Documentary Wedding Photography Tips for Beginners

Documentary wedding photography has become the most popular form of wedding photography in recent years, thanks to its approach in capturing candid and authentic moments that make a memorable event like a wedding even more memorable. Such popularity has made it become a preferred style nowadays among many wedding photographers.


If you’re looking into going into the documentary wedding photography style, it is important you get to be acquainted with the proper approach and methods in doing this type of photography. Luckily, we have compiled for you some tips on how to get started.

  1. Get to know more about the bride and groom

This may sound like a no-brainer, but some wedding photographers are guilty of leaving out this important tip. As a documentary wedding photographer, it is your job foremost to get to know more about the couple, not just on a level of photographer and subject but as someone who knows at least a few details, knowing their interests and at least a bit of their personalities. This will help you become more knowledgeable as to the moments you should not miss capturing the event.

  1. Be as less intrusive as possible

As a documentary wedding photographer, you are given access to what goes throughout the wedding day, capturing candid moments as they happen. However, you should also remember to keep distance and not be much of an intrusion to the people at the wedding, and especially to the bride and groom. Allow them some space for them to enjoy this special day and you will get to capture more magical moments.

  1. Be able to anticipate moments

A good photographer is not just someone who is always ready for any moment but also someone who can anticipate certain moments ahead. You must learn to have a keen sense of knowing from the initial movements you’ve seen that a certain moment is about come any second. It is not much about being a clairvoyant but having a great attention to detail and using it to your advantage to capture moments right on time.

4. Be able to tell a story in pictures

Primarily, your job as a documentary wedding photographer is to be able to craft a good story about the couple’s wedding. Thus, every photo you shoot should serve a greater purpose which is to tell part of that greater story. As such, strive to be direct to the point in telling the story, with less of the fillers as much as possible. Also, always be focused on the story at hand and not to be sidetracked along the way, forgetting the purpose why you are there in the first place.

  1. Don’t be afraid to try something new

Documentary wedding photography like what Smartpics UK Event Photography has, provides much freedom for you to work on as a photographer, you don’t have to worry much about formal setups. Be bold in trying different angles and compositions in the photos that you shoot to create a better output. Of course it helps to look at other examples you can find that would serve as your inspiration. But ultimately, you should remember to make your own style and brand for you to stand out from the rest.

  1. You don’t have to capture every moment

One mistake some documentary wedding photographers commit is that they tend to shoot just about every moment of the wedding, which not only drains battery life on your camera but also can be tiresome on your part. You don’t need to photograph the minute details unless they help tell the story you wish to convey. A good photographer should have a good sense of judgment as to what is worthy to be photographed vs. what is not.


  1. Never stop learning and improving yourself as well as your gear

Being a good photographer involves constant learning and improvement. You should take time and effort to learn new things especially now that so much is going on in the realm of photography. You should also set aside investing for the equipment you will use as a wedding photographer especially now that technology is constantly moving forward and you will need to have the best and latest gear should the situation call for it.

Take these tips to heart and you are well on your way to becoming a better documentary wedding photographer.

Preparing Moms for a Maternity Photo Shoot

maternity photography tipsThe arrival of a new baby is an exciting time for parents and those who are close to them. They can’t wait to see what the baby looks like and from whom he/she will get the looks. Well, the mother is perhaps the most excited of them all. She knows that everything she went through during pregnancy particularly pain will all be replaced with joy and fulfillment when the baby arrives.

The pregnancy period can best be remembered through a maternity photo shoot. A maternity photo shot is usually scheduled around the 31st to 36th week of pregnancy. You can have it earlier though if you want to but if you desire to get the best maternity pictures then 31 o 36 weeks is a good choice.

If you are a first-time expectant mom who is looking for a maternity photographer, you have to be extra careful in choosing one. There are photographers who are great in taking portrait shots but handling a maternity photo shoot is a different story.

The photographer must know how to take brilliant photos of you with consideration to your delicate condition. He/she must know the safe but great poses for you to do, the best location for the shoot and the right equipment to use. Your safety and comfort must be one of his major concerns. Choose someone who can really deliver professional –looking pictures like those by JLC Photography.

Here are some tips for expectant moms like you on how to choose and prepare for your first maternity photo shoot.

