Los Angeles celebrity wedding photographers Nacho and Vinny Mora have been using Zenfolio for 3 years to streamline their workflow, showcase their stunning portfolio, and growing their photojournalistic wedding business. In this article, they share six tips for developing a photojournalistic approach to wedding photography.
“Use the contrast of natural light. We must use all the resources at our disposal to create striking photos that differentiates us from other photographers.” – Nacho Mora
The ability for a photographer to enter any situation and work with the natural light presented to them is an incredibly important skill. All photographers need to be able to adapt to unexpected lighting situations, and a wedding can be one of the most challenging types of events to photograph. Learning to work with the contrast of bright light and shadowy darkness will create visually impactful images filled with drama. Use natural light to your advantage to enhance what is happening in front of you.
“Avoid taking the typical picture that Uncle Bob could take. Frame and stand out. Try different things.” – Nacho Mora
Doors, windows, archways and other types of physical structures will provide natural photo framing opportunities. Use them and draw the focus directly to your subject. You can find inspiration wherever you happen to be located and might be surprised how many framing opportunities present themselves if you look for them.
“Reflections tell two stories in one photo. It requires training but when you master the technique the photos have an incredible force of communication!” – Nacho Mora
Incorporating reflections into your photographs will strengthen your portfolio and enhance the developing storyline unfolding throughout the day. Some of the natural places to look for these are windows, mirrors, and even water if you happen to come across a puddle or a pond. Look for these opportunities, and place yourself in the right spot to allow for the moments to naturally happen.
“Don’t be afraid to shoot from the front. If you do you will see that your photograph wins with impact! Try it!” – Nacho Mora
Move in at the right moment to get the shot. You are there to create final stills of a huge life-changing event in a couple’s relationship. Swoop in, get close, and be right where the emotional exchanges are unfolding and taking place.
“Many times we miss a lot of things because we are not seeing what is going on around us. Children, pets, and many other things are not usually at our visual height, so we need to bend down and discover a whole world!” – Nacho Mora
Try changing your perspective while you’re shooting. Don’t hesitate to get down low or go high above the action. Position yourself in different places that will allow you to get all the perspectives possible. Train yourself to watch people continuously, and groom your intuition to spot important scenes and interactions. Going down on the ground with your camera or finding a position high that overlooks the action will change the view and help tell the full story. There are many moments that might go completely unnoticed if you don’t observe situations and move to get that memorable shot.
“Waiting and having patience is perhaps one of the most complicated challenges. The pace at weddings is very fast and sometimes we even forget to breathe! Take your time and concentrate on what you want to capture. It’s worth it, believe me!” – Nacho Mora
Patience is a virtue and a necessity when photographing a wedding. At certain moments you will find yourself waiting for something to happen. The perfect example of this is represented in the children’s photo at the church seen above. Vinny positioned herself across from the children sitting in the church pew and waited. After about five minutes the kids forgot Vinny was there and started playing then allowing her to capture the real moment of kids being kids.