Justin Wojtczak of 375 Photography has been shooting tons of images with an assortment of Sigma lenses over the past few months and put together this great highlight reel on Vimeo showcasing his great images made with Sigma gear.
We asked him to give some background and tips into how he made each shot so you can take his advice and apply it to your own upcoming shoots.
It is vital to be able to make brides feel comfortable in front of the camera. A trick that we us at 375 Photography, is asking the bridesmaids to help us get the bride to smile. When we have the help of the bridesmaids we always get a genuine smile or laugh. This takes the pictures to the next level!
Combine this with a killer background such as these bushes, which were backlit with the sun, you are able to capture an amazing moment. We used the 120-300mm with our f-stop at 2.8 to have the bride pop off the background.
Another must for commercial wedding photography, is the ability to gain the trust of your bride so that when you direct her in posing, she will gladly respond and do what you ask. We were walking through the field and she had her dress bunched up to make it easier to walk. I saw the opportunity for a great picture and asked her to stop where she was and not to move! This pose just caught my eye! I told her to look over her right shoulder. At first she looked over to far and I could not see her face, directing her to move her head a little more to the left, I just caught a glimpse of her face as she has her dress bunched up! I shot with the 120-300 mm because of the compression this lens has to offer! There are a lot of key elements in this shot. There is tall grass in the foreground and a run-down building with a huge tree in the background. I wanted to compress these elements to make the bride and her dress stand out.
With a “Day after session” don’t be afraid to ask the Bride to sit down in her dress! As she sat down and was just fixing her hair, she was talking with her husband. I ask the husband to make her laugh and he said something (I don’t want to repeat) and she busted out laughing which lead to an amazing smile that glowed! Being on the bank of the lake with this tall grass adds some great color and great depth to the picture. Using the 120-300mm to make the foreground and background blurry helps to make the bride and her dress stand out against the tall grass.
For any photographer finding a new location is exciting. When we stumbled upon this location on our way to shoot a wedding. I knew I had to come back here with the bride and groom. Having the perfect lighting and a flexible couple made for an opportunity for some unbelievable shots.
When thinking of what lens to use to capture this amazing locations, going wide was the obvious choice and I really wanted to try to step out of the box, out of the obvious. When shooting weddings, at 375, we strive to make our pictures look different. To achieve that the next go to lens for us was the 120-300 mm. 2.8. I knew this lens would get the picture I envisioned below. This Sigma lens gave us the “difference” we were looking for that night.
I knew the couple would be standing in a field of crops for some time so I wanted to make sure that the were comfortable and at ease about the location themselves. You can always tell when your subject is uncomfortable. I placed them off center so that your eye would focus on them but does not take away from the flowers that were being backlight with the sun. If you notice the couple were backlight as well helping them to standout from the background. What makes this shot is the compression of the foreground and background. With the 120-300 mm the couple seems to pop off the background.
This lens also makes the background seems like it is close when it fact it was a few hundred yards away.
Detail shots of the cake are very important to remember to get! The bride will want to look back on that day and remember all the things she was too busy to remember. There were so many colors that I wanted to be sure that I captured everything in one shot. The groom loved golf and I wanted that to be my focal point. Your eye is first drawn to his cake and colors. But then your eye goes to the details and colors of the wedding cake.
The color of the flowers on top of the cake really stood out to me! There was a purple drape in the background that I new would help complement this shot. Always looking for ways to make your details stand out and pop will help your clients remember their day but also help your clients remember you and your attention to details. This will result in them spreading the word about the amazing job.
Getting ring shots can go a long way! Every bride loves nothing more than a shot off her “Bling” to show her friends. What better way of showing her friends her ring then with shots you took! Take time at the beginning of every wedding day to get amazing shots of these special details. When you do ring shots, be sure your f-stop is around 4 or higher so you can capture the entire ring in focus. If your f-stop is lower, then part of the right will be out of focus. Looking for flowers, color, textures to help amplify your ring. The ring is the main focus, but then you notice the fuzz of the flower to the leaf that coming into the foreground. Just don’t place the ring down, put thought into where you place it.
Details, details, details- Getting details that make a statement will help people remember you. There are 3 layers to this shot. Layer 1- I wanted to be sure that both shoes were in focus. I made sure I was shooting my f-stop at 4.5. Layer 2 – The black rod iron fence that makes this pic stand out. You have the gold and white of the shoes hanging on the black rod iron fence. The contrast is awesome between the two! It even adds another interesting item, the spider webs. We talked about getting them out of frame but felt like it added something to the picture. The third layer is the background.
About Justin and 375Photography.com
Our work has been recognized by and featured in a number of wedding resources and publications. 375 Photography was awarded “Best of Wedding” by TheKnot.com for three consecutive years and was recently recognized for outstanding work in Atlanta Bridal magazine. In addition, our video entitled “This Is How We Do Weddings” was awarded first place in the Fstoppers 2011 BTS video contest and can be viewed on http://fstoppers.com/2011results.