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We help you to understand F-Stop and why its important to Johannesburg wedding photography

F-Stop is a measure of the actual size of aperture (opening) in a wedding photography lens. Some brilliant Johannesburg wedding photographers refer to F-Stop as the F-Number or simply as the aperture setting on the camera. Fortunately it all amounts to the same concept. Wedding PhotographyAs a wedding photographer, amateur or professional you should also know that the origin of the letter F in the term F-Stop is frequently attributed to the widely respected Ansel Adams, who dedicated much time, one-third of the way into the 20th century, to developing optimum aperture settings and therefore is widely recognized for his contribution to photography and developing the acknowledged Aperture Zone System.
History aside, you’re possibly wondering what the F-Stop numbers represent? We’ll tell you that they represent a geometric progression starting at 1 where each subsequent F-Stop number greater than 1 is multiplied by a factor of approximately 1.414, (which is the power of the square root of two). Grab a calculator, enter 1, multiply it by 1.414 and you’ll obviously get 1.414 as an answer. Now multiply your answer by 1.414 again and you’ll get 2 as your answer. Do it one more time and your answer will be approximately 2.8. If you continued to do the math, you would swiftly determine the entire F-Stop range of values, I.E. 1, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22, 32 and so on until F-Stop 45 or even F-Stop 64.

Great, now that you know what the word F-Stop means mathematically and what the numbers associated with it are, you’re probably still asking yourself what these numbers actually mean and how do you apply it to becoming a better or more professional wedding photographer in Gauteng! To explain I will use an analogy of a cat’s eyes. (If you have a cat, you’ve probably noticed this several times…). When your kitty is outside and it’s a bright and sunny day, you’ll observe its pupils are long and thin and resemble tight vertical slits, but as your kitty walks into a darker indoors (very akin to moving into any dimly lit wedding reception venue), its pupils widen up to become large round discs very quickly. Now this happens so that your most loved kitty can see equally well in the different environments where the intensities of light may vary. Does any of this sound like what us wedding photographers have to go through when quickly adapting to different lighting conditions.


If we relate the above analogy to the school of wedding photography, please imagine that the cat’s pupils are akin to that of the shutter in your expensive wedding photography camera — being able to open each time you take a superb wedding photo to a lesser or to a greater extent. Hence to allow plenty light to reach the delicate image sensor in your wedding camera you would select a set an F-Stop setting (pupil size) which would not restrict the amount of light entering your digital SLR wedding camera. On the other hand if you wanted to limit the quantity of raw light entering your camera, a high F-Stop setting would be the setting to choose.


Typically and advantageously, the lower the F-Stop capability of your wedding photography lens is, the better it will serve you when the sun is going done and low light conditions present themselves. In these conditions, either flash photography immediately takes over or you’ll need to crank down your F-Stop to 2.8 or better to allow in as much might as possible into that prized wedding photograph. Also bear in mind that lowering the exposure time is not usually the answer during Gauteng wedding photography. Having an exposure time under 1/100 of a second means two things to a wedding photographer: Firstly without a fancy image stabilization you will have to be using a tripod to eliminate blurry wedding photos, and secondly, at low shutter speeds, you better make very sure your stunning wedding bride is sitting very still when she adorns you with her prize winning smile, or else you’ll be scrambling for un-sharp mask in Photoshop faster than you know. (By the way, un-sharp mask in Photoshop actually sharpens wedding photos and does an outstanding job of it may I add).

So, wedding photography may well be an art, where the sensual wedding photographer uses poise and composition to arrive at world class wedding photographs, or it might also be a combination of art and some technical knowledge for without it, the wedding photographer will not really ever know what he or she is doing, and the outcome of a good wedding photo is totally reliant on luck, and lots of it.

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Wedding Photographers Gauteng Top 10 Choice of Wedding Venues Part 2

Wedding Photographer6. The Westcliff Hotel
Situated in Johannesburg’s most elite residential suburb, The Westcliff’s mountainside locale with cascading, hand sculpted grounds and elegantly architecture call to mind a foregone era of sophistication and elegance right in the heart of Johannesburg – Just what a wedding photographer in Gauteng dreams of…
Take a trip of The Westcliff’s top gardens and be dazzled by its awe inspiring views stretching through the upper-class suburbs of northern Johannesburg, rich in tree life and shades of green, orange and purple (if you hit the Jacarandas in full bloom) depending on your season of course. The Westcliff is an honorary wedding photography venue where its rich creative backdrops are rivalled only by its own seven star manicured garden masterpieces. Choose the Westcliff for an astonishingly luxurious setting, inside and out, day and night and transform your vision for wedding photography to perfection.

