7 must-have camera settings for wedding photography

Indian weddings

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.

#1. RAW


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.

#3. Manual


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.

#6. Focus-recompose


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

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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.

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  1. dili optim said:

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  2. Jagdeesh R said:

    Thank you Alpheus sir. I adore your knowledge on the subject. Your articles have added a new dimension to my learning curve. Thanks a ton.
    I have a problem when I shoot weddings. The whites aren’t really white, esp the garlands. WB is Auto, and I shoot in jpeg(which I wouldn’t shoot from now). Is it because of the video lights or do I need to change any settings in the camera? or it can be corrected only in post processing? Please advise.

    • Alpheus said:

      Hello Jagdeesh. Since you’ve chosen Auto WB, you will need to correct your white balance during post production. You will find several descriptive articles on the web on setting the right white balance through Photoshop or Lightroom. And, we are planning to add one on Cambyte shortly. So, keep an eye out for that one.

  3. sridhar said:

    Loved the stuff.Your web site is superb How to get regular updates from you ?