More and more couples are wanting to be photographed outdoors on their wedding day. The raw beauty of nature as a backdrop makes for a meaningful and authentic shoot. How can photographers on a budget, or with limited equipment, offer such an important service? How we photograph an outdoor wedding on a restricted budget?
The answer is simple – one can still have great success by understanding the environment, what couple is looking for, and how a camera operates.
1. Mind over matter
Don’t obsess over the latest gear but rather focus on what you have in front of you. One can quickly improvise and achieve stunning results through working with the natural environment around you, like the lighting, props, and subject. If we took the same photo with two cameras of alternating prices most people will not be able to tell the difference. It is less about having the most expensive camera, and more about making the most of what you have. Many photographers are popular because they have a strong understanding of film and composition, and not just the latest equipment. Whether you’re a Sydney wedding photographer or based abroad, focus on what you have and practise till you perfect the art.
2. Learn to edit
The shoot is not complete after the last photo is taken. These photos need to be touched up and corrected so they look professional and presentable. With an average or budget camera and lens, the output may not look very appealing in the viewfinder or preview, but with editing, they can improve significantly. Take the time out to learn how to edit professionally using an online photo editing service like Lightroom, Photoshop, or Polarr. Experiment with different techniques or filters until you find something that stands out.
With wildlife photography, you want to ensure the background isn’t overexposed or draw the viewer’s eyes away from the subject. Focus on the subject to create beautiful portraits with stunning depth of field. This means the couple’s faces are sharp and focused, and nature/trees/mountains in the background are blurry or bokeh.
3. The right time, right place, and having patience
If you are shooting a wedding in the wild, you’re most likely going to be interacting with animals, trees, earth and water. It takes patience to perfect the setup and ensure both the foreground and background fit the frame. Make sure you have enough time to play around with and prepared to adjust or change the scene if necessary. Prepare your equipment for a whole day of shooting, which means extra batteries and memory cards. Rather take more photos than necessary. Wildlife photography is unpredictable, every shot will be different.
4. Work with the couple
At the end of the day, what really matters is making sure the newly-wed couple is happy. Take the time out to show them each frame and whether they’re happy with the background and scene. It’s about capturing the raw and found love between them. You can get close up and steal those moments where their eyes cross or lips touch.
“Wedding photography is important because it will capture your day, it will capture your memories, it will tell a story, and not just any story, it will tell a beautiful story of your special day, a day you will never forget.”
More Ways to Get Started
Buy used gear (secondhand cameras or lenses work just as well, so long as they have been looked after).
Make your own gear (tripods, lighting kits, and props can all be made by yourself with a bit of creativity).
Keep learning (watch tutorials about your camera and editing software to perfect your skills).
You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions.
- Out of Africa
About the Photography Blog
African Wildlife Photos is a unique and comprehensive library of photography resources, specifically focusing on capturing wildlife/safari images. We research best-practices and bring you the latest news regarding technology, styles and advice on getting the best wildlife photos.
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