Portraits of the bride and bridesmaids – location and direction
One of the series of photographs that I like to “have in my pocket” are the individual photos of the bride with each bridesmaid. This is the kind of photograph you can hammer out very quickly, one after the other. The bride with a bridesmaid, hugging each other. I always make time for this. One stumbling block might be a lack of place to do this. But there is usually somewhere to do this, by isolating your subject with a long lens against an out-of-focus background.
Still at the bride’s house, we had a few minutes before the limo had to leave. Inside the house there wasn’t really space to do this. So I looked outside. It was the usual New Jersey suburban clutter – cars and utility poles and houses and just things! Looking around me outside the house, I saw one direction I can shoot in that would give me a backlit image, with just out-of-focus trees in the background. Perfect!
Here is the pull-back shot to show what it looked like …
.. and with carefully selecting my background, I get the typical on-location portrait with an out-of-focus background.
By considering where I place my subject(s), and moving myself and my subject(s) in relation to the background .. and carefully framing with a long lens … I can get photographs where the viewer’s attention isn’t distracted by unnecessary elements within the frame.
- Simplifying composition with a fast telephoto zoom
- Wedding day portraits – simplifying composition for effect (bride: Jaime)
- Effective on-location portraits (model: Anelisa)
- Composition – finding your background
- Portraits with just a touch of on-camera fill-flash.
There is a repeatable method here that works every time! Even in a pinch. Actually, especially when you’re in a pinch to get the job done quickly.
With these images here, there was no editing in Photoshop. I just changed the WB slightly before processing to JPGs. With wedding photography, a fast workflow becomes necessary.
Video tutorials to help you with your photography
If you like learning by seeing best, then these video tutorials will help you with understanding photography techniques and concepts. While not quite hands-on, this is as close as we can get to personal instruction. Check out these and other video tutorials and online photography workshops.
Recommended lenses for wedding portraits
The lens that is essential here, is a fast 70-200mm zoom. I can’t be without this lens. Here it was my go-to lens to work at a wide-ish aperture (f4 in these examples), and a long focal length to help separate your subject(s) from the background. Both the Nikon and Canon lenses here are outstanding.