Today I want to chat a little bit about framing our images, and when I am talking about framing I don’t mean slapping on a garish gold victorian frame on your photos but composing your images to frame in key elements. I have talked before about using dodge and burn in Photoshop to focus on where the users eyes go to but want to talk about how to use things in the foreground to frame your shot. At a wedding I am constantly looking for ways to use other people that are around the image to frame in the person I am trying to photograph. A lot of times photographing with a long lens gives you that perfect shallow depth of field to be able to have something completely out of focus in the foreground but your main subject nice and sharp. Its always a good practice as you are photographing to scan the scene and see what you might be able to use around you to photography through. Is there a fence with a separation between two slats you can shoot through? Maybe some columns that you can use in the foreground to block off and frame part of the shot? Or people, my favorite thing to use as a wedding to frame in another person.
So lets take a look at a few recent shots that I used other people to frame someone in. In this shot I used a few of the groomsmen who where staggered out in a line to create some depth to the shot and help to make the bride stand out. It was shot with my trusty Canon 70-200 2.8 (one of my fav’s for wedding and portrait work), and was shot at f/ 2.8 to get as shallow of a depth of field as possible. You can see how having these 3 guys in the foreground really help to lead your eye right to the bride. It also helps that she is in white and they are in black since our eye will always go to the brightest part of the scene.
This next shot was taken during the first dance and is another good example not only of using framing to create emphasis but also looking outside of the main event. I think sometimes we can get stuck thinking about photographing the main action going on and can easily forget the side moments. Sometimes a grandmother crying as the mother son dance goes on can be a priceless shot that really captures a huge part of the wedding day. There are so many little things that can be happening in the background that are really important to tell the full story of a wedding. Remember to constantly scan the scene and be on the look out for these other moments happening. For this shot it was during the mother – son dance and I just loved the composition of this shot as the bride watched the first dance. This shot again was with my trusty Canon 70-200 2.8 set to 2.8.
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Next time you are out photographing something remember to look around for a minute and see what you can use to frame your subject. Then head on over to our facebook wall to share it, I love to see everyones work!