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A couple stage their pre-wedding photos in an Angkorian temple.
A couple stage their pre-wedding photos in an Angkorian temple. VINCENT RUFO

Before the big day: Shooting the brides and grooms to be

Ahead of next month’s PhotoMarathon competition, Post Weekend has partnered with Canon iQlick to profile some of Cambodia’s best snappers. This week, we meet two pre-wedding photography specialists.

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Whether laughing in the back seat of a vintage car, or dancing on the end of a pier, photographer Vincent Rufo’s pre-wedding shots capture a couple’s intimate moments with a touch of glamour.

The stylish touch might have something to do with his background. After discovering a knack for photography at an early age, Rufo first shot fashion before being invited to snap a pre-wedding series.

He now runs his own video and photography business, Vincent Rufo Studios.

For Rufo, documenting romance is both a profession and a pleasure.

“I love all the emotions and happiness I can see while shooting pre-wedding. It gives me happiness as well,” he said.

Rufo, who also films video, relies on his Canon 5D Mark III.

“It is very flexible, you can use video and photo at the same time in the one camera,” he said.

For aspiring pre-wedding snappers, he offered a nugget of advice: “Let the couple have fun, and you should have fun too while taking pictures.”​

A romantic shot of a happy couple before their wedding
A romantic shot of a happy couple before their wedding. THAI 'JERRY' VANTHA

Attention to detail is key for pre-wedding photographer Thai “Jerry” Vantha, who chooses everything from the dress down to the setting and perfect time of day before commencing a project.

“It’s not a luck shot, we plan everything, where and when, and then communicate with the couple,” he said.

An important part of that is lighting, he added. “Using the flash as well as natural light blends to make a very good aesthetic,” he said.

His camera of choice is the Canon 5D Mark III because “[the model] makes shooting very easy, no need to recompose, it can focus on any point in the frame.”

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

The photographer first fell in love with the lens four years ago, after scrolling through images on Facebook. He studied the skill in Singapore and has now made it part of his everyday life.

“Anytime I start to shoot, I start to feel happy,” he said. “The second thing is sharing the happiness – I like to see people smile and enjoying seeing their photo.”

Pre-Wedding Photography Tips from Canon Imaging Academy

Discuss First
Take time to know the couple, learn about how they met, what they like, and brainstorm with them on the photo concepts, shooting locations and the photo effects they would like to achieve. Make it personal – tell their story rather than following popular style or shooting at popular locations.

Find Flattering Poses
Yes, check out the bride! Observe which angles and poses are more flattering for her. Some couples are not used to posing for a picture, so instead of explaining the poses, search for images of different poses to show them. Let them experiment. Make it fun.

Relax the Couple
The couple are not professional models, so it is important to make them feel relaxed during the shoot. Give them compliments to help them gain confidence in the shoot. Joke and smile often to lighten the atmosphere.

Shoot at the ‘Golden Hours’
Remember the golden hours for outdoor portrait photography. To get the soft natural light, the best time to shoot in Cambodia is 4:30am-7:30am in the morning and afternoon at 4pm till 1 hour before sun down.

Use a Wide Aperture
To get the background blurred effect with focus on the subject/couple, you should use of the widest aperture that your lens permits (for a narrow depth of field). This can create a very appealing, romantic effect for wedding photography. Do check that you focus accurately.

Canon Imaging Academy offers a Pre-Wedding Photography Workshop ($110) that consists of five half-day sessions, during weekends. This workshop teaches you how to control the camera, see light differently and blend natural light and flash. You will also get to practice shooting with a model couple. Jerry Thai teaches the Pre-Wedding Photography Workshop, which starts on November 2. Go to i-Qlick’sfacebook page: to register or check out other photography courses and workshops.



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