Did Your Background Check Find Problems?
It is extremely important that you check the background before you take a photo. Especially if you are the photographer who has been hired for an event. Check the background first, then the subject, then you can take the picture.
Copyright (c) 2008 Tom Jackson
One of the most common errors people make when taking photos of friends or family, or even at big events, is that they fail to check the background before taking a photo. This can lead to all sorts of unflattering results, like trees growing our of peoples heads.
Apart from making sure the camera is held straight, and that the lens cap is off, and your finger is not in front of the lens, the first thing you should look at is the background. This is where most problems occur because the photographer is looking at the subject, not the background. If you do not check the background first, you could end up with tress and other things growing out of the heads of the subjects or worse.
With the advent of digital cameras, it is an easy task to check that the photo looks good, at least on the small screen of the camera. You can tell if there are problems and make any necessary corrections on the spot. Be careful not to get caught up in the emotion, and forget to check these things. Just remember, every time you hold the camera up to take a photo, look at the background, then the subjects, then take the photo.
Also, you need to be aware of where the sun is when taking photos outdoors. If the sun is behind the subjects, it can be very easy for the light sensor in the camera to take an exposure that is adjusting for the sun rather than your subjects. Your photos will be very dark as a result, although you will get a lovely exposure of the sun. And, be very careful if you are pointing the camera in the direction of the sun, as the sensor could be damaged if exposed to such a bright light for too long.
If you are taking photos for a bride and groom, then this information becomes even more critical. In fact, if you are taking photos for anyone who is paying you, then you need to make sure each and every photo is perfect. If you do not plan every photo, you leave yourself open to failure. That means a nice enjoyable day taking photos and making some money to boot, becomes your worst nightmare. Remember, plan to succeed and take care of the small details, and you will have fun and make some money along the way.
Whenever you take photos at a big event, wether or not you are being paid, checking the background os critical to taking good photos. Now, instead of just making sure that the background is not causing a problem, you now need to be looking at the background for photo opportunites. In the church or at the reception, you need to be constantly searching out suitable backgrounds to use for the bride and groom and the bridal party. Look for backgrounds that will enhance the overall photo, like a waterfall or fountain, a beautiful sunset, a garden or even a lake or the moon. You can check the blog in the resource box for a photo of a bride and groom, taken at the base of a staircase in an office building downtown Phoenix AZ. This is an example of spotting a suitable background, and then making sure the bride and groom follow the photographers direction, in order to take some stunning photos that will sell.
This office complex had such a beautiful wooden staircase, that it was an obvious choice for some photos of the bridal party. In this situation, and wherever you possibly can, if the groom is shorter than the bride, make sure you position the couple in such a way that the groom will look taller. Even if you have to use a phone book or a small box. Use whatever you can to make the groom look taller. It may seem silly at the time, but the photos will look much better, you will sell more photos and hence make more money. The bride and groom will also appreciate your efforts to make their photos look their best.
This will also help with advertising your services. People will see the thought and care you put into every picture you take, and they will tell their friends. The best form of advertising is word of mouth. You should always have lots of cards or promotional materials with you. Make sure you have a business card, flyer or postcard to give to people because they will not want to write down details.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tom began his career by shooting weddings and brides around the world, more than 30 years ago. Tom teaches to the graphic design, advertising and publishing industries, digital technology and software. You can get more info on photography and see examples of his work here; For free tips visit Toms blog.