There is nothing like being able to photograph couples in the right location. There are some locations that can be absolutely brilliant while others can ruin a perfectly framed photograph. However, apart from the venue itself there are several places you can pick up that will be perfect for wedding photographs. That said finding these places can be difficult. In this article we will look at five ways you can locate great spots for photographs.
Google Earth, Maps and Street View are by far the easiest to use and useful pieces of software when it comes to locating photography locations. Simply zoom in the locations for the wedding and then the reception. Using the time of day that the wedding is planned find locations that will have the sun at varying angles throughout the day. For instance, if the wedding is at the chapel at 3pm then the sun will most probably be around the back of the chapel. This means that you’ll need to take along an extra flash. This also means that you’ll need to frame your shorts using a 200mm zoom if you want to capture the lush greenery of the area. Then during the drive from the chapel to the reception you can find spots where it’s possible to stop for a few portraits with the couple.
Become a member of a photo club
This is an excellent way to go out and explore new locations and meet new people around your area. That said it is very useful even if you have lived in one place your entire life because there is a good chance that someone else has found a great location that you still do not know about. It also helps you learn about new perspectives. Many times photography clubs will hold a number of walks every year that will help you visit different locations. So, when you’re called in to cover a wedding in that area you know pretty much everything about it.
Go at night to an old place
One very good trick is to use an old location as if it were new by photographing at night. The absence of light changes the way we look at things and so you see a familiar location slightly differently. This also open you to new challenges that will push the ISO of your camera to new limits. This is why many photographers take a wedding couple back to the chapel at night for a few more photos just to give a different spin the marriage.
Buy a guide book to the state
If you have been hired to cover a wedding in another state the best thing you can do to prepare is to purchase a guide book to the state. These cost around $5 and have a list of all the most exotic locations. In addition to reading about these locations you can run a picture search online for locations that are located near the wedding venue. This will give you an opportunity to get as close as possible to the location without visiting it. Once you have shortlisted the best locations online and in the guidebook the next step is to visit them prior to the wedding.
Fill your gas tank and drive
When you visit a location always take note of the surroundings. For instance, is the location surrounded by old buildings, modern skyscrapers, old homes, forests, grasslands etc. Then plan your shots and take a few pictures from every direction using your camera. Alternate between an 80mm, 200mm and 100mm lens. This will help you find what works best in terms of creating drama and contrast at the location.
Many photographers tend to stick with their tried and true methods of photography. That said if you want to improve and go from being an average quality wedding photographer earning a few hundred dollars a night to someone who a few thousand dollars then preparing and experimenting is key to this pursuit. Your job should be to do as much research as you can about the location so that you’re prepared for everything. The better you know the location and adjoining scenic spots the better your photos will turn out without a doubt.