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Inspirations >> Photos & People

Suspending Time, Capturing Love with Ivan Natadjaja


I will start with the Wedding Day as our first topic because it is mainly about the process of documenting an event, which is the primary element in all genres in photography. We as a photographer, either as a beginner or professional, must be prepared for all kinds of situations (I use the term LLP: Location, Light and People).

wedding photography

EOS 5D Mark III; EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM; 50mm; f/2.8; 1/320 sec; ISO 500

Location: We must be well prepared and quickly adapt to the location of the wedding. It is divided into two parts:

1. Where the wedding is held: from the bride walking down the aisle, during the ceremony and reception, until the end of the wedding

2. Where the complementary attributes and details are placed: centrepieces, flowers, bouquet board sign, wedding cake, and so on

Light: The lighting condition of the location during photo session. Prepare the perfect camera with suitable aperture, exposure, shutter speed, and Kelvin temperatures.

wedding photography

EOS 5D Mark III; EF135mm f/2L USM; 135mm; f/2; 1/640 sec; ISO 320

People: When we are documenting a wedding, we must remember that it is not only about the bride and the groom. It also includes family and the guests of the wedding.

wedding photography

EOS 5D Mark III; EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM; 135mm; f/2; 1/60 sec; ISO 800

After mastering the basics of wedding photography theory, a photographer must be confident in using their best equipment. Become acquainted with the characteristic of your camera and lenses. Use external flash when poor lighting occurs. Tip: However, do not use flash during holy matrimony or prayer time, because it will be perceived as impolite and will disturb the religious moment. A skilful photographer will not only produce good images but also need to possess good manners. Ask for permission before taking sensitive photos or objects, for example: ritual or cultural items and private belongings. The elders usually do not like being photographed candidly, so make sure to get permission beforehand. I also suggest using Tele lens to capture candid moments.

wedding photography

EOS 5D Mark III; TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II; 24mm; f/3.5; 1/80 sec; ISO 3200

Unlike other wedding cultures, Indonesia is well-known for their multicultural ethnicity. Each city, even each tribe has their own traditions and that’s what makes them different. From traditional clothes to decorations and rituals before the ceremony are interesting. In the event of a traditional wedding, it is best to coordinate with the wedding team about the rundown of the event. Therefore, you can strategically set up your position beforehand. Another thing to remember, is that we need to respect the tradition. It would be wise if the photographer could keep an open communication with the wedding organiser or the person in charge of the wedding, on how to conduct the documentation, without offending or breaking any tradition in the process. It is best to have a minimum of 2 people during the wedding, so that you will be able to capture all the moments.

wedding photography 

EOS 5D Mark III; EF16-35mm f/4L IS USM; 16mm; f/3.2; 1/50 sec; ISO 2000

wedding photography

EOS 6D; EF16-35mm f/12.8L USM;32mm; f/2.8; 1/100 sec; ISO 1250

Pre-wedding Photography

Pre-wedding photo shoot is a less coordinated photography where the models pose and the photographer’s duties are to hunt and capture the perfect moments without directing the models. Hence, pre-wedding photo shoot could be categorised as fashion photography. Why is pre-wedding photography associated with or categorised as fashion photography?

Pre-wedding photography is related to location, wardrobe or accessories, and even the suitable poses. These aspects are comparable to fashion photography. A photographer must have good taste and able to interact with clients. Note that the brides and/or grooms may not be a professional model. Thus, directing and controlling their expression will be challenging. Pre-wedding photography tends to be dynamic. In order to do photo shoots in different locations, mastering light in photography is essential. A photographer must be agile and well prepared to adapt with various sites and their lighting condition. The basic skill is to avoid confronting the light. If you do, you might want to increase the setting to over-exposure +2/+3. This will help to obtain sufficient light, preventing dark image caused by backlit situation.

wedding photography

EOS 5D Mark III; EF50mm f/1.8 USM; 50mm; f/1.6; 1/160 sec; ISO 800

Enrich your knowledge in moods of photography and posing ideas. Studying, get inspired and imitate others works are prevalent initial process among practitioners. When you get more hours and gain more experience, you will naturally build your own character. This is also similar to a personality. A photographer shall have their own taste and different approach that will eventually be their distinct style and characteristic.

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Ivan Natadjaja

Ivan Natadjaja

Started photography in 2010. Through self-learning, accompanied with supporting dictions and also friends, who happened to be professional photographers, which helped directly, and indirectly. Photography is life, stopping time, and I’m delighted to record life’s moments.