Wedding Photographers Gaunteng

7. The Moon and Sixpence
The Moon and Sixpence is a fantastic location that offers style in a warm country atmosphere, not far from Johannesburg nestled along the contemporary Muldersdrift wedding belt. Here a professional wedding photographer will find two very unique venues that each radiate their own personalities.
The Farthing chapel features stunningly crafted wooden doors while large candlelit chandeliers above set a romantic scene which any wedding photographer will use easily. The balcony gives a great perspective over the Farthing gardens mottled with its charming lavender bushes manicured lawns. The Farthing hall is shows off its Mediterranean architecture in splendour, allowing imaginative wedding photographers to come alive. The St Francis chapel is snuggled amongst verdant gardens with gigantic oak trees and rows of carefully selected colourful flowers. The horse stables and vivacious natural countryside offers splendid opportunities for Johannesburg wedding photographers to produce almost intangibly original wedding photographs. The Moon and Sixpence will make your wedding photographers come alive.

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8. The Hertford Country Hotel
Situated a stone’s throw away from Johannesburg, on the edge of the Muldersdrift wedding belt, lies the ever so quaint Hertford Country Hotel. Perhaps hotel is not a fair description; it’s more a well kept secret locking in a charming elegant country house, with picturesque views of distant Magaliesberg hills from every cove.
Inside the ambience is guarded by hefty bookcases filled with novels, biographies and historic tales making a great milieu for sophisticated wedding photography quickly capturing the heart of your couple. In spring the profound mulberry trees provide a dainty wedding photography dotted with neatly kept expanses of lavender bushes contrasting vivaciously against the rock clad walls and buildings.
To make your wedding photography album burst with creative variety, make sure your Johannesburg wedding photographer knows where to finds the enchanted forest at sunset, the old red Massey Fergusson tractor at noon, and the stained glass chapel mosaics at sun-rise. The Hertford is an impressive venue to shoot and should give you wedding photography which you’ll love for ever.

Wedding Photography Makiti Lodge

9. Makiti Lodge
Makiti provides your wedding photographers an enviable platform to take magical wedding photos which exude passion and will outlive a lifetime that is if you are after a natural outdoorsy look. It’s a fair drive from Johannesburg, located in the Kromdraai Valley but worthwhile as you arrive and are greeted by wonderfully immense and sprawling upper-class estate.
Wedding photography opportunities are almost countless and limited only by the imagination. A private majestic river meandering under sizable indigenous trees, watched over by stately cliffs forming a magnificent backdrop to skilfully landscaped gardens, transform this venue into prized wedding photography location. Makiti offer three superbly laid out settings, each affording a wedding photographer from Gauteng, highly imaginative garden seclusions to make almost any wedding photography shine. Makiti is a sensational wedding photography choice for the bridal couple in tune with nature.

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10. Zebra Country Lodge
Zebra lodge is hidden away north of Pretoria so it’s a fair drive for a Johannesburg wedding photographer to get out there, but with splendid views of far off hills and sporting a really authentic bushveld setting; it’s well worth the wedding photography shoot. A quaintly romantic chapel, locked in by imposing blue gum and white wattle giants, provides ample opportunity for rustic yet dapper wedding photography.
The decent variety of African wildlife foresting around the Zebra lodge make for some super rare wedding photography poses and compositions. This fairytale world of romance and luxury borders an expansive dam providing unparalleled natural ambience helping create wedding photography panoramas of a wedding couple embracing romantically while gazing almost forever into the warm western setting sun. We also enjoyed the tame horses grazing in and amongst the guests sipping cocktails just before reception. Zebra lodge teams with opportunities of splendid wedding photography not to be missed out on.

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Wedding Photographers Gauteng Top 10 Choice of Wedding Venues Part 1

1. DeHoek Country Hotel
The DeHoek Country Hotel lies chivalrously in a tranquil wedding country locality and is about an hour’s drive for a wedding photographer based in Johannesburg. This grand hotel is an imposing masterwork of Sandstone, Oregon, sensual fabrics and handcrafted furniture of Mahogany. The archetypal refined atmosphere mirrors a feeling of unending benefit and is sure to provide a wedding photography setting fit for only the very best. The DeHoek Hotel lies on the banks of the Magalies River and is set in one of a few remaining pristine river valleys left in Gauteng; it offers totally unique and astonishingly good outdoor wedding photography giving the Johannesburg wedding photographer a idyllic setting to blend man and nature into a formidable mix of love and beauty. The buildings supply old style tin roof stone walls timber backgrounds and the gardens offer beauty to go. DeHoek Country Hotel will allow a great wedding photographer opportunity to give you what you want, when only the best wedding photographs will do.

