Wedding Photography Tips & Tricks: Denis Reggie shows how it’s done with the Canon 5D Mark IV
posted Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at 11:30 AM EDT
The Canon 5D Mark IV can do a lot of things well, with a 30-megapixel full-frame sensor, improved video features that include 4K video recording and a rugged, weather-sealed body. Landscape photography, photojournalism, portraiture, commercial photography, you name it, the 5D IV is a significant step up from its already-capable predecessor the Mark III.
The best camera for weddings?
Perhaps more than anything, though, the 5D Mark IV looks like a near-perfect fit for wedding photographers. Smaller and lighter than 1D-series cameras, it's much easier to have a couple of 5D-sized bodies slung across your shoulders all day long. The more compact grip will also be welcomed by female photographers, who now account for something like 60% of wedding pros in the US. The high ISO capability of its full-frame sensor is a great help under dim lighting conditions, letting you avoid intrusive flash shots. Finally, its redesigned shutter mechanism is quiet, helping you blend into the background and capture events candidly as they unfold.
We recently had the opportunity to spend a little time with legendary wedding photographer and Canon Explorer of Light Denis Reggie, widely recognized as the creator of the modern "photojournalistic" approach to wedding photography. Denis pretty much singlehandedly broke wedding photography away from the staid, dull, formal poses and group shots of the past, so it was a rare privilege to tap his experience and knowledge. He's also huge fan of the Canon 5D Mark IV, calling it the ultimate wedding camera after spending a week shooting with it in Napa for Canon.
The setting was Denis' fellow Explorer and personal friend Parish Kohanim's studio just north of downtown Atlanta, about 10 days before the 5D Mark IV was revealed to the public. Lovely model Adair stood in as the bride du jour, with makeup artist Angelica and hair stylist Amanda helping her look her best.
When working a wedding, Denis' normal approach is to blend into the background, in his words to become "just an observer ... with a camera". On this day, though, we got him to talk through the process a little, sharing some great tips and tricks you can take into the field for your next wedding shoot and showing off a few of the features of the 5D Mark IV in the process.
The resulting video is a great opportunity to hear from one of the real masters of the field, with some very practical tips for your next shoot.
In the video, Denis takes us through a couple of mock-wedding scenarios, highlighting some of the Canon 5D Mark IV's new features, such as its handy touchscreen and auto white balance "white" priority setting (which was first introduced onto the 5DS/R cameras). This new AWB setting produces much more neutral color under light sources with strong color casts. You can see the contrast between it and normal auto white balance in the pair of shots below.
Besides talking about this new white balance option on the 5D IV, Denis shows how to reduce distortion in wide-angle portrait shots, and demonstrates the surprising and somewhat counterintuitive results of balancing your flash's color temperature to the ambient lighting: You can choose to either maintain the warmth of the available light or neutralize it, regardless of whether you're shooting with available light or flash. Another surprise for us came when Denis dialed in two full stops of exposure compensation for one of the shots. (We were standing there thinking "Two stops? Yeah, right..." The shots of course were flat-out gorgeous.
Wedding photography tips and tricks from Denis Reggie
That's more than enough from us, though; jump into the video below for some wedding photography tips and tricks from one of the top pros in the world:
(Special thanks again to renowned fashion and glamour photographer Parish Kohanim for the use of his studio and his generosity with his own time; read about our time shooting with Parish here.)