I've talked about lighting conditions, and how to find the best light, but once that is covered, now what? Well, it's time to compose your shot!
I am on an editing roll so this will be a short post, but I just came across this photos and have been meaning to post about it for a while. Here is the exact same moment, captured two ways:
Without getting technical, which image do you immediately prefer? Without considering the slight differences in expression, I would imagine that you picked the image on the right. Now let's dive into WHY.
I took these images back to back. First, the one on the left, and after quickly looking at the image on my LCD screen, I moved myself a fraction to the left to move the background. It's kinda crazy how little I need to move the camera to ENTIRELY change the layout of the background. The lighting and exposure is exactly the same in both images, but I didn't like how the trees in the background intersect with Julie's head. Sometimes, during a wedding with super fast and fleeting emotions and moments, I would prefer to get that great moment captured, no matter what the background. But when I have more time to think about my composition, I can create a better portrait. In the second image on the right, Julie's entire upper body is wrapped with soft leafy light, with no harsh and dark tree lines. The aim is to highlight this gorgeous mother and daughter duo!
OK now I'm going back to work, but once you find that great light, take another moment and a pause to compose the best layout for your subjects! Now go out and take some photos!