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2. Askari Game Lodge
Askari Lodge allows you to celebrate your wedding with a difference; your wedding photographer will adore capturing you riding an elephant! Just over an hour’s drive from Johannesburg or Pretoria, the stunning Magaliesberg Mountains will proudly provide the setting for a truly exclusive dream wedding setting. You’ll provide your prized wedding photographer the once in lifetime opportunity to bestow upon you “Big 5” wedding photography – yes, Askari Lodge offers wedding parties an unforgettable Big 5 wedding exhilaration, in a geographically enchanted area richly entangled by African and Dutch histories.
Inside the giant thatch roofs will awe. Outside the bell towers with its rich earthly colours will sound. Slipper baths to coal stoves, wash stands to luggage chests and hand crafted antique cupboards – so many perfect wedding photography props. Outside the wildlife of the Plumari Game Reserve, the lapa set on pure river sand, the elephant dam and even the mountain will stand at attention. Askari Game Lodge is the forever the most enviable choice of Johannesburg’s utterly discerning wedding couple; a venue where wedding photography will write memories into the mind of the future, forever.

Wedding Photograhy Johannesburg3. Glenburn Lodge
Glenburn Lodge is akin to tranquillity, casually yet elegantly located in the Zwartkops Mountain Range, and boasts both banks of the Blaauwbank and Crocodile Rivers. It’s a quick 30 minute drive for a wedding photographer from either Johannesburg or Pretoria.
Glenburn Lodge offers an intimate natural scenic beauty which presents the ideal setting for top Johannesburg wedding photographers to open the flood gates of photographic excellence and offers no less than three superb wedding venues, each with a kaleidoscope of diverse country gardens or bushveld splendours offering near perfect food for any creative wedding photography thirst.
Glencove lies on the banks of the courageous Crocodile River in an exquisite country garden providing an astute wedding photography ample surrounding for majestic and timeless composition and natural exposures. Glen willow is located at the very foot of the sweeping Zwartkops Range in the Bush Willow tented camp offering a rustic wedding photography feel. Saving the best for last, Glenkyle pivots a magnificent waterfall, situated on the Blaauwbank River, and only seeing it can make it real. Glenburn lodge is a wedding photography venue, few others can hope to rival.

wedding photography palazzo hotel4. The Palazzo Hotel
The Palazzo Hotel is flawlessly located in the upmarket city of Sandton, North of Johannesburg, so it’s literally on the doorstep of most Johannesburg wedding photographers. But don’t let this detract from the magnificent landscaped gardens and countless water features which harmoniously create a peaceful and tranquil environment even in a busy micro metropolis like Fourways.
While Milan is thousands of kilometres away, the thousand year old Tuscan architecture of the Palazzo Hotel is not, and it comes alive with untold attention to historical detail, a continual feat of engineering brilliance and a pristine backdrop for any wedding photographer who will be enchanted by it. For any Johannesburg wedding photographer to turn your Palazzo wedding into a day trip through Rome is undemanding. In fact, looking at wedding photos from the Palazzo Hotel Montecasino, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were actually in Liguria, it’s that impressive. Vines entangle frames; frames enshroud carved rock; rock moves ancient streams; and streams flow through the extraordinary bird park bordering the Palazzo. This hotel will provide you with contemporary wedding photography interspersed with timeless authentic antiquity at its best.

Wedding Photography5. Oakfield Farm
Oakfield Farm is a wedding photographers dream. It offers more than what a Gauteng wedding photographer ever needs to be fabulously creative and produce wedding photography which truly rivals the best photographers and lasts a lifetime. From wide open savannah fields with lingering sunsets to dark moody and tall romantic forests interlaced with watery fairy trails, Oakfields has it all. This wedding photographer’s dream venue is situated close to Johannesburg, and Pretoria, so travelling is not an issue.
Oakfield farm features five simply spectacular venues to choose from, each with its own unique charms and imaginative and very colourful freedoms. If you’re choosing a wedding venue in Johannesburg and wedding photographs mean allot to you, you’d be almost insane not to choose Oakfields Farm. It’s an understatement to say that we thoroughly enjoy taking wedding photographs at Oakfield Farm.

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Wedding dresses – Style guidelines for different body types.

Wedding photographers GautengEvery bride knows that once the haze and euphoria of the marriage proposal has died down, the first thing that comes to mind is choosing that perfect and exquisite wedding dress. This aspect of your wedding day preparation is so important that you would be forgiven for having a different wedding planning section for “the dress”. A stunning wedding dress is the crowning glory of any wedding day, it is therefore important to choose a style that complements and accentuates your body type and that photographs well… Check out wedding4africa’s photography packages.
Outlined are some style guidelines to keep in mind, when choosing that perfect wedding dress, for the tall, petite and voluptuous bride:

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If you are a tall bride, there are dress styles that can accentuate your height or minimise it, whatever effect you are looking to create. A Sheath wedding gown fitted from top to bottom is the most flattering. If you have an hourglass figure, be sure to wear an A line gown with a dropped waist as this is complimentary to this body type.