  1. Ask family or close friends for recommendations

Get recommendations from a friend, a relative who recently had a maternity photo shoot or your trusted wedding photographer andover. Ask how her experience was and if she was satisfied with the result. If she liked it, then ask for the contact information of the maternity photographer and add him/her to your shortlist.

  1. Search for maternity photographers online

You can also google online for several reliable maternity photographers, meet with them and check their portfolio. Take a close look at his/her previous works and if you like what you see, then the photographer might be a good choice. Start hunting as early as your first trimester and have the shoot scheduled around your last trimester.

  1. Determine your purpose for the shoot

Do you plan to hang your maternity portrait on your wall? Would you like to give the pictures to close friends and family during the baby shower? Or do you want to place the maternity photos in a baby book for your child to see years later? Well, you have to set your purpose and tell it to your chosen photographer so he/she can give suggestions as to what products he/she will deliver.

  1. Inform the photographer about any specific health or pregnancy concern

Are you having a difficult pregnancy? Did the doctor advise you to avoid too much stress or movement? Well, it is important for you to tell everything to your photographer so he/she can adjust accordingly. The photographer can also plan what poses are harmless for you to do and where to shoot pictures safely.

  1. Have your partner, other kids or close relatives join you

Your maternity pictures will look more significant with the presence of your loved ones. You can have your husband, other kids or loved ones included in some pictures. If you’re bringing small kids, you can request for the photographer to start with them included on the first few shot and have them sent home by an elder so you can focus on your solo maternity shots.

As part of your preparation, remember to have a thorough discussion with the photographer about the payment terms, location, clothing, post production and other important details. You can also bring props that are sentimental to you for these can add more life and uniqueness to your maternity photos.

Learning Photography Without Leaving Your Home

photography tipsAre you an amateur photographer who desires to become a pro? Do you want to learn how to become as skilled as this wedding photographer essex without leaving your home? Well, there are various ways you can learn photography in the comforts of your own home. Read the following helpful tips.

  1. Take a photography course online

Unlike before wherein you need to go to the actual school to learn your chosen course, today, there are several schools offering online courses. Even for those who want to become a photographer, there are photography-related courses that you can enroll in. Lessons are usually sent thru email, posted on the schools’ website or shared via an online communication tool. You can learn at your own pace and anytime you are free. This is surely a good way to learn photography at home. Make sure though to enroll in an accredited or recognized photography school so you can have more job opportunities and connections in the future.

  1. Look for inspirations over the Internet

Most professional photographers today are visible online. Some are very active in social media sites while others focus on updating their website wherein they post blogs or share their works. Find credible and interesting websites particularly those related to the photography type you are interested in. Observe how balanced and visually appealing their works are. You can also do the same in the future when you are ready to get your photography business started.

  1. Read your camera’s manual

When you bought your camera, you might have thought that the camera manual is not important to read. Well, your camera’s manual is in fact important to read and can be helpful in making you understand better your camera’s functions and features. Each camera is unique so going through the manual can help you learn how to get the most out of your camera.

  1. Practice shooting regularly

Nothing beats regular practice. You can find interesting subjects inside your own home and experiment with your shots. Try different angles, various lenses and use the various shooting modes in your camera. Observe the pictures you took and take note of how you shot your best photos. You can also try to shoot at different times of the day with some taken inside your home while others in your yard. Notice how the photos differ with sufficient, insufficient, bright or dim lighting.

Through regular practice even inside your home, you can surely improve your photography skills that can be an advantage when you get into the actual field.

  1. Familiarize your camera’s functions

Professional cameras offer different functions depending on brand, price and type. You will notice that even the buttons, dials or controls of the camera are placed differently from camera to camera. It is best for you to familiarize the placement of the buttons as well as the actual function of each button.

A beginner photographer like you can learn a lot even without having to travel or go out. You can definitely improve your skills and gain more knowledge even just inside your own home.

Why Should a Photographer Connect with Other Wedding Vendors

As a photographer starting out in the business of wedding photography, it is important that you get people to notice your work. And with competition tight these days, it is important that you market your business well in order for you to find more customers. However, this may be too much of a cost for you to handle especially if your strategies are not enough.

However, there’s no reason to lose hope. The good news is that there is a cost-efficient and effective method that will let you grow your business as a wedding photographer. And that is through building a network of wedding vendors who will help you find and connect with potential clients and be known in the photography industry as well.

