5 Tips for Striking Wedding Photographs

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All photos @ Tracie Jean Photo Studios

Tracie Jean Maglosky of Tracie Jean Photo Studios first fell in love with photography 15 years ago, when her first son was born. “Initially it was a passion because I loved my son, but soon enough it became a way of seeing the world and translating what that meant to me [through] images,” she explains. She founded her Cincinnati studio five years later after her friends began asking her for photographs of the memories they wanted to keep precious. Soon, she was a full-time wedding photographer (“There was just something about the fast pace and high pressure, coupled with the elegance of a wedding day—I was completely taken,” she explains), but Maglosky still emphasizes a personal approach in her family-owned and -operated business.

Maglosky approaches her business with an outgoing and upbeat personality. She knows that a good wedding photographer needs to be flexible and efficient, but humility is also key. “Comfortable brides are happy brides,” she says. “Sometimes being a wedding photographer means getting drinks, wiping sweat and helping the bride to get some air under her dress. There is no room for prideful qualities in wedding photography.”

With 10 years under her belt in the wedding industry, Maglosky has more than a few tricks up her sleeve. And, as an Olympus Trailblazer, she favors the Olympus OM-D EM1 mirrorless digital camera to perfect those tricks. Here, she shares some images from a recent wedding in Ohio that illustrate her favorite tips and techniques to simplify shots and add some extra sparkle to your clients’ wedding photographs.

1) Get the sunset shot that will knock their socks off. Super wide angle or fisheye lenses give the sky some extra liveliness and create a spiral effect with the clouds. Set up your trigger and off-camera flash in manual mode. Expose for the sky, and don’t be afraid to shoot a little underexposed. In this shot, I lowered the flash to 1/4 power, using a MagGrid light modifier to isolate the bride and groom. The image was shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with an M.Zuiko 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye. The electronic viewfinder offers the ability to see exactly what the sky’s exposure would look like in the image before ever actuating the shutter.


Pictured: Luke dips Suzi at the Four Bridges Country Club in West Chester, Ohio, against the sunset. Shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and M.Zuiko 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye Pro lens at ISO 500, f/5.0, 1/250th of a second.

2) Give your dance-floor images movement and make them unique. For this image, I used an on-camera speedlight directly pointed at the subject and set my shutter speed to 1/3 of a second. I chose the M.Zuiko 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye Pro lens because the focus ring spins without changing the focus, allowing me to spin the camera after actuating the shutter and freezing the subject. Firing at 1/3 of a second allows enough rotation for a nice circular feel, and the angle of the lens creates an almost vinyl-record look. Having 5-Axis Image Stabilization in-camera on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 helps to create the smooth lines at such a slow shutter speed.


Pictured: Suzi on the dance floor. Shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and M.Zuiko 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye Pro lens.

3) Take meaningful macros for detail shots. When photographing rings, one of the greatest challenges is light reflection. Choosing a side-lighting situation helps to reduce glare seen by the lens. Using a macro lens allows you to get extremely close and capture stunning detail, isolating it from the background. For this image, I chose the M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens, as it allows for an 18.8cm focusing distance and a 1:1 magnification ratio switch. Remember when you’re shooting close to stop down so that what you want in focus is sharp. Conventional knowledge would say to use a tripod for your macro images and a shutter-released delay to avoid shake. With an Olympus mirrorless camera, the absence of a mirror eliminates the possibility of mirror shake and the 5-Axis Image Stabilzation in the OM-D E-M1 allows hand-held shooting without the loss of sharpness.


Pictured: Showcasing the ring. Shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro lens.

4) Push your sensor to the limit using highlights and shadow to create dynamic imagery. Mastering backlighting is vital for any wedding photographer who wants to have subjects with open eyes. The danger when shooting in any amount of direct sunlight is that the details of a white wedding dress will disappear under the intense light of the sun; it is imperative to retain the details of a bride’s exquisite gown. Using the histogram and the highlight shadow display on the OM-D EM-1’s electronic viewfinder allows you to choose which parts of the image you’re willing to allow to peak in highlights or leave in shadow. Having all of this information in the viewfinder before the actuation of the shutter is a foolproof way to quickly capture images that are dynamic and well executed. For this image, after setting the backlight exposure, I triggered an off-camera flash at 1/2 power at the left of the couple.


Pictured: Suzi and Luke in the sunlight. Shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens at ISO 1000, f/1.8, 1/400th of a second.

5) Getting light without an assistant. Shooting with natural light can be beautiful, but comes with its challenges. Taking care to give a soft fill will decrease strong shadow and make way for beautiful portraits, adding depth without harsh shadows on a beautiful bride. A speedlight is a valid option, but color matching can become a time-consuming issue. Holding a reflector with one hand while shooting with the other is an easy solution, but the weight of gear can be limiting. I choose to shoot all my weddings with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 to greatly reduce the weight in my bag and on my arms. A light camera paired with a light lens eliminates the weight obstacle.


Pictured: Suzi, photographed with natural light on her right and a soft fill on her left. Shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and an 25mm f/1.8 lens at ISO 250, f/2.8, 1/500 of a second.

Lean more about the Olympus OM-D E-M1 mirrorless digital camera on the Olympus website.


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