There are no quick recipes for success in wedding photography, but there sure are handy tips that can fetch you decent images. How you go about transforming decent into exceptional is up to you and how creative you can be, not in the camera—unlike what you hear often.
Having said that, you can’t be unleashing your creativity with the wrong camera settings. So, here’s a list of some fairly “safe” camera settings for wedding photography.
No matter what anybody says, there’s no debating the fact that RAW gives you a lot more detail to work with when it comes to post-production. So, if you enjoy post-processing or editing, tab over to RAW from JPEG.
#2. Auto White Balance
When RAW is your default, you can confidently leave the color temperature setting to your camera. In the rare case when the camera is wrong, you can always correct it in post.
Aperture priority for a situation that involves moving subjects and a lot of action can cause great grief later. Especially indoors when the light is not all that great and your camera might default to a slow shutter to go with your aperture selection. When it’s shutter that you are choosing—letting the camera choose the aperture—you might be left with more depth (and less background blur) in images that you may not like.
So, manual is the way to go.
#4. Fast shutter speeds
Unless you’re shooting details (decor, jewelry, and the like) that lie absolutely still and don’t hit back, weddings are all about fleeting moments. The only way to freeze this action is by choosing a fairly decent shutter speed.
#5. Wide aperture
Don’t we all love the dreamy, out-of-focus backgrounds in wedding photographs? If that’s your thing, pick a lens that can go wide (2.0 and wider) and is high on bokeh…bohkah..bohkay…whatever.
Also, remember that the wider you go, the more light you let in, which helps with your shutter speed needs and also in keeping ISO (subsequently, noise in images) low.
Still placing your subjects smack bang in the middle of the frame? Well, we understand that this might be because of the auto focus deficiencies of your camera. There is a solution to that: focus on the subject by half-pressing the shutter, and without releasing the shutter/removing your finger off the button, recompose to your liking…and when you’re happy with the composition, full-press and release the shutter button.
Of course, this requires a lot of practice for your images to be sharp (also needs your lens to be supportive); especially, when you’re dealing with wide apertures that tend to blur out everything.
#7. Reasonably high ISO
If all else fails, and you don’t have a lens that doesn’t go wide enough or the light isn’t good enough for fast shutter speeds, there is always ISO to the rescue. Just make sure you don’t ramp it up beyond a point where your images start losing detail.