There are a number of ways how building your network would help your business and your photography career, and we will note some of them below


Referrals will greatly benefit your business because your fellow wedding vendors like the wedding photographer hull can refer their clients to you. In return, do the same thing and refer your clients to them as well. You will never know your clients might be looking for a florist, caterer and other specific wedding vendor. Your recommendations would be a great help to them and they’ll thank you for it, which may help boost your profile in the process.


Connect with the Right People

When you connect with other wedding vendors, it is important to choose carefully who you’ll connect with. You need to connect and be friends with the right people, those who are already in the wedding industry before you came in. They know more people and are more experienced enough for them to  share with you more helpful advice on how to make it in the industry.

Weddings vendors can also be your real friends even when you’re not talking to them about business. Spend some time with them and have even small conversations which would help deepen the ties between you both.


Feature Each Other’s Work

When there is no wedding to cover, you can feature the business of your friends on your website, even as simple as putting in the credits the make-up artist who did the bride’s makeup or the venue where the shoot was taken. You may also schedule a photo session and take shots of their office or store as well as their products and/or services. This gesture will surely make them happy and they will most likely feature your business on their website as well.

By building a strong network, you will have a greater chance of gaining more customers, grow your business and make a name in the wedding industry in the long run.

Advantages of Hiring a Wedding Planner

wedding planningPlanning a wedding event is not as easy as you may think it is. It requires you to spend countless hours just to make sure that everything goes well as desired. Of course, we want our wedding to be successful, memorable and fun so we need to exert effort in making it run smoothly.

And since there are many things to handle, extra help from someone who has extensive experience in planning wedding might come in handy. That someone is the wedding planner. Most couples today hire a wedding planner to assist them in planning and implementing all necessary things for the wedding.

A professional wedding planner is someone who assists couples in planning and handling their wedding. He/she helps you book suppliers, find vendors, manage the seating of guests and carry out all other wedding-related tasks.

Here are several advantages of hiring a wedding planner.

  1. Help divide the wedding budget

Since your wedding planner has already worked on several weddings, he/she can give you an estimate as to how much you need to spend on particular services or products. He/she surely has an idea about reasonable price range of different services like for quirky wedding photography and videography. The wedding planner can also give suggestions on which caterer is best to hire or which wedding venue is best for your desired wedding setup.

  1. Less stress and worries for the couple

By having someone to rely on, the couple can just focus on the actual wedding and they will feel less stress during the planning stage. The wedding planner can help setup appointments with wedding suppliers and even meet on behalf of the couple. The planner can also give suggestions as to what is best to buy and where to buy them so less time will be spent and none gets wasted.

  1. Save time

You and your partner do not need to take a leave from work if you hire a wedding planner, since he/she can help you contact and meet with supplier and decide on things. The wedding planner can give updates on your wedding so you will know what has been done and what needs to be finished.

  1. Research for you

The wedding planner can give suggestions as well as do necessary research for your wedding. If you need to look for a venue, the planner can go online to do a research and present it to you when ready. Similarly, your wedding planner can help you find a florist, caterer, north east wedding photographer, couturier among many others.

  1. Prevent possible incidents or problems

Through experience, the wedding planner already has ideas on what can possibly go wrong during a wedding. Because of that, he/she can help you prepare backup plans for every possible weather disaster or any incident that may happen. You should find a wedding planner that you can really trust and is honest enough to tell you what to expect and do as well as what not to.

Does a background check of the wedding planner before hiring so you can be assured that you get the best help that you can have for the wedding.


Tips For Better Street Photography

Street photography may be seen by some as an “easy” genre that a photographer like Julia West will have little difficulty mastering, but it involves a lot of elements that the photographer must consider in order to capture good street photos. If you are someone who is looking into becoming good in street photographer, here are some tips that you should bear in mind as you start.

  1. Get started and practice street photography in areas that you know well. It could be your neighborhood or a place that you often hang out or wander in. Wherever it may be, you already know the ins and outs, the things going on there, some of them maybe others may not be aware of. So start capturing those things with your lens and create some good photography in the process, learning to hone your craft along the way Eventually as you get better, you will be able to go into those areas you don’t know well and manage to capture some great photography with the skills you have you honed when you started out in the place you knew well.


