Wedding Photography From The Heart; Creative Techniques To Capture The Moments That Matter Page 2

Virtually everything I photograph is in “Program” mode. If you consistently and diligently practice with every lens you have at your disposal, you will develop enough experience and confidence to anticipate the result without needing to see it first. You can’t develop confidence without constant rehearsal and experimentation.

Infrared film enhances a moment out of time. This was taken at sunset, as I went on a quest for silhouettes. Lying on the ground created a unique perspective—with the petals in the foreground and the groom’s top hat in the center—that makes the viewer feel as though he or she could literally walk into the scene and wander down the aisle. This image also illustrates the importance of working with a master printer who adds a whole new dimension to each image he touches. This photo is a good example of Robert Cavalli’s craftsmanship, as he dodged and burned the print to bring out the highlights as I saw them in my mind’s eye. He placed additional emphasis on the top hat and the petals leading up to the bridal party.
Nikon N90S, 17-35mm F2.8 lens, f/4.0 at 1⁄30 sec., infrared film with yellow filter.
Photo © 2009, Joe Buissink, All Rights Reserved

Not every image comes easily—it took six frames to get this one right. The subjects kept moving in and out of the light, and most of the pictures were blurred. It doesn’t matter that five out of six shots didn’t work—the key is to persevere until you get the shot you want. Most photographers would have used flash for a shot like this, feeling as though they were shooting into a black hole. But if you can see the final image in your mind, you can envision how not only the light but the absence of light can be effective.
Nikon F6, 17-35mm F2.8 lens, f/2.8 at 1⁄4 sec.
Photo © 2009, Joe Buissink, All Rights Reserved

We can’t overstate how important it is to understand the basics of photography—lighting, composition, and exposure—before you can understand what it means to use Photoshop or other editing software on your images. Most of the tools and techniques in Photoshop were originally based on darkroom techniques, so this should be every photographer’s universal rule: Always understand your equipment and the technical aspects of photography from the get-go. Remember, your clients are relying on you to translate their unforgettable day into an unforgettable wedding album, and you don’t have the luxury of cleaning up your mistakes later; the right photograph needs to be created when you click the shutter, not your computer mouse. Experiment as much as you can to master the craft and become the very best artist you can be.

Written with Skip Cohen, president of Marketing Essentials International (, “Wedding Photography from the Heart” is a must-have for all professional, semipro, and aspiring wedding photographers—as well as brides and grooms looking for inspiration. The book is available at booksellers and online at: For more information and a catalog of Amphoto books, please visit the same website.