Wedding Photographer Alberta, Canada. Geoff Wilkings Photography shares a wedding photography technique.

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Like most engagement shoots I start out pretty easy going which allows everyone to get into the swing of things. I always have my creativity bells and whistles going but at first I find most engaged couples a little nervous. Rather than throw them in the deep end I simply warm them up with lots of laughter etc. This private Ranch that was located in South Calgary just outside The Canadian Rockie, it was a location that I'd never visited before (which happens very often btw). I took a quick look around allowing myself to create a story board of events in my head. For instance, I might end with a sunset so why start in a place where it'll naturally be the end shot. I'm a hustler for all shots so yes I might have built a theme in my head for a shoot but then I get moving and things might change a little. I don't ever really think about exposure anymore as when I move around and get my couple to do things the exposure of the shot naturally materializes. For instance, it was pointless shooting this at F11 as the way the light travels through the lens would have looked way different than what I shot it at, F6.3 Not being able to shoot at F2 with this was something unique for me as I love F1.4 to F2 on this lens. Another story for another day.

So, with the story board in place I then allow myself to get energized by things. Whatever the shoot and it's location I do nothing different, I go high, low, get dirty, hide behind things etc. I'm alway looking for unique areas of light to make a shot worthy of the WOW factor. This photo was photographed as I was getting stung by a bee (honestly I got stung and it hurt). I was in the grass around 4pm in the afternoon late September. We were on a their family ranch and like most people you just have horses as prop's to add to the scene! During the early phase of this engagement shoot I educated my couple about light and how important it is to have some separation between each other plus arms and legs should be a little separated also. In doing so light can pass and the formation of individuals bodies can be seen. This is very important otherwise you end with blobs rather than humans (for me it creates a dynamic image).

As mentioned, I placed myself deep into grass with my 1DX + the 50mm 1.2 Canon Prime Lens with a Lee orange sunset filter on. I have to say, I LOVE using filters during shoots. Love them. I used to process images a ton in PS with actions but now I don't. If I can't get the shot in camera I'm not going to fake it later. I use Lightroom 6 for all of my processing. I try my hardest to not work files too much as I've two little boys and a wife so already I spend way too much time behind the computer. If I can work less behind it I will as life's too short to be editing and over editing images. Shoot clean, simple and different will result in unique shots.

I metered this shot with Sekonic L-358 incident meter for the highlight and shadows and then shot between the readings. I typically meter once per location i.e. it might be 5 mins in one location and 20 mins in another. The key for me here was to get a unique angle, separation of all bodies, manual focused as I looked through blades of grass. I moved around with minuscule amounts so that I could capture the light playing with the grass. After all, I wanted detail in the darks and highlights or as much as possible given the time of day.

Build a bond between you and your clients and then start to create magic with light. It's there for the taking but you will have to work for it.

The spec's on this photo are:
Canon 1DX MK 1
50mm 1.2 Canon Lens
Lee Sunset Yellow Filter
1/1250 sec
ISO 125

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