  1. Consider the types of images that you can relate to. It may be scenes of people in their daily lives, it could be still life on the streets. In essence, the things you wish to shoot become a representation of you and how you think, so make sure you are able to convey your thoughts or feelings in every image that you will shoot. Admittedly, this is a skill that takes time to develop. It’s not a skill that will happen overnight but by years of practice and experience. Take your time to develop them and you will become better in what you do.
  1. Strive to stories over multiple images. One of the characteristics that make street photography stand out is that you are able to create a body of work that is consistent, whether or not the images were taken in the same area or of the same content. You can tell a story through the images you shoot. You can think of these ideas ahead of time, but it would be better to practice a more consistent photography style for a long stretch of time, then spend time reviewing and editing your work, while keeping your mind open to what the images will tell you, eventually guiding you to the story that would be told.
  1. Shoot more than just interesting people walking down the streets. One common mistake many street photographers do is to capture images of people walking down the street where nothing is happening. Street photography is about telling a story, and it has to be evident in the photo, whether it may be an idea, an emotion, or an expression. Whatever it may be, highlight those elements well in your photos to make them stand out from the usual “people walking” photos that many street photographers tend to shoot.


  1. Take into consideration about the things that will change and how people will see your photographs years from now. As they say, the only permanent thing in this world is change, and someday your photos will become invaluable resource for future generation to learn what life was like during your time. So when you capture those images today, capture them with a sense of wonder and appreciation In mind and future generations will feel that same wonder looking at your photo, even long after the image in question has changed or no longer standing by that time.

Top 5 Photography Apps for Your Smartphones

There are a lot of changes that smart phones have undergone over the last decades. You can notice that smartphones today are better, faster and offer features that were not available in the past. Your smartphone has even changed the way you take pictures. There are plenty of apps that you can add to your device to get the kind of shots you want and even edit images after capture. Features like composition overlays and continuous shooting mode are worth trying out.

Smartphones can be found in different brands and models but there are specific apps that can be installed in most devices. If you are into photography, you will be amazed with the vast apps available for download. Some are free while others require a certain fee. Most fees are cheap and are worth getting.

If you are looking for photography apps to install on you smartphone which can help you take better pictures, then here are the top smartphone apps for photographers that you should check out.

  1. photography applicationInstagram

Instagram is one of the popular apps that most photographers or photo hobbyists install in their device. This application is well-loved by many because it is user friendly and very easy to use. After capturing an image, you can edit it on Instagram using the editing controls or features and share it on your online Instagram account. There are even preset filters that you can choose from. Moreover, the picture you share on your Instagram account can also be shared to your other social media accounts like Facebook and Google in just one click.

  1. VSCO

Another wonderful application that you can add to your device for better post production of photos is the VSCO Cam. It also has preset filters as well as adjustments or modification controls. You can easily tweak your images once you have familiarized the controls and then share the edited images to different social media sites like Facebook and Google+.

  1. Camera MX

Camera MX is a free application for smartphone users who are into photography. It offers many editing features and special effects for you to get your desired artistic or sharp images. Some of the features that Camera MX offers are great zooming capability and real time previewing of photos.

  1. Snapseedphotography app

Snapseed is one of today’s popular photo editing and sharing application. It is likened to Instagram which also offers editing tools and special features for better enhancement of captured images. Most users claim though that Snapseed is for the more advanced users who want to create more artistic images while Instagram is said to be suitable for those who are contented with the basic image editing.

  1. Camera 360 Ultimate

The Camera 360 Ultimate perhaps the best choice for those who love taking self-portrait or more popularly termed as “selfie”. This application has several shooting modes that you can choose from before clicking on the button to take a picture. Camera 360 also offers plenty of filters, special effects and of course wonderful photo editing features that you can use to achieve your desired image.

These photography apps do not just allow you to edit images but it also helps you learn to understand photography better. There are photography terms that you can understand once you encounter or see it in the features of the app. Thus, installing these apps is a good alternative way of learning photography.

A Review of the Lumix GH4 Mirrorless Camera

Panasonic has long been known for impressive mirrorless cameras that they have released to the market over the years. And recently, they have released yet another impressive mirrorless camera model with the Panasonic Lumix GH4. How impressive is this camera, you may ask? Read on for my thoughts on this product.