Wedding Photographers Gauteng

A pear shaped bride should rather opt for a ball gown; which style balances out the hips and showcases her slim upper body. Professional wedding photographers will make you look good in most dresses, but understandably there are dresses in which you’ll look better in than in others. A curvy bride should be sure be sure to accentuate her hourglass figure in an A line wedding gown or a princess style wedding dress. A petite bride must steer clear of any wedding dress that overpowers her natural figure and will detract from her beauty. Also, when the appropriate gown has been chosen, it is important to have the dress hemmed to ensure a better fit.

Wedding photographyA slim bride looks stunning in a sheath wedding dress as well as in trumpet and mermaid wedding dress style on her Gauteng wedding day.
When choosing a wedding dress, a voluptuous bride should invest in a gown with a fitted corset, for that extra support and definition. Your wedding photographer will appreciate the effort you put into choosing the correct wedding dress. A wedding dress that skims your curves, rather than clings to them is the most flattering. Why not let wedding4africa capture your wedding day?
Always steer clear of voluminous styles that overwhelm your figure like chiffon and crepe; a body skimming silhouette is best to enhance your features.The dress style best suited for this body type is an A-Line wedding dress, which flare slightly from the bodice giving a long silhouette.

Wedding Photographers Gauteng

Wrap-style dresses are also very flattering on this body type as they slim the figure by cutting the body and drawing the eye to both the top and bottom half, creating a slimming effect.

GAuteng Wedding Dresses for best Photography Shoots

Armed with these important hints and tips, go out and shop around for your dress and you will be sure to dazzle on your wedding day, with a gown that brings out the best in you, literally and figuratively to make your wedding photography in Johannesburg a dream come true.

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Use Professional Wedding Photography for the Best Results by Eric Simon

Choosing the right wedding photographer is an important decision that needs to be made before the wedding day. Along with deciding on the appropriate music, what food to serve and the venue, picking the right wedding photographer for your wedding is also an important aspect of the wedding day. Make sure the photographer you choose has a pretty good history of experience taking wedding photos and portraits. Make sure they are capable of taking the kind of shots you want, whether they be traditional, candid, or photojournalistic style wedding portraits.

A professional wedding photographer should be with you as well as your wedding party during almost every important moment of the day, including the arrival of the bride at the church up until the time when you and your new spouse leave the reception. Most wedding photographers first take photos of the bride and her attendants while they are getting ready for the wedding. They will also include moments of the bride and her parents as they are preparing for the ceremony. Next, the wedding photographer will start taking photos of the groom and his groomsmen as well as the guests beginning to arrive at the church.

With the right professional wedding photographer, you can rest assured that the entire wedding ceremony will be captured in photographs you will cherish for a lifetime. They will know where to stand in order to capture those intimate shots of you and your future spouse while you are reciting your vows. After the wedding ceremony, the photographer usually takes a series of posed portrait shots with the families of the bride and groom and of the wedding party. During this time, the guests will proceed to the reception area while photographs of the wedding party are taken. It is a good idea to go over the details with the wedding photographer regarding what type of photos you would like taken as well as the type of ones you do not want a few days before the wedding.

During the reception, a professional photographer will also take photos of the bride and groom cutting the cake as well as your family and guests enjoying the party. You will look back and realize just how important these special photos are years down the road as you can relive your wedding celebration just by simply viewing the pictures. The key factor is to develop a strong relationship with your photographer by meeting with them before the wedding day in order to discuss the important details for the portraits to create lasting memories of your wedding day.

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The philosophy of Johannesburg wedding photography

wedding photography. How to get it brilliant!
Johannesburg wedding photography can be an appealing profession or leisure pursuit (if you are doing it part time) for many photographers in that it combines art with science. To be an awesome Gauteng wedding photographer, a healthy dose of creativity artistry is only half the battle won, but to truly break three dimensional realities into the realms of two dimensions – a wedding photo, uniquely and brilliantly requires a wedding photographer to have a… profound understanding of science as well as art — the science which deals with light off the bridal couple – the reflection and refraction thereof — and a science which captures light into small a black box known as a wedding camera.

Lets explore why the two key elements of advanced wedding photography, art and science are enigmatically linked from a best wedding photographers perspective. Science tells us that in order to be creative we need to use the right half of our brain, and to think cognitively we need to employ the left side – I.E. the part of the brain responsible for logical reasoning. Surprisingly though, the logical side of our mind is also responsible for seeing color! Now to my mind therein lies the paradox, a hurdle we’ll need to intrinsically overcome before we’re ever going to take breath taking wedding photographs and master wedding photography in Johannesburg. Luckily it is not as hard as it may seem. Our minds luckily have three parts to them – a sub conscious part and a conscious part broken into two halves, a left and a right.

Wedding Photographers Gauteng
A composition which breaks rules because text books shouldn’t dictate great wedding photograph compositions, unique individual styles should.

