that “race to the bottom” that seems to be prevalent. Still, you need to look at how to market yourself competitively.

So however you decide to do this, it has to be done with consideration to your local market, your own niche or level, and what is sustainable. Also, be sure to look for advice from working photographers.

I hope this helps a little.

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9 aahman December 2, 2014 at 11:29 am

Hi Neil, I have a canon 7D. Sometimes l will shoot and l know l am in focus but when l zoom in on the eyes the eyes looks soft. Can you help?

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