Wedding Photography Focusing Tips

We could cover pages of information with regards to focusing on camera's, from the focus point's to phase detection or contrast focusing, it can be very frustrating at time's, we've all had the annoying experience of seeing that scene happen in front of you, thinking you caught that moment and then when (pixel peeping) viewing on your got workstation, that perfect wedding shot is just slightly not sharp!

“This Photo attached to this article was taken at a wedding local to us here in Somerset, this lovely little Church in Mere (St Michael the Archangel) the beautiful Bride “Lucy” brushed her wedding dress and she looked so natural with her handsome entourage, this is where you want that focus to be spot on!”

It's so frustrating, but we've all been there, a basic rule of thumb that may be of help is; don't let your shutter speed drop below twice the focal length of your lens, I tend to add an extra stop just to make sure!

Another tip is to look for focus areas that will help the camera to focus, lines are a great help, contrasting points but of course, sometimes there won't be a conveniently placed focus point sitting right over your subject, but don't let this deter you. For a start, the AF points away from the centre are less sensitive, so unless there's plenty of light, you're using a wide aperture, and/or the target area is quite contrasty, there's no guarantee those edge points will get a lock quickly or accurately, even if they are neatly on top of your subject.

Indeed, for a lot of shooting situations you might find that you can just use the AF point that's slap bang in the middle of the frame. This is the most sensitive AF point on your camera, so it typically snaps the lens into focus quicker and more accurately than the rest.

It also means there's no need to fumble around trying to select a different focus point, this doesn't take long on most cameras, but it's often a lot quicker to aim the camera straight at your subject, press the shutter-release button down halfway to focus, and then keep the button held halfway while you reframe the shot—it takes longer to read it than it does to do it, trust me. Working like this also means you can put your subject anywhere you want in the frame, whether that's dead centre, to one side, or even tucked away in the corner.

However, this only works in single shot AF and if your subject stays the same distance from the camera—in the split second it takes to reframe your shot, a moving subject is almost certainly not going to be in focus any more. It's also inadvisable if you're shooting close to your subject with a super-shallow depth of field again because slight camera movement can result in the focus "missing" slightly when you reframe. The rest of the time, though, it's a system that works well, try it for yourself. I use this system for the Bride and Groom romantic photograph's and Group photo's on my wedding's.

It is often quicker to use the central AF point, lock focus, and reframe your shot, rather than scrolling through multiple AF points to find the most suitable one. However, on most cameras the exposure is locked along with the focus, which can lead to exposure issues with certain scenes. To avoid this, check your camera's custom functions for an option that lets you set the AF-L (focus lock) button to "focus only this work's really well because you are then free to set the exposure.

www.thefxworks.co.uk - check out more tips here.