I recently shot a friend’s wedding, and found that my street photography techniqies have tremendously benefited me.


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Thank you Neil

Cindy and Eric wedding picture by Neil Ta
Cindy and Eric wedding picture by Neil Ta

Some of the best wedding photographers I know like NEIL TA are both great wedding photographers and street photographers.

When Neil shot my wedding with Cindy, he integrated epic angles, and caught tons of great “decisive moments”, and also integrated his signature urban landscape compositions.

I believe that all street photographers can benefit by shooting a wedding, and all wedding photographers can benefit learning how to shoot street photography.

Some of Neil’s best wedding pictures below:

Some of the best decisive moments from Neil:

Thanks again Neil.

Picture with Kelly, Myself, Cindy, and Neil

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Below are some street photography techniques that wedding photographers can integrate into their work, in order to make more dynamic wedding pictures:

Layers

When I shoot street photography, one technique I like to integrate is layers. Many wedding photographers can benefit by also shooting layers, to capture more of a story in a scene.

For example, when I shot my own wedding, I shot lots of my pictures of Cindy with street photography techniques, like shooting with flash.

Also note the layers I integrated into my picture of Cindy flexing in the mirror, with her mom in the bottom left corner.

Having more faces and emotions in the scene makes for a more engaging, dynamic, and fun picture.

2. Dynamic Compositions

A lot of street photographers have dynamic compositions, like the “Dutch angle” technique of tilting your camera.

Another picture I shot of my friends Mark and Isi on a bridge — tilting my camera, which tilts the horizon (generally seen as a “no no” in photography)— but makes the scene more dynamic:

3. Aggressiveness

Street photography technique of depth: focusing on the parents in the background, with the guests in the foreground. Feels very much like a street photograph.
Street photography technique of depth: focusing on the parents in the background, with the guests in the foreground. Feels very much like a street photograph.

Street photographers like to fill the frame, and get close, and AGGRESSIVE to get the shot.

Street photographers are not shy. Consider, if you want to be a great wedding photographer, you need to learn how to overcome social anxiety, and to be more bold interacting with guests, either shooting candidly (very close) or asking for permission.

For myself, I found the assertiveness I learned from street photography benefit me when I shot my friend’s wedding. I was able to yell and get people to listen to me — either when gathering and shooting group pictures, or when it came to not being shy about being closer to the action.

4. Capturing “the decisive moment”

In street photography, the concept of “the decisive moment” is key.

Essentially, street photographers have very good reflexes, and are very fast — like gunslingers from an old school western.

When I shot my friends wedding, I was in the zone — like when I shoot street photography. The skills of me being able to shoot and react quickly during the wedding all crossed over from street photography.

The moments you want to capture in a wedding are decisive, and only happen once. What would you do as a wedding photographer if you missed the decisive kiss, between the wedding couple?

5. Cross-pollination

Photographing my own wedding taught me as a street photographer: I shouldn’t just limit myself in street photography — I should explore and shoot any and all genres of photography. Why? Because my street photography techniques and skills carried over, and “cross pollinated” very well in wedding photography, and all forms of photography (even landscape and architecture photography).

Conclusion

To sum up,

Wedding photographers can learn much from street photographers, and street photographers can learn much from wedding photographers.

Have fun,
ERIC

See upcoming ERIC KIM STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS