Someone’s wedding day is one of the most important days in a person’s life. This entire day is one big and beautiful story, and it’s your task to tell it with images. In this video from B&H, wedding and portrait photographer Cliff Mautner shares five quick but powerful tips for telling a story with your wedding photos.
1. Know your gear
This may seem as a no-brainer, but it’s always good to remind you: you should know your gear, and know it well. Anticipation and prompt reaction is a must when capturing moments at the wedding. And if you’re fumbling with your gear, you are likely to miss many crucial, once-in-a-lifetime moments.
2. Set the moments without staging
Directing your clients is an important part of creating a successful image. However, if you want a more photojournalistic, storytelling approach, you shouldn’t direct your clients for every shot. It’s up to you to make sure that the lighting and the composition are good, but then empower your clients to create the moments themselves, and you should be ready to capture them.
3. Create texture, dimension, and mood
Adding texture, dimension and mood help drawing the viewer’s eye towards the story happening in the photo. Cliff says that he achieves it by using “shadow as his canvas and light as his paint.” You can use light, but also clever framing or leading lines to lead the viewer’s attention to a specific part of the image.
4. Choose focal length carefully
Choose your lens depending on the story you want to tell and the emotion you want to show. For example, if you want to shoot an isolated, close-up portrait, a longer lens such as an 85mm or a 105mm would be a good choice. On the other hand, if you want to show a bit more of the surroundings and add more context, a wider lens such as 35mm is a better option.
5. Light, light, light!
Last but not least, “it’s all about light,” as Cliff concludes. Use a speedlight to balance the ambient light, to add drama, or to emphasize certain moments and details. Proper lighting adds proper mood to the scene, helping you tell the story in the best possible way.
[5 Quick Tips | Tell a Story When Photographing a Wedding | B&H Photo Video]