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TIPTUESDAY – TIP 1⠀BACKLIGHT SHOOTING
so last week I randomly posted a photography tip in my stories and that made me think…⠀⠀
HELLO #tiptuesday – every Tuesday a mini photography tip!⠀⠀
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Tips can range from technical stuff, through composition, or light… whatever photography related!⠀⠀
You can send me a dm with your question / topic or POST IT HERE IN COMMENT!⠀⠀
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TIP ONE. SHOOTING IN BACKLIGHT⠀
You all know I LOVE LIGHT, so this means I will most likely shoot with backlight. This means that the sun is behind my subject / couple / model.⠀
Shooting in backlight works the best when the sun is low. You know, depending on the season.⠀
I use an app to know when golden hour will take place. It is super useful to schedule your photoshoots, depending on the location where you will be. ⠀
On sunny bright days there is a golden hour twice a day, in the morning (sunrise) and the evening (sunset).⠀
I LOVE to shoot when the sun is right behind my subject. This way I can create a sunkissed feel and sometimes get some lens flares (I JUST LOVE THEM) in.⠀
You can get lens flares the easiest when you shoot with a prime lens, 35mm, 50mm lenses are easiest. And this with a wide open aperture (f 1.8, 1.4 or 1.2, depending on your lens).⠀

Golden Hour shoot boho huwelijk Yoga kledij collectie shoot girl dancing in the golden sun

TIP TUESDAY – TIP 2. FAVORITE LENSES⠀
last week I explained some tips about shooting in backlight, so if you missed it, check it out! ⠀
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I get often questions about which lenses I use and why. ⠀
Well let me tell you one thing: your lens choice is more important than the choice of your camera body.⠀
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WHY? The quality of your glass (lenses) really defines the quality of your end picture, especially if you know the theory on ‘how to make a good photo’ and you do have the knowledge about iso, shutter speed and aperture.⠀
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Most professional photographers use prime lenses. These are lenses with a fix focal point. For example: 24mm, 35mm or 50mm. These lenses CANNOT zoom, but therefor these lenses can be build more light sensitive. Typical high quality prime lenses can go up to an aperture of f/1.2 or f/1.4. The more light sensitive they can go, the more expensive they get, unfortunately…⠀
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My Nr 1 lens is a 35mm f/1.4. I use it for 75% of my photos.⠀
I always shoot with 2 bodies. My other body always holds the 85mm f/1.8.⠀
With these 2 lenses I shoot 95% of a wedding day.⠀
Then I also have a 45mm f/2.8 Tilt Shift lens, which I use for arty farty photos when I have plenty of playing-around-time. And last but not least I have 1 zoomlens, a 16-35 f/2.8 which I use for an occasional ultra wide shot and for the party pictures.⠀
I also have a 55mm f/1.8, mainly as a backup lens.⠀
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Is this the only good combo? Hell no. Lens choice is also super personal. I know great photographers who shoot a lot with 24mm or with a 50mm. Also good. But after a while you will notice which focal point suits you the best.⠀
Never tried Prime Lenses? Do it. You will soon realize you don’t wanna go back to general zooms.⠀
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This shoot? Done last Friday, when the light was typically Leentje, the model @laviedeleau due in 7 weeks, and the flowers were put together by my awesome sister @wonderweddings.be !
All taken with 35 and 85mm, wide open, cause…. BACKLIGHT! (see previous Tip Tuesday)⠀
All photos on f1.6 or f1.8.⠀
Also, sharpness is heavily overrated!⠀

TIP TUESDAY – TIP 3. WHEN IS THE BEST GOLDEN LIGHT?⁠⠀
This question came back several times since I launched #tiptuesday.⁠⠀
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I use a couple of indicators to ‘predict’ when and where the best light will be. ⁠⠀
1. common sense: know where WEST is. If you are at a location at noon (sun is South), you can find a good spot in the West for golden light photos. I always know beforehand where I will shoot.⁠⠀
2. I use an app called RIZON. You can set location and date and it tells you when golden hour will be. Golden hour is the hour when the sun is slowly lowering, from right above the horizon to below the horizon and therefor the direct light is already gone, with this orange, golden glow. ⁠⠀
UPDATE// apparently RIZON is not longer available in the app store, but if you search on ‘golden hour’ you find really good alternatives!!
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For a planned portrait shoot, I schedule the shooting typically 1 hour before the start of golden hour. In this last hour of direct sunlight, the sun is going lower and its rays hit the tree lines or the horizon. I love this effect and always try to capture this. Afterwards the sun sinks and the rays of light get smoother, until sun is completely below the horizon. Golden hour sets in when the sun is at 25ish degrees above the horizon, approximately, and then the sun sinks.
This means you need to know your environment. Shooting in a place with lots of high trees will result in the fact that the sun will hide behind the trees sooner, so you need to calculate that in. ⁠⠀
If you shoot in a plain field with no high trees or buildings, you can stretch time a little.⁠⠀
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At a wedding, I always scout my golden light location and try to get my couple from their dinner for 10 minutes. They are always willing to sneak out, but sometimes the strict planning of the evening comes in between, like 2 weeks ago when I wanted to get my couple and on that exact timing the speeches and acts began… Half an hour later we were able to go out but sun was gone already…⁠⠀
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You win some, you loose some.⁠⠀
A few photos with my favorite light, right before ‘golden hour’, when sun is still ‘shining’.⁠⠀