We need to get the parts of the mind functioning together to be able to take brilliant Gauteng wedding photographs. Firstly, you’ll need to imprint onto your subconscious mind, a comprehensively taught understanding of all the workings of your canon or nikon (the lessor of the two in our opinion) digital SLR, as well as the native properties of the stuff the sun gives off, light! Once you know this better than your own name, grab your camera, look through the viewfinder and contemplate the following two points: use the left side of the brain to be become aware of the color, quantity and type of light coming into your wedding camera to habitually set your dials naturally, then use your creative right half to compose the shot and take it. If you took it well your Johannesburg wedding couple will love you forever, and the bride will sing your song for a long time to come with hopefully some referral business coming your way.

Remember that the best wedding photography composition is done through feeling, and never through text book or theory notes. Imagine yourself viewing your own wedding photos in one thousand years time — this alone should guide you to capture the most unique, timeless and awe inspiring compositions into the confines of your wedding camera. Remember, a logical wedding composition will get you nowhere, but a heart felt composition which probes at the souls of your subjects, will get you long lasting admiration and a Johannesburg wedding shoot to be remembered eternally, by your clients and other wedding photographers in Gauteng…


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Perfecting exposure during professional wedding photography Gauteng

ohannesburg Wedding PhotographersPlainly stated, exposure is a state of vulnerability. More specifically and when thinking about wedding photography in Johannesburg or anywhere else in South Africa, exposure is the amount of light being reflected off your wedding couple and falling onto your wedding camera’s image sensor. It stands to reason that the more light which you allow into your professional wedding photography camera, the more saturated with light your image sensor would become. Thats obvious to anyone… The converse is also true in that if you limit the amount of light entering your camera, you’ll experience a resultant decrease in exposure. An uncomplicated analogy…To explain exposure is to imagine light as being random particles or rays and your aim is to trap one thousand of these tiny particles into a small black box. You get faced with two scenarios, firstly one in which you find yourself on the surface of the sun! To trap a thousand particles or rays there, your common sense would tell you to open the box for a very short time to let your required quota of particles inside your box.

No problem, there is light everywhere so your box gets filled quickly. Second scenario, place yourself on the dark side of the moon or in a dimly lit wedding reception venue where you are well shielded from the suns influence. In order to fill your box you would need to take the lid off the box for a very long time if you wanted to stand any chance of catching these elusive rays. You find yourself keeping the box open for a considerable time and you still may not necessarily meet your one thousand light particle quota.

Let’s transpose the above analogy into photo-graphical terms on the wedding shoot day. Replace the word box in the above sentences with the word wedding camera, and replace the word lid with the term shutter. On the suns surface you would logically opt for a very fast shutter speed (in the order of milliseconds) to try to limit the number of light particles or rays entering your wedding camera and falling onto your image sensor, because, too many light particles will unquestionably over expose your brilliant wedding photograph and ruin it making you question your abilities as a wedding photographer in Johannesburg! Now going back to the moon or that very dimly lit wedding venue, a very slow shutter speed in the order of minutes or hours would ensure that you do not under expose your image sensor to light rays, and ultimately produce a photo which is too dark. Of-course thats naturally impossible at any wedding photographer in Gauteng…

wedding photographers gauteng

An example of high F-stop Johannesburg wedding photography where the aperture is tiny and the light rays entering the camera are highly collomated to ensure a deep focus, as sharp as possible.

It’s important to remember that exposure and aperture go hand in hand with one another and that one can never consider either in isolation of the other. When timing a shoot, and your subject is in motion, make sure you never go below 1/200 of a second. Doing so will result in blurry wedding photographs for which you will not be very popular when handing over your package to the bridal couple clients. If by setting your wedding camera to 1/200 or faster puts your in screen light meter miles to the left of neutral, try decreasing the F-Stop or increasing the ISO. Remember that increasing the ISO will mean the you sacrifice quality for eventual graininess, and lowering your F-Stop means you will get a very shallow depth of focus, and if you’ve focused on the face of the beautiful wedding bride, anything in your frame in-front or behind her will look very soft and blurred – also known as bokeh’ed!!


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My visit to the Wedding Expo 2012 at the Northgate dome in Johannesburg.

Wedding Photography in JohannesburgI attended the wedding expo at the Coca Cola dome on Sunday 27 August 2012 with a good friend of mine, Thembi. She is to be a bride sometime in October 2013. As only wild horses would have dragged her fiancé to the wedding event and she was not willing to put herself through the torture of his complaints; she decided to err on the side of caution and not let the groom tag along. So I went along willingly, excited to scout out what the latest wedding trends are out there and being a Gauteng wedding photographer myself, I looked forward to admiring the wedding photography that was sure to be on display by the various Gauteng wedding photographers.