Features and Design

The Panasonic Lumix GH4 boasts an all new 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor, a chip developed specifically for this camera. And this new sensor is designed so as to facilitate faster response and read-out times than the previous model which is the GH3. The sensor also provides an extensive native ISO range of 200-25,600.

While the GH4 remains an impressive still image shooter, the camera shines most as a video shooter, delivering video in clear, ultra high definition 4K format, the first mirrorless camera to offer this feature.

And if you’re afraid the camera may not be able to handle the amount of data rendered in 4K video format, no need to worry. The GH4 has a new Venus Engine image processor as well as a quad-core CPU specifically aimed at making video capture as smooth as possible.

The processor also delivers some impressive burst mode figures with the GH4 managing 7.5 frames per second with continuous AF enabled, increasing to around 12 frames per second in AF-S mode.

Another area of the camera’s performance which has been improved is auto focusing. The model sports an AF system complete with 49 precision contrast-detect AF points as well as Panasonic’s own ‘Depth from Defocus’ technology, with the whole system delivering AF speeds of as little as 0.07 seconds.

The camera sports at the rear a clear and bright 3-inch 1,043k-dot vari-angle touchscreen OLED monitor. It also has a new OLED viewfinder complete with 100% field of view and a resolution of some 2.36-million dots.

While the GH4 is technically a mirrorless camera, it looks more like mid-range DSLR in the hand both in terms of design and build quality, not to mention the controls and settings available in the unit.

The camera has a solid build as well, with a magnesium alloy shell that is resistant to both water and dust.


One of the more impressive areas of the GH4 (outside of the 4K video capture) is the GH4’s autofocus features, allowing you to shoot photos faster that wedding photographer derby would find useful.

The level of performance from the camera’s EVF is also impressive. Thanks to the speedy refresh rate, real-time display of shooting setting adjustments as well as various shooting information, you could argue that the experience is preferred to a great deal of optical viewfinders.

As far as the output is concerned, the GH4 delivers some great quality images, though the colors tend to be a little flat at times.


If you are looking for a great mirrorless camera to shoot videos, then the GH4 would be a camera we highly recommend, thanks in part to its 4K shooting capabilities and its fast processor. This does not mean its still image capture performance is not impressive. In fact, this camera is one of the finest still image shooters out there, though other models may perform better especially in rendering color.

Overall, the GH4 is yet another great camera Panasonic has made, a must buy for those who are interested in both photography and videography with its rich features and capabilities it offers.

How to Have a Perfect Beach Wedding

beach weddingEvery couple wishes a successful and memorable wedding. They want something preferably less stressful and relaxing yet still formal and sacred marriage. A good example of this is a beach wedding. The beach scenery gives you a certain relaxing and serene ambiance that makes some couples choose this kind of wedding setup. This is one reason why some clients of Surrey wedding photographer chose to have a beach wedding.

Of course, the traditional wedding can still give you smooth-flowing, formal setup that makes it a good option. But then, if you look forward to something different and might cost you less, then look into a beach wedding as an alternative option.

A beach wedding which generally falls under the destination wedding setup is considered by many as practical and romantic. You can choose a private beach resort that you can hire exclusive for a few friends and relatives whom you want to celebrate with. You can even choose a public resort to save even more money. You just have to reserve ahead and secure the necessary permits as early as possible.

While it may look so simple and easy to setup, a beach wedding can only be successful and perfect if you thoroughly plan for it. You need to do several important tasks like researching about the location, the expected weather and means of travel as well as communicating with wedding vendors. It is advisable to hire local professionals for they are more accustomed and knowledgeable of that specific area. If you are in or nearby Buckinghamshire, make contact of the wonderful photographer offering great buckinghamshire wedding photography service.

You also do not need to hire an extra unlike when you hire someone from another place which will require you to pay for their travel expenses.

Now, how can you possibly have a perfect wedding? What do you need to do or prepare to ensure that everything will run smoothly? Well, here are some tips to help you out.

  1. Pick an off-season wedding date

We all know that the beach is the best place to hang out and spend time with friends but unfortunately everyone thinks the same especially during peak seasons. During these days, beaches are more crowded than malls, making your wedding day horribly crowded. The best thing to do is schedule your wedding in the off-season. By choosing an off-season date, you are giving your wedding occasion a stress free environment since there are less people in the area especially if you plan to have it in a public resort. You can avoid unwanted onlookers and can have a solemn wedding ceremony.

