Wedding photographer Ben Kiruthi has documented the nuptials of some of East Africa’s most rich and famous and, in the process, made himself one of the best known specialty photographers in the region. His creative eye, technical skill and business know-how made him a natural choice to host our Nikon School session on wedding photography, which took place at Golden Tulip Hotel on Nov. 27, 2016.
As with all of our Nikon School specialty sessions, Ben’s presentation was full of interesting perspectives to enhance your skills, offering great ideas for portrait and event photography in addition to an excellent run down of the basics for weddings.
When arranging your subjects, go for a fashion editorial feel, so that the end product wouldn’t look out of place in a magazine.
For those of you who couldn’t make it, here are the top five takeaways from Ben’s informative session on wedding photography:
According to Ben, natural light is always best. In fact, Ben switched from Canon to Nikon a little over a year ago in large part due to Nikon’s superior functionality in low-light situations. If you do have to use a flash, Ben recommends having it off camera or bouncing it so that you’ll get more natural shadows on your subjects’ faces.
When it comes to wedding photography, posed shots of the bride and groom, bridal party and the newly joined families are your bread and butter, but that doesn’t mean they have to be simple. When arranging your subjects, go for a fashion editorial feel, so that the end product wouldn’t look out of place in a magazine. Also, use the venue’s existing features to put members of a large group on different levels – adding that vertical layering will contribute to the editorial tone.
Get creative with angles as you compose your shots. Ben is a big fan of top down images, whether capturing the bride’s Louboutins or a sweet, intimate shot of the happy couple laying down and staring lovingly into each other’s eyes. Getting low can also make for a nice photo, especially when capturing your subject in beautiful, dramatic scenery.
Make sure you capture the personality of the couple, whether by asking them to bring personal items to an engagement shoot or making sure you get any concept shots they want on the big day. This also means ensuring that your shoots have a consistent style without getting repetitive – no easy task when shooting your 10th wedding at the same venue. Working to capture the unique story and personality of each bride and groom will keep your work looking fresh and original.
While Ben considers posed photos a wedding photographer’s safe shots – the ones you absolutely must get – he finds captured moments to be the most enduring shots. This means taking what he calls a journalistic approach to covering the bride and groom getting ready and the ceremony, ensuring you capture memorable moments like the bride crying during her vows. It also means capturing the seconds before and after your subjects get into their poses, as you’re likely to capture more tender or natural expressions.
Ben shoots on a D750 and on the day of a wedding he’ll typically have two on him at all times, one with a Nikkor fixed 35mm f/1.4 and the other with a Nikkor 85mm f/1.4. He also often uses the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8.