Today we’re going to discuss how WAFFLES can make you better at capturing moments in wedding photography. Yeah you heard me right Delicious, warm, smothered in syrup waffles! It’s actually an acronym, because who doesn’t love a tasty acronym?
What are moments and why are they important in wedding photography?
Close your eyes and imagine your perfect wedding day, real or imaginary. What do you imagine? Is it the tears in your father’s eyes? Your brother’s drunken speech? Are your best friends dancing? Your grandma gives you her pearl bracelet to wear?
These are the moments that make weddings special. These are the moments we want to remember. And these are the moments that we as wedding photographers need to capture.
Moments are about emotions, memories and telling a story. What’s the story you want to tell? Who is this couple What is important to you? Who will help them celebrate? What feelings and emotions are in the air?
A good principle for taking wedding photos is thinking through light, composition, and moment. Find good light, choose an interesting composition and wait a moment. Ideally, the best photos have all three, but a photo can only be great because of the moment.
Light is definitely a key to powering your photography, but when you tell a story and capture the moment, your photos really shine. Moments tell stories. Moments touch your heart and soul.
So let’s talk about how to capture the moments
Everything revolves around the WAFFLES!
W stands for waiting
You have to be patient! Get your light and composition, then wait for a moment to come to you instead of chasing it. Wait for something interesting to happen, whether it’s movement or emotion.
Don’t just click, click, click and go on, and don’t just run around crazy one step behind the action. If you try to chase moments, you lose. Get on your way and wait for her to catch up with you.
A stands for anticipate
Tired of waiting for a moment? Expect. Weddings are pretty predictable and moments often happen at specific times.
Taking what you know about a wedding, or what you know about your customers, can help predict when something interesting might happen. When you hear someone tell a joke, you know there is a punch line coming that can cause a laugh. Anticipate that, precede the action and be in the right position. Then wait for it.
F stands for feeling
When we talk about moments, we’re not just talking about how something looks, but how it feels. Photograph how something feels, allow yourself to feel. Notice the feelings in the room.
When we think about the best lighting and composition for a photo, it can be subjective. You might want an imperfect composition that shows the imperfect sense of the moment. You might want soft light to show something soft or hard light to show something dramatic.
Don’t be afraid to move to get into a position that better captures the feeling. Do you look up or down at the scene? Are you up close or are you observing far away?
Go low, get high, get close, get far and see the different perspectives capture the sense of the moment.
The second F stands for focus
What do we focus on to see for a moment? You may want to focus on movement or emotions to help tell the story. Emotions are often communicated with hands and eyes. So try to focus on them.
The L stands for lists
If you are simply looking at a scene with your eyes, you might be tempted to just grasp what it looks like. Using your ears more than your eyes can help in certain moments. You can listen for the moment and hear when it peaks.
Sure, you can’t put sound in your photo, but can you use sound to capture emotion? Can you use all of your senses to immerse yourself in a moment and decide how best to tell the story?
The E stands for Engage
Be Present, Relate, Connect, and Gain Trust. By engaging with your issues, they’ll be more comfortable around you, more honest around you, and more likely to show their emotions. When you are present and engaged, you are in the moment and can therefore grasp it more purely.
I’m not saying being the life of the party or distracting someone, entertaining someone, or creating moments of your own. You just don’t have to be an outsider. Get involved in the moment, relate to your issues.
The S stands for shooting, shooting, shooting through:
Shoot through the moment. Keep shooting beyond the moment. Often times, once you believe it does, the moment doesn’t end. The moment isn’t over until it’s over.
Maybe you think you have peaked. Feel good about it, but stay ready and ready, finger on the trigger, to see if anything else will happen.
WAFFLING: Wait, anticipate, feel, focus, listen, engage, shoot through
How to Practice Seeing Moments
You can practice seeing moments anywhere. You can practice shooting them outside of weddings. Practice on your friends, your children, or your dog.
Be ready for the moments, live them and cherish them. Moments are not only the key to great photography, they are also the key to a fun and memorable life.
Here are some tips for practicing capturing moments outside of weddings:
- Take a camera with you on an adventure or trip, even if it’s just your phone. Be excited to capture moments, not just snapshots of things.
- There is no pressure to create something; These photos are just for you and this is your everyday life. So be patient and wait for what interests you. Don’t just take photos for no reason. Great photos are about knowing what you want and waiting for it.
- Ask yourself why. Why did you take the picture? What did you feel? What did you try to communicate and have you succeeded?
Here are some exercises you can try:
- LCM: Find your light, choose a composition, then wait for a moment happen. Wait a moment to get to him instead of chasing him where you always fall behind.
- Shoot through: Everyone wants a posed picture every now and then. Set up and take a posed picture, then try shooting before and after to find a moment.
- Include restrictions: Allow yourself to take only one picture at a time. If you are not using burst mode, you will have to wait for the moment, which will determine when that moment happened.
Final thoughts and dealing with challenges
If you want to capture moments in wedding photography, you can communicate with your clients about their priorities. Sometimes wedding photography means we photograph the dress, shoes, and all of the details. And sometimes that means we’re missing out on moments.
It’s not that photos of details are bad; Some brides have put a lot of thought into the set and the setting for their big day. My point is just that it’s impossible to shoot three things at the same time and stay engaged enough to capture moments. This is another reason why anticipation is so important. The more you know the schedule of the day by heart, the more you can anticipate the moments instead of chasing them around all day.
In other words, don’t worry about the photos you are not taking. Stay present, be patient, and focus on the moment you are in. If you’re capturing a memorable moment, the bride is likely not to worry about the pictures she doesn’t have because she is so pleased with the ones she does. It is important to know what our customers expect from the photos and priorities they want.