FIVE TIPS TO CAPTURE STUNNING WEDDING PORTRAITURE PHOTOGRAPHY

Felicia Cisco, Award-winning wedding photographer and Canon Ambassador

Felicia Sisco

See how Felicia has used the RF 85mm F1.2L USM lens to capture immersive portrait photography, on location here:

Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM lens

1. Make use of natural light

“In all photography, light is your best friend – the RF 85mm F1.2L USM’s ultra-wide aperture transmits 50 per cent more light than a f/1.4 lens, helping to capture stunning images without the need for flash, particularly when shooting in challenging lighting conditions. I always prefer to shoot without flash as it gives my images a less posed feel, perfect for candid wedding photography. Another tip to avoid too much contrast in an image is to keep the subject away from the window and closer to the natural shadows in a room.”

Wedding photographer Félicia Sisco became one of the first photographers to shoot with the Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM lens. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM lens at 1/1600 sec, f/2.0 and ISO1250. © Félicia Sisco

2. Think about your kit in advance – use a prime lens

“In order to get your desired results, it’s best to think about the kit you want to use ahead of your shoot – for portraiture, using a prime lens can have several benefits. Firstly, it’s important to have the perfect focal length for stunning portrait shots, then it’s equally as important to ensure your model is comfortable. Shooting with the RF 85mm F1.2L USM lens creates a more comfortable atmosphere for both yourself and the model when you are moving either closer or further away from them to capture natural looking shots. Prime lenses also have a wider maximum aperture compared to zoom lenses that cover the same focal length. This creates a shallow depth of field, something that is known to be harder to achieve with zoom lenses.”

Félicia says that brides often think that her portfolio images are shots of models, rather than normal people. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM lens at 1/800 sec, f/1.6 and ISO1000. © Félicia Sisco

3. Shoot with a fast aperture

“Shooting at aperture f/1.2 enhances the model by making them stand out, popping against the blurred background, whilst also creating a beautiful bokeh effect. For those wanting a more specific depth of field, the RF 85mm F1.2L USM’s nine-blade aperture gives photographers the flexibility to be more precise, enhancing creativity on shoots. For some wedding shots, I like to use the aperture speed to my advantage, capturing a slightly deeper depth of field to bring the magical wedding setting into focus. This lens gives me the flexibility of getting the perfect amount of blur in the background.”

“I like low light and I like bright light – I like it when it’s difficult,” says Félicia. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM lens at 1/4000 sec, f/1.6 and ISO1600. © Félicia Sisco

4. Trust your creativity

“For most photographers, the camera becomes part of your body when shooting. We need the reassurance that the technology can react quickly to our change of angles, enhancing our creativity and range of shots. When using the RF 85mm F1.2L USM, it is useful that the super-fast shutter speeds are not compromised with high ISOs and it is possible to lower the ISO with high apertures to avoid noise. In order to capture a set of elegant images that have a smooth finish to it, I would recommend adjusting the aperture and ISO before shooting, allowing you to concentrate more on your creative mind and shooting subject to ensure you capture the perfect set of images.”

Many of Félicia’s brides go on to later ask her to take their pregnancy pictures, and photos of their children.

5. Look for the emotion

“For me, the essence of portrait photography has always been to capture the emotion of the subject. High-resolution lenses are ideal for portraiture, as they capture facial expressions in stunning quality, directing the mood of the portrait. The incredible detail of this lens brings emotions to life and captures those split-second emotions. This allows photographers, like me, to tell a story through the image, ultimately creating an immersive and captivating experience.”

“When I take portraits with the Canon EOS R combined with the RF 85mm F1.2L USM lens, everything about the pictures, from the exposure to the skin tones, is correct without any post-production,” says Félicia. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 85mm F1.2L USM lens at 1/800 sec, f/1.6 and ISO800. © Félicia Sisco