Wedding photography tips and advice on how to reduce your photo retouching time in front of the computer..
I am in the fortunate position to have some really skilled clients like Chris Ferenzi a USA based wedding and event photographer, that regularly sends me quality photos to edit. On the flip side, I also get a lot of photo retouching enquiries from very unhappy brides and grooms. In my opinion weddings are probably one of the most important events in people’s lives and the wedding photos are meant to be a treasure to them. There are many things that can go wrong during a wedding photography photo shoot, below are a few tips that might help you avoid these common mistakes.
Wedding photography tips
1:Set the colour balance manually. I have lost count on the amount of times I have had to retouch wedding photos, to correct a “yellow” or “green” colour cast in all the photos. Weddings usually take place in at least two locations, so it is imperative that the photographer remembers to set the white balance for both locations.
2: If it is possible, go to both venues before the wedding day and do a few test photographs. You can check the photos to evaluate the lighting and see if there are any anomalies that would only appear after you have completed the photo shoot. In this way you can guarantee, no surprises when you open your photos to retouch them.
3: Keep an eye on the film speed (iso).This may sound like a silly tip, but I have had many wedding photo retouching clients, whose only request is to remove the graininess from wedding photos. The surprising thing for me is when I check the photos, they were shot in good lighting environments, but at a film speed (iso) of 1600 which is not needed.
4: Spend time with the bride and groom and get to understand what they are expecting from the final retouched wedding photos. Ask them to show you a selection of wedding photos that they really like, from magazines or online to get an idea of the style of photography that is pleasing to them and ultimately what they are expecting from you.
5: As a resource always take extra photographs of the venue(s). In my experience as a photo retoucher. I have had many requests from my clients to change the background of a photo, that was taken in a not so ideal location be retouched, say to in front of the church or venue as an example. This may not be a fault of the photographer, many clients may change their mind about the ideal setting for the wedding photos after they have been completed.
6: Be very careful when photographing outside to avoid direct light on the subjects. One of my most difficult photo retouching assignments is removing unwanted shadows and also bring back burnt out highlights from peoples faces. Human eyes are far more capable of viewing a wider spectrum of dark and bright areas. Unfortunately even the best and most expensive digital camera cannot correctly capture dark shadows and bright lights in a single image. If you are asked to photograph the wedding party outside, I would suggest looking for a natural umbrella such as a tree or an overhanging building, which will prevent the problems faced with shooting in direct sunlight.
7: If you feel you could do with some photographic inspiration or ideas, browse a wedding magazine or check out a talented wedding photographer’s Instagram feed to get some ideas. I sometimes browse Unsplash which has stacks of really great photos that are beautifully retouched!
8: For me the most important wedding photography tips that I have to share is always double check your equipment before the wedding day. Recently I had a batch of wedding photos to edit that were all out of focus. The camera had failed and the autofocus was not working.
These are only but a few of the common problems I encounter when retouching wedding photographs, I hope these wedding photography tips have been of some use to you. Feel free to contact me if you need any advice with when shooting a wedding.