TIP TUESDAY – TIP 4. TALKING COMPOSITION.⁠
Quite a few questions came about how to compose a good photo.⁠⠀
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I can tell you one thing. I don’t follow rules.⁠⠀
I do what feels right.⁠⠀
For me that’s 1) symmetrical or 2) rule of thirds⁠⠀
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SYMMETRICAL⁠⠀
Along the years I noticed that lines and symmetry became more important to me. I ADORE Wes Anderson’s way of composing his movies. If you don’t know him, you have to google it. There are some really nice compilations about the way he incorporates symmetry in his cinematography. If you google ‘Wes Anderson Symmetry’ you’ll find what I mean.⁠⠀
Since I really analyzed his movies it really influenced my way of shooting. ⁠⠀
For me, symmetry ALWAYS works. If there is also symmetry in my environment, I go completely loco and go all the way, putting my model/couple in the middle of the frame and make sure all lines are right.⁠⠀
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RULE OF THIRDS⁠⠀
The rule of thirds is the classical ‘rule’ of how to shoot a good portrait and make it interesting. When I don’t shoot symmetrical (which is the majority of the time) I shoot according to the third rule.⁠⠀
This basically means your subject is on one third of the frame. Either left or right. Always keep in mind that the human eye ‘reads’ from left to right, so what I sometimes do, to make my image ‘more visually interesting’ is mirror my frame. You can do that easily in Photoshop.⁠⠀
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This little photo series is a combo of symmetrical (in the middle) or rule of third.⁠⠀
Always works for me.⁠⠀
But sometimes, going beyond ‘the rules’ can make an image super interesting as well! ⁠⠀

 

TIP TUESDAY – TIP 5. HOW TO SHOOT IN BRIGHT SUNLIGHT.⁠⠀
My answer: RUN away and hide!⁠⠀
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Nah. It’s not that bad. Although I have to admit it took my a while to embrace bright harsh light in my career as a photographer.⁠⠀
The thing is, when shooting weddings, you often don’t have a choice when to shoot, cause it all depends on the planning of the day, and the typical Belgian wedding day has a ‘photoshoot timeslot’ at midday or early afternoon. YES. In summer that is super harsh light. ⁠⠀
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A few years ago I would always seek for shadow. I would go to the woods and shoot under trees. Or I would find big shade spots in the city and shoot there.⁠⠀
But now I also tend to shoot in the more difficult, harsh light.⁠⠀
I can give you a few tips:⁠⠀
1. Use spots of light and shadow, find the spot which gives you a beautiful light glow. You will see that you can create magic in this harsh light too.⁠⠀
2. Come really close to your subject, and capture their real emotions. This way the spots of shadows in their faces don’t really bother.⁠⠀
3. Try to play with shadows. Sometimes shadows can create super interesting shapes which you can use for the better in your composition.⁠⠀
4. Set your ISO as low as possible (100 or even lower) and when you would love to shoot wide open, like me, it is a MUST that your shutter speed is high. With my Sony’s the highest I can go is 1/8000 sec. You best shoot in Manual mode in super bright light. Still, I try to underexpose my image, as it allows me to edit it better afterwards. Make sure you don’t blow out your highlights (check the histogram) as if so, you can’t save it in post processing and the blown out parts are lost.⁠⠀
5. Know the light. You can shoot front lit or back lit. Even when the sun is high. I tend to use back light (duh) as it makes the skin tones softer. If you shoot front light, the shadows are hard, the skin will glow and the people will squeeze their eyes.⁠⠀
6. Have your model/couple engage in a movement. This will make it less hard for them in the direct light.⁠

wedding portraits in summer boho huwelijk belgie boho wedding couple portraits

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