Photographing Outdoor weddings is a mix of opportunities and challenges. Opportunity to click some beautiful photos in with beautiful and natural backgrounds. A challenge as a photographer has no control over the weather, uneven lighting, the brightness of the sun, etc.
To get the best shots during the D-day, it’s important to plan everything well in advance. You can start your planning by advising the couple about the location and the time of the day that will be most appropriate for clicking the wedding photographs. Depending on the time decided for the wedding, carry all the necessary accessories and equipment that you might need for clicking pictures
The Best Tips for Outdoor Wedding Photography
1. Create a Personalized Shot Checklist
Wedding day is one of the most important days in a couple’s life. They plan a lot to make everything perfect. They want every moment of this day to be captured so that they can relish those memories throughout their life. As a photographer, you can understand that a lot happens during the wedding ceremony. You cannot be present everywhere. So, prepare a list of all the important events that you cannot afford to miss. This include, bride’s entry, the expression on the groom’s face at the bridegroom’s entry, the ‘I DO’ moment, exchange of rings, their first kiss as husband and wife, first dance, etc. A checklist will ensure that you won’t miss these special moments.
2. Have a Plan to Battle the Mid-day Sun
If it’s a day wedding, no matter how much you avoid, there must be some shots that you have to click on the bright light of the mid-day sun. Overcoming this challenge is very important, or you might end up having photos with people squinting. Clicking pictures under shade can be a perfect idea. Another way is to shoot in a way so that the sun is behind your clients. The right balance between angling of the clients in accordance with the sunlight and the exposure is the key to success while clicking photos at an outdoor wedding.
3. Clouds Are Your Friend
If the wedding day turns out to be cloudy, be thankful. Clouds can create the best possible natural light. As a result, you may end up with some of the most beautiful photos. Moving clouds can add further life to your photos. Always be ready as you don’t want to miss the shot with the ray of sunlight arising from the gap between the clouds and falling on the couple.
4. Dress for the Elements
To click beautiful photos, you have to be at ease. You would be able to give 100% to your work when you are comfortable. So always come prepared to face any weather as far as outdoor photography is concerned. This means always carry an umbrella, gloves, rain jacket, hat, etc. with you. You can even carry some extra umbrellas or rain jackets for your clients. It can turn out to be very handy in case there is some unexpected change in the weather.
5. Take Rainy Photos to Tell the Story of the Wedding Day
Rain adds colors of romance to the wedding photos. The mist and soft light make the wedding photos look more romantic. Rain gives a reason for the couple to cuddle. Moreover, rain on the wedding day might end up as a story which the bride and groom would love telling their kids. So, be ready to capture beautiful rainy photos and become the writer of that beautiful, romantic and exciting story.
6. Shoot in Raw
Shooting the wedding photos in RAW would be more beneficial in comparison to JPG. It would allow you to capture as many details as possible. This will further give you more flexibility in fixing the photos, later on. In the case of outdoor weddings, managing the natural light is quite tricky. As a result, manipulating the exposure and balancing the white becomes more essential. This could easily be done if the photos are clicked in RAW.
7. Watch Sparks Fly
To add a spark to your outdoor wedding photography album, click some beautiful night portraits. So, pull out the wedding couple from the hustle of their wedding reception and take some dramatic clicks. If you can take a shot of the couple with some sparklers, at the time when there is still some ray of natural light outside, it would make the photograph look magical.
8. Consider Foreground
While shooting an outdoor wedding, consider using foreground. It would not only add context but can also be used for layering. Adding layers to the wedding photographs, you can add a more dramatic feel to the photos. Layering can be of contextual subjects, images of people, or even graphic elements. You can use your creativity and innovative ideas to create beautiful wedding photos.
9. Take Wide Shots to Showcase the Atmosphere & Location
One of the most attractive elements of an outdoor wedding is the beauty of the location. Always remember there must be some reason that the bride and the groom have selected that location as their wedding venue. Capture those beautiful backdrops using a wide-angled lens. Try to click a bird-eye view photo of the entire venue. You can also use that beautiful location as a backdrop for the most important part of the ceremony- “The Vows.”
10. Watch Out for Trees
Using trees as a shade for conducting the ceremony, can make shooting photos difficult for the photographer. Overcoming the weird highlights and shadows appearing in the photos would test your photography skills. You may always ignore if the highlights are not on the faces of the bride and groom. But, in case the highlights are on the couple faces then try to minimize the effect by changing camera settings.
11. Expose for the Highlights
It is done to make sure that no area in the photo becomes unintentionally overexposed. Recovery of an overexposed area and blown out details is very difficult. Be cautious while exposure. To be on the safer side, make sure that the brightest part of the photo is exposed. This would highlight the subject, and the attention of the viewers would be on the subject.
The key to becoming a successful outdoor wedding photographer is your ability to overcome challenges, your creativity, and understanding of your camera.