We arrived bright and early and after paying the R 100 entrance fee and receiving the red plastic bag to put in the brochures, we eagerly hit the wedding stands; which we decided to tackle in methodical fashion, starting with the first row and working our way through each stand. When we began, we eagerly chatted or waited to chat to the people at the stands and indiscriminately took flyers and brochures thrust at us; from body wraps promising quick weight loss to a wacky wedding video of the big day.

wedding photographers gautengFast forward an hour later, and we were a bit more discerning. We only went to the wedding stalls that were of interest to us. Thembi’s main objective was to see what was out there and also to narrow down the service providers she wanted to use, without having to scout all over Johannesburg or Gauteng. In time, we had our very own routine going on. For every stall that seemed promising, we folded the top right piece of the brochure, to separate it from the pile we were fast accumulating. I also suggested putting the brochures we thought had potential in our handbags, so that we could begin working through them first before tackling, if at all, the rest of the pile in the red bag.

Thembi bought four thick bridal magazines, which quickly browsing through, seemed to be full of much needed details on wedding photography and stunning wedding venues. We ended up buying a bag made of recycled material from the Northgate Dome as the plastic bag we had been at the entrance was not enough to take the wedding photography brochures and wedding flyers we had received. I bought a wedding photography book with wedding photos that were beautifully composed and taken showcasing the work of talented Johannesburg wedding photographers, for my ever-growing wedding photography book collection.

There were a lot of options in terms of Gauteng wedding photographers and the offerings varied from the more traditional wedding photography to artistic wedding photos and spontaneous wedding photography. It was a wedding photography feast and the options were endless. It was fun flipping through the many wedding photography photo books and admiring the different interpretations of the Gauteng wedding photographers who were advertising at the wedding expo 2012.

Wedding PhotographyWhen we finally sat down for coffee and a slice of delectable cake, just before making our way home to wade through all the information, we exchanged notes and narrowed down some of the gems we had both liked:
1. Gourmet Fruit Bouquets – delectable, delectable, delectable. If snow white had been given this apple covered in chocolate with a big poison sign, she would have still bitten into it. So worth it! I broke my two week chocolate fast over these. It is brilliant as a wedding centerpiece and desert.
2. Jem Exclusive Catering & Events – It is the food, after the company, which makes a wedding event great. If you are fussy about what you eat and what you serve your guests and your wedding venue allows you to bring outside catering, this is worth a taste! You will surely not be disappointed.
3. Maggie Sotero Gowns – these wedding dresses were amazing. Actually the fashion show was the highlight of the expo and there was something for every shape. A pity that we were not allowed to take any photos. Thembi remarked that it would have been great if some of the models were a bit more plus sized than the size 6 models on the stage; so to give prospective brides with curves an idea of which style of dress would suit them. Otherwise fab fab event.
There were other fabulous wedding offerings at the stand but you have to go to the next one in 2013 to see for yourself for fear of turning this into a thesis. It was well worth the entrance fee.

With my new expo worldliness, here are some tips for wedding brides when deciding whether to expo or not to expo:
1. Take an extra bag or a big bag as after a while the plastic bag is not sufficient, especially if you decide to buy some wedding photography magazines and other goodies at the expo.
2. Have some cash on you. We saw some lovely party favors going at a discounted price but as we had not come prepared, we missed out on what could have been a steal of a deal.
Wedding Photography3. Wear flat shoes. Or not, if you can rock it. Just be prepared to walk the floor and get every cent of your wedding expo entrance fee.
4. Take a small camera or use your cellphone if it has a good camera. There are some amazing Johannesburg wedding cake ideas; divine table setting ideas and other great trends that you should be able to snap and pore over later. It can be a good base for your Gauteng wedding idea and will add a lovely dynamic to your wedding photography.
5. Go with someone who you can bounce ideas off and is prepared to trawl each stall, asking the right and wrong questions (read; if this is not your man’s thing, do not force him, rather take a willing girlfriend; however if he is game, you lucky gal, go do your couple thing at the wedding expo).
6. Shopping on a budget? Take advantage of some of the wedding photographers’ discounts. The expo was teeming with discounts. Book a venue and get a free wedding cake, buy a wedding dress and get free custom made shoes; book a Gauteng wedding photographer and get a free wedding photography package or a wedding photography shoot to trash the dress; show up at the aisle and get a groom or two, depending on your preference – you get the drift. If you shop around, you can cut off some rands off your overall wedding budget.
7. Last but not least, come with your strongest will-power. If you are on a diet or on a wedding dress chocolate fast, better bring your dried fruit in bulk and point them at the delectable wedding cakes and chocolate sweets. Bad things happen to good will-power when surrounded by all that sweetness.

Hey, the next time there is a wedding expo in your area, grab a (willing) groom-to- be or a girlfriend of three, get those flat shoes on (or not) and happy trawling for ideas (and discounts) for your big day.

