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The role of a florist as a bridal expert likely extends beyond creating magnificent wedding bouquets and beautiful botanical decor. For example, florists often find themselves recommending professional photographers to bridal couples as well as working closely with photographers to make certain that couples have great pictures they can enjoy for a lifetime.
We spoke with photographer Mark Staff of Fabulously Charleston Wedding Photography in Charleston, South Carolina (fabulouslycharlestonweddingphotography.com) and Renato Cruz Sogueco, AAF, PFCI, BloomNet Vice President of Digital Strategy and Education. We asked Mark and Renato for their insights about what florists should be aware of when it comes to topnotch bridal photography.
floriology: What are the essential attributes to look for in evaluating a professional wedding photographer?
MARK: The most important thing is the style. A good photographer can manage the technical part of the business. A great photographer’s work is recognized because there are consistently beautiful images in every part of a wedding event, not just the occasional good one.
A professional wedding photographer should also know where to be and when to anticipate natural moments during a wedding in order to capture the real emotional times. Moments such as a grandmother in tears because she sees the love between the couple or a father’s face of pride in his daughter. Those moments are private, powerful and real. A pro photographer should have years of experience and be anticipating these key moments and documenting them on camera.
floriology: Why is proper lighting so vital in bridal photography?
RENATO: Lighting at venues varies greatly from the number of lighting fixtures available, the intensity of the lights, and the lighting temperature or color – an example is lighting with incandescent bulbs, which usually produces a soft, warm yellow glow while newer LEDs or fluorescents produce a white, sharp bluish, daylight color. This will ultimately impact the overall temperature and color that will appear in photos.
The photographer should never intend on relying solely on existing venue lighting. They should be expected to compensate and enhance existing lighting with the use of a good complement of flashes, reflectors, stands and umbrellas which could be triggered in unison using flash remotes.
floriology: Are there any tips & tricks that can maximize the photography of bridal flowers?
MARK: Shooting the beauty of flowers, and the arrangements that have been artfully composed by a professional florist, deserve care and attention from the photographer. Focusing on the flower arrangement while putting the background far out of focus by shooting shallow depth of field is the best way. Of course, the lighting is very important but unlike faces, flowers can still be beautiful in hard sunlight. Shooting with the background far out of focus allows the viewer to really appreciate the subject without distraction, and it gives the arrangement depth.
floriology: What other strategies do you recommend for optimizing bridal photography?
RENATO: A lot happens at a wedding…and moments can be lost forever if they are not photographed with the best equipment. It’s important to know whether the photographer will be using full-frame professional cameras such as the Canon EOS 1D, 5D or 6D, Sony’s A7 series or A9 mirrorless cameras, or Nikon’s FX line. They all capture high-megapixel files, feature photo capture burst rates of more than 12 frames a second, use dual-card slots to ensure photo file redundancy and are designed to use fast lenses (those with an aperture range starting 1.2 or 1.4) that can capture shots in low-light situations and provide the best quality photography.
We also recommend asking the photographer about their post-shoot process. Are they shooting RAW files that capture the most image information? Do they touch up their photos? Are they willing to share photos with you to feature on your website?