HDR Photography Handbook for Wedding Photographers

HDR photography or high dynamic range photography is often used to add a touch of drama to photographs. These photos are a composite of two or more images of the same scene taken at different exposures and then combined together to create one perfectly exposed image. HDR photos are often labeled as having a fake, overly-processed, and unnatural effect. However, this style involves techniques that require attention to detail while shooting and during the post-production stage, which can often lead to some beautiful wedding images. If your couple is looking for amazing and artistic imagery for their wedding photography, then you could try experimenting with this style, especially in outdoor photos. Here are 5 things to keep in mind as you start to incorporate more of this style in your wedding photos.

Tips for HDR Wedding Photography

1. Set the Scene

Infographic stating your setting should ideally have strong highlights and shadows

As we said before, HDR photography is great for outdoor photos, but if the setting doesn’t have a lot of dynamic range, then you don’t need to use HDR techniques to capture the entire range of the scene. If there are no strong highlights and shadows, you could consider capturing a single, well-exposed RAW photo and using post-processing techniques and HDR presets in Lightroom to finish the image in post-production.

2. Shoot According to Time of Day & Weather

If you really want to get that perfect HDR photo, try shooting during sunset or sunrise. Even though these times of day are generally great for photography, the golden hour sky offers an extra vibrant sky whose colors and beauty could be captured with a well-shot HDR photo. Additionally, if you are still experimenting with this style, try taking pictures when the sky is more cloudy than clear. So, if your couple happens to be getting married on a cloudy day, this may be your chance to put your skills to the test. A moody sky would also add some drama to the photo.

Suggested Read: Sunset Wedding Photos: 5 Tips To Help You Get Them Right

3. Shoot in Continuous Mode

Infographic stating steer clear of blurry images by shooting in continuous mode

Many brands offer continuous shooting modes on most of their DSLRs. This allows you to take all of your bracketed photos by only clicking the release once rather than having to press it for each exposure you are taking. Since you don’t have to press the release button more than once, the biggest advantage of continuous mode is that it will keep the camera from shaking and giving you blurry images.

4. Process With Care

You can use photo editing software to enhance your HDR photo during post-production. In fact, many professional photographers depend on post-processing tools to get the right effect in their HDR pictures because it could get challenging to get everything perfectly exposed in a camera. So whether you use Photoshop or Lightroom, there are various tools that you could use to get the desired effect.

5. Minimize Movement

Infographic stating talk to your couple about holding poses to minimize movement

When using HDR photography techniques, it’s critical to minimize movement. As the photographer, you will do your part in this by using continuous mode and perhaps even a sturdy tripod, but your efforts will go in vain if your couple keeps moving. So before you take their photo, let your bride and groom know what you are trying to do and be clear with your instructions. If you tell them to simply stand still, they might appear slightly uncomfortable, and that may reflect in the photos too. Ask them to relax but try not to move or change their facial expressions. Another way you could help them feel comfortable while posing for HDR photos is by giving them some ideas on different poses they could hold. Again, try to have this discussion before you start shooting.

Keep Experimenting With HDR Wedding Photos

Infographic stating use HDR imaging techniques or a software to create that effect to add drama to photos

Even though HDR photography may not be every wedding photographer or couple’s first choice, the trend of adding a couple of HDR photos in weddings is certainly increasing. Not only do they add a touch of drama, but they are also great for adding some variety to wedding photos. Plus, if you want all the vibrant colors to shine through in the sunset wedding photos, you might want to consider shooting using HDR photography techniques or use a software to create that effect during post-production. If you are just beginning to experiment with HDR, we suggest that you take some time to perfect your skills through practice and perhaps then start showing your couples how amazing these photos can look.

Further Read: 5 Wedding Photo Editing Trends You Need To Know About In 2021

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you expand your skill set. And to give you the chance to focus more on that and less on other time-consuming tasks, we offer professional photo editing services that match your style. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.

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