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How to look photogenic in your Gauteng wedding photography pictures

A good wedding photograph is 50% the result of an experienced Johannesburg wedding photographer who, with attention to lighting, composition and artistic flair, is able to capture the emotions of the wedding day producing an image that tells a story. The remaining 50% is the result of the subject in front of the lens – YOU the wedding bride. By mastering certain tips, some commonly known, and others we have uncovered over many photo shoots, we can confidently share some Johannesburg wedding photography tips. Okay, so not everyone lights up when a lens is in front of their faces. Some subjects instinctively perk up, striking a pose and assuming a relaxed body language. For others, it may prove to be a daunting task, assuming not as natural a pose, freezing or plastering on less than genuine ‘plastic’ smile. Unfortunately the camera, like a little child, does not lie and it captures faithfully every single emotion that comes before it.

gauteng wedding photographer

LUCKILY we have gathered some hints and tips to make you look better in pictures, in other words -photo fabulous. Whether you love taking pictures or want to learn to love posing in front of the camera and in turn, love the pictures that are produced, here are some ten Wedding4Africa insider tips to get you photo fabulous:

SMILE -¾ – Avoid giving a huge wide smile that shows all your teeth as it makes your eyes look smaller and exposes your gums. Alternatively, do not give a tight controlled smile as this will come across in the pictures as unnatural. The norm is to go for is a ¾ smile. Take time before the shoot to practice a contented ¾ smile in front of the mirror (preferably behind closed doors and far from any prospective in-laws).This is true for the posed shots, but of course in the candid ones when a whooper of a smile splits the face of the bride/groom from one end to the other, we will capture it in true wedding 4 africa fashion.

Johannesburg wedding photographyBREATHE – Do not hold your breath in as you will appear stiff, rather exhale and inhale naturally, relaxing your shoulders and face muscles. Remember not to slouch (the eight dwarf was not called photography, thankfully), stand tall.Also do not suck in your stomach when taking pictures as your chest puffs up unattractively and your facial muscles tense up, giving a stuffed turkey look.

Just breathe and call wedding4africa to photograph your wedding!

Gauteng Wedding PhotographersBODY LANGUAGE – Avoid facing the camera squarely with your weight evenly distributed on both feet, as the picture may appear stiff and unnatural. When you are standing, an industry norm is to turn slightly, bringing one shoulder nearer to the camera and rest your weight on one foot (the back foot). Keep the front foot pointed in the direction of the camera and keep your shoulders relaxed with your arms in a natural position. When you do this, your body is angled immediately adding dimension to any photo, making it look more interesting and natural. (In case you get the urge to lean back further than usual, make sure the unsuspecting mother-in-law is NOT behind you to break your fall).
When you are seated, rather than face the camera onwards, angle to one side or the other for a more poised look. Or alternatively you could lean slightly towards the camera. Leaning slightly toward the camera adds interest and passion to what could be an otherwise bland photo.

wedding photographers gautengTHINK HAPPY / SEXY/ PLAYFUL THOUGHTS – When you think happy etc thoughts, this is usually reflected in your eyes, making them sparkle. It also adds an air of mystery to the picture, as if you have a good secret only you know. It is your wedding day and happy thoughts are not far from your mind, so put them to good use. If, however, Uncle Ruckus becomes too attached to Johnny Walker and begins reciting war poetry or your specifically chosen lime green changing dress is actually avocado green in the light, rather than channel the hulk just channel happy etc thoughts…..quick. This technique is sure to take care of any of those frowns from hiccups in a less than near perfect day.
Practice tuning to that good energy of happy-go-lucky times on cue and with time, this will become second nature to you. Also by thinking happy etc thoughts, your body becomes relaxed and great synergy happens between you and the lens. Have you considered using wedding4africa to shoot your wedding?

Gauteng Wedding PhotographersMAKE LIKE A GIRAFFE – If you want to create a poised look (think graceful, elegant), then visualize that you have a long neck like a gazelle, and extend it slightly outwards, then tilt your chin down just a bit. This will not only give a graceful look but also avoid the appearance of a double chin and also prevent the camera from getting a view right up your nostrils. Another tip for avoiding the double chin effect is to press the length of your tongue against the roof of your mouth while smiling.

PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD – Treat this like you are going for an important interview and make sure you put your best foot forward.
In other words, highlight your best features. If you have long sweeping lashes – mascara is your baby, you have nice décolletage – hello cleavage, nice shoulders – can anyone say strapless fast enough, beautiful eyes – flirt them at the camera, pretty bridesmaid – give her the wrong wedding venue (I joke). Modesty is like shoulder pads when it comes to your wedding day, gone with the 70’s. It is the one day you are allowed to preen, glow and then some. Have you secured a Gauteng wedding photographer yet?
Also make sure to cover up your flaws like dark circles (you shouldn’t have stayed up so late wondering if the colour was egg shell cream). Use makeup and read up on ways to disguise any flaws that will detract from the photo fabulousness of your best features.

gauteng wedding photography

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT – Of course, you must practice, practice, and practice. Let the mirror be your friend. Set your camera to sequence and shoot some poses. In no time you will be photo fabulous for your day.

