Whether you’re budgeting, can’t find a good photographer, or just don’t see the need to spend big on a couple of photos, DIY wedding photography is the way to go. Unfortunately, this does not mean handing your grandmother or your best friend a camera and hoping for the best. Instead, you should pick one or two people who have steady hands, and then work with them before the wedding. Just because you aren’t paying a professional, doesn’t mean you can’t have beautiful photos. Here are a couple of tips to help you get great wedding pictures without paying a pro.
Choose Your Photographers
The first thing you should consider is asking around to see who might be willing to take photos for you. Consider your best friend, your parents, your parents in law, or even your grandmother. Ideally you probably want a team of two to ten photographers so that they can switch off instead of getting bored. After all, they aren’t being paid. Just talk with them about important elements such as the fact that they will have to stay sober, and what kind of photos you are looking for.
Ideally everyone should have digital cameras, and preferably with preset options. A basic point and shoot digital should do the job quite nicely, although you want to aim for a higher number of megapixels. Typically anything over 10MP should be fine, but more megapixels is better for printing. Consider setting up any auto-stabilizing and auto-focus options on the camera to make for better photos.
If you have a professional digital camera, which you can rent, consider putting your settings at f-2.8 or higher to help with focusing on a larger crowd.
Getting Professional Quality
‘Practice makes perfect’ is a popular saying, and it’s true. Consider taking your team of amateur photographers around to take pictures of grass, trees, wedding items in shops so that they get used to taking pictures. You can also give them a final test run at your wedding rehearsal so you can go through the photos before your wedding day arrives.
You can also take a couple of steps to make your setting look more professional. Consider using a white or black backdrop to take pictures of your guests. White is the best option because combined with flash or even a bright day, it will look almost like a studio. Unless you want trees or a special building in the photos, this is a great way to make your photos look like you paid more for them.
Wedding Apps and Checklists
There are also a number of wedding photography apps that you can use to take, share, and edit your photos. These are mostly only appropriate if you plan on using smartphones to take your pictures, but they are a great way to allow everyone to contribute. WeddingSnap, Capsule, AppilyWed, and Guest Shots are just some of the app options available.
It is very important that you make a photo list. Even if you have ten or more people taking pictures, you still want to make sure that you get the photos that you want the most. Consider writing up and printing out a checklist, or using an app like Evernote to create and share a list with everyone who is taking pictures. Adding a checklist of do’s and don’ts is also a great idea. For example ‘try to have at least two people in every shot’, and ‘aim for detailed photos’ are good instructions.
There are plenty of ways to get great looking DIY photos, but probably the best ideas are to work with a theme, practice, and use good quality cameras.
Catherine Dobben is a full time wedding blogger at BestBride101.com. She’s also a full time mom of two great kids, engaged to the man of her dreams, and of course, loves taking pictures of everything.
Jerry Nelson is a freelance photojournalist from America. His latest book of photography, Suenitos tells the story of the only daycare inside the dangerous Hidden City. Now based in Argentina, he continues to turn his lens on social justice issues around the globe. Connect with Jerry on MosaicHub, Facebook or LinkedIn today. Have a story that needs to reach national media? Email him today.
In addition to being photo editor for the Internet’s largest collection of Travel Articles, Outbounding, he is also the lead photographer for BuenosTours, the specialists in private walking tours of Buenos Aires
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