  1. Know the Do’s and Don’ts

You need to learn ahead what the rules, policies and regulations govern your use of the venue. Know also the rules when it comes to the wedding ceremony. Say for example if the wedding photographer is not allowed to get near during the exchange of vows or use flash, then you should inform him/her ahead. Talk to the person in charge of the resort to know the do’s and don’ts.

  1. Dress appropriately

For traditional weddings, ball gown with a long train is commonly worn by brides. This type of gown is not appropriate though for a beach wedding. For beach weddings, it is best to wear lightweight dress that is not long. A long gown will make it difficult for a bride to walk or move on sand. Sand might get accumulated or dragged as you walk thus causing a mess. The ladies must also consider wearing semi-formal beach dresses when attending a wedding. Meanwhile for the groom as well as for the male guests, it is advisable for them to wear a suit or polo made of light or thin fabric so they will feel more relaxed and comfortable during the wedding. Make sure to inform the guests ahead on what to expect on your wedding and give suggestions on what to wear and bring.

By knowing all important information related to your wedding and carefully planning for it, you can surely have a successful beach wedding that is worth remembering for a lifetime.

7 Strategies For Perfect Shots of Kids

Photographing kids can be a challenge, to say the least. And saying “challenge” here can be a sheer understatement, considering how rowdy and hard to control kids can be, causing unspoken headaches and frustrations for the photographer. Nevertheless, these are challenges that can be overcome, with the help of these tips that would help make these experiences into fun and memorable ones for the kids and for the photographer as well.

  1. Have patience

Let’s face it, children are not the easiest subjects to photograph. You can never get them to be still, much more make them act or pose the way you want them to. And there’s no way to say you can easily make them to do what you want them to do, unless you would be willing to breach parental authority which would be something you would rather not do. The best thing you can do though is to ask them nicely to do what you want them to do. If they won’t listen, don’t force them to. Be patient with them and let them. Eventually they will come around, so to speak.


  1. Be ready always

Children are unpredictable by nature. Thus, you never know what they will do at any given moment, not to mention if that moment would be something to smile or cry about. In any case, it is always good to be prepared. You never know when that magical, photograph-worthy moment would come. And when it does, be quick. And that’s not just referring to you but also to your camera that it has been set to capture those quick moments. It would be handy to set your camera to burst mode to capture multiple images on the press of the shutter.

  1. Get down to their level

When you photograph children, avoid photographing them from the perspective of an adult where the camera looks down on the subject, unless that is the feel you wish to convey. As a rule of thumb, it is best to photograph children in the same level of perspective as them. This means you have to sit, kneel, or do whatever posture that would allow you to photograph children on an eye to eye level. In a way, you are also letting the viewer see the images from the perspective of a child and creates for better understanding as well with the subject.

  1. Use natural light and flash

As much as possible, use natural lighting when photographing children. Natural light helps accentuate the soft features of your subject. However there may be some situations where natural light is either unavailable or may not be good, you may opt to use a flash. However, you should avoid using direct flash and let the flash on the subject from a different direction and let it bounce off. Otherwise, this produces harsh shadows and the subject looks “flattened out,” making your subject look unnatural.



  1. Choose your focus mode carefully

Capturing moving subjects requires the right settings for your camera. It makes it even more complicated when a camera has different focus modes available. It is important first to be familiar with these modes and for what purpose each of them serves.

  1. Play and goof around with the kids


Oftentimes, as adults we worry about looking silly and that we may get to lose our dignity when we play with children. But in doing your work in child photography, you have to allow yourself to get into such playful mood from time to time. This not only helps you understand your subject better and discover what makes him/her shine for the camera, it can also help unravel some camera-worthy moments that would make your subject stand out. Not to mention, it also is an opportunity for you to relax and have fun in the midst of work too.

  1. Let the kids run the session, don’t try and control it

As was stressed earlier, you are not in control when you attempt to photograph kids. So don’t stress yourself out in trying to assert control. As professionals like Newborns by Nicola would advise, let the kids have fun in doing what they like to do and go along with it. Approach the work you will do not as someone trying to capture the best photos but as someone having fun, with the great photos you will be able to take as a bonus.