JUST BE – Just be. This energy usually filters down to the groom, bridal party, the guests and the ever candid lens which will have field day capturing these happy moments. You have booked the venue, paid for the cake (if the Gauteng wedding church committee haven’t baked it for free), you are in that one size smaller wedding dress and so victorianly corseted, everyone is behaving (excluding a certain uncle ruckus whom you have strategically seated behind the largest column by the door), you have chosen your groom and apparently the priest said no returns after 10 days if he doesn’t fix the plumbing, so the right thing to do (after paying your SABC TV licence of course) is to enjoy your day.
Don’t fret about what your image of your day was, is, should have been, a good wedding photographer will capture the day as you envisioned it, no one does ‘Kodak’ moments like a good professional at www.wedding4africa.co.za.

WHICH BRINGS US TO OUR LAST POINT – EMPLOY A PROFESSIONAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER IN GAUTENG – This is the most important tip to looking photo fabulous in wedding pictures. It is your special day and you will be forgiven for wanting to hog the entire spotlight, which you should. (Disclaimer – this is not the cue for bridezilla) There have been horror stories of brides shifting through the apocalypse that is an amateur’s hand at wedding photography and weeping at the vastness of red eye shots, over exposed or under exposed photos, cut off limbs, photos of unknown cleavage, out of focus blurry shots, bouquets that look like trees growing out of the brides hands, etc hopelessly trying to salvage at least 10 decent photos. You will grow older (unless we finally get to shoot Peter Pan & Wendy’s wedding), it is important to have flattering pictures of that special moment in your life.

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Ever wondered how aperature relates to Wedding Photography in South Africa

Plainly stated and bluntly put, an aperture is nothing more than a hole. Sorry to disappoint you. You’ve probably heard of ‘aperture’ in wedding photography terms and you’ve probably wondered what it means… When thinking of Gauteng wedding photography or any other wedding photography, and more specifically a wedding lens, an aperture is just a hole (through the lens) in which light reflected off your wedding bridal couple travels through. It is really as simple as that.

johannesburg wedding photography
I will use the following analogy to help you better understand aperture:

Lets take the understanding of aperture on step deeper. Imagine the individual rays of light (reflected of your wedding subject, be it a cake, a bride, a guest or evening the entire wedding venue) entering your wedding photography lens as being an infinite number of ‘light’ arrows, shot by an army of archers, and lets say they are protecting a medieval castle. Now if you had a small hole in your lens, in other words a narrow aperture and you were pointing your camera straight at the archer’s bows, then the likely hood of the arrows entering your lens to be dead straight, or technically speaking, greatly collimated, is very high, because the archers are aiming at you and you’re stupidly pointing your wedding camera at them!

On the other hand, should you increase aperture really wide open, you would have arrows coming in all over the place, possibly even from the archers at whom you’re not directly pointing your wedding camera, which would result in only a few of these ‘light’ arrows, or rays of light, entering your camera ‘straight on’ being collimated or very parallel to one another.

From this ‘light’ arrow analogy it stands to reason that in your wedding photography lens and wedding camera combination, the rays of light entering the camera will eventually strike an image plane, regardless of what direction they are coming or how straight they are. If the rays strike this plane (image sensor) in a highly collimated (parallel) fashion, which can only happen if you set your wedding photography camera to a very small aperture, then the resulting photograph will be in sharp focus and most of the detail in the frame will be sharp, from the brides eyes to her cousin sat stood behind her hoping to get into the picture. On the other hand, if you open up your aperture setting, in others word drop your F-Stop to as low as your lens can go, say 2.8, then the rays of lights imprinting themselves on your optical sensor would be un-collimated or somewhat scattered resulting in a situation where you will only realize a really sharp and crisp focus for some of the light rays entering your equipment and so your brides eyes would be crystal clear but the cousin behind would hardly be recognizable.

The result of parallel light rays or a small or narrow aperture setting (high F-Stop above say 11) is a wedding photograph which is very sharp over the entire frame and one any Johannesburg Wedding photographer can be proud of. Conversely, the result of a large or broad aperture (F-Stop say 1.2) is a Johannesburg wedding photograph in which your couple onto whom you focused on is barely sharp, but the rest of the photo is blurred or in photographic terms, the photograph has a high degree of bokeh to it — the extent of which depends on the aperture ability of your wedding lens. But remember the golden F-Stop trade off. High F-Stop photos, say over 5.6 are plain and are never arty. Low F-Stop wedding photos, where only a certain something is in focus, are arty, different and add subtle pleasantries to your wedding photographs which might just be the envy of other Gauteng wedding photographers…