Wedding Flowers Ideas – Avoid These 5 Critical Mistakes On Your Special Day

With most endeavors in life there is a form of balance. We might not always recognize it as natural equilibrium when we see and experience it, but it is normally present in one guise or another. This very often becomes extrapolated in how we approach certain circumstances and at what point do we continue to persist with our own inherent skills and enthusiasm, as opposed to calling in a specialist and merely getting involved in the peripheral strategic decisions.

Making decisions on wedding flowers types is no exception, and it is an area of your wedding that requires careful circumspection. After all do you want your photos to be consigned to your cousin practicing with his point-and-shoot camera, understanding that financially it will probably cost you nothing, but then accepting the reciprocal risk that some, and even possibly most of the photos will be a reflection of his skill, or lack of it, or do you want a photo journalistic story, told with high class photos, embossed in a wedding album that will probably last you the rest of your life, conversely accepting that a professional photographer will come with a professional fee. At the end of the day it is your choice so make it wisely when it comes to wedding flowers.

Mistakes are often due to human error and also are often a reflection of a lack of skill. When making decisions on your wedding flowers types be cognizant of, and avoid at all costs, the following pitfalls:

Flower type, combination and color: Select you flowers carefully in terms of color, type, exclusivity or mixed combinations. Certain flowers simple make excellent combinations, for example calla lilies and roses or bird of paradise with orchids. Alternatively a white wedding dress and white flowers makes for a stunning combination. Be careful of being unorthodox with combinations or using very unusual colors. These flowers might not be available on your wedding day or could be prohibitively expensive.

Flower toxicity: As much as it is an oddity, be careful of occasional flower toxicity issues. These are infrequent but do exist, for example stargazer lilies can be highly toxic to domestic cats, the stems of calla lilies can secrete a toxic sap that can cause a skin rash with some people and as a precaution should be sealed, and remarkably daffodils similarly can be toxic to both animals and other cut flowers and can also cause skin rashes with people. Anthuriums also can be mildly toxic to people and animals. The bottom line is design your arrangements carefully, keep physical handling to a minimum and in terms of good safety practice wash your hands regularly when handling the flowers.

Lack of experience: When making final decisions on the kinds of flowers you want and in what combinations, our instinct can sometimes be counter-intuitive. Use an experienced, technically skilled florist to assist you. They have seen it all, good and bad, and wedding flowers make up a big chunk of their business. Debate, communicate, contribute, suggest and even challenge, but ultimately trust your florist. The additional expense for professional advice with your wedding flowers ideas will be a rewarding investment in your wedding. Your florist is there to protect you and your flowers.

Flower photography: Life it not fair sometimes and being a bride is no exception. You are unfortunately simply expected to be the quintessential communicator when it comes to your wedding day. As important as the communication is between you and your florist, you need to guarantee that your photographer clearly understands what your expectations are in this regard.

Your wedding flowers ideas form a critical part of the story your wedding day tells and apart from being enjoyed in the moment on the day this story needs to be embedded forever in your wedding album. You need to clearly explain to your photographer the necessity for the wedding flowers to play a pivotal role in the photographs. Sometimes even going to the extent of hiring an additional photographer just to photograph the flowers is a consideration.

Poor planning: Avoid poor or late planning at all costs. Like most future events, planning injects a dose of reality and goes a long way to ensuring a relatively seamless day. Whilst it is no guarantee for success, it simply helps to identify some of the more complex issue upfront. Plan your day, plan your venue and plan your flowers well in advance and you will largely, if not completely, avoid last minute potential disasters and unmitigated panic, both of which you can do without on your special day.

Better Photo Tips – Keep it Simple

One day you spot an interesting small stone wall. Just past that you notice a pretty young girl playing in a field of flowers. Behind that you notice an old weathered barn with an old tractor sitting in front. “Ah”, you say to yourself, “the perfect photo”. But is it really? No. It may be the perfect series of photos, but that’s a different story.

This picture would fail as a great shot; A) because it is far too complex a composition, and B) the camera has no way to effectively focus your attention on four different subjects on four different planes at the same time. Let’s break this down to the more realistic shots.

Photo #1 – – – You get down low enough that you see the stone wall in the foreground with the classic barn and tractor in the background. Using selective focus, the wall is sharp and the barn and tractor are a soft hazy pastel type background. 

Photo #2 – – – You lean over the fence, zoom in on the young girl with the field of flowers as the background. Using selective focus, you make the girl in sharp focus and the flowers around her gradually get softer and softer. Your camera is at enough of an angle that your do NOT include the barn and tractor in this image.

Photo #3 – – – Getting the owners permission first, you climb over the fence. You compliment the little girl on the pretty flowers; then you shoot past her using the flowers as the foreground and the barn as the background. You may again want to get down low so that the flowers become more dominant. Using selective focus, you focus on the flowers about one third of the way into the field, making them sharp and still having the rest of the field and the barn in soft focus.

Photo #4 – – – Since you already have the owners permission, you walk around the field until you get close enough to the barn and tractor. This time you decide to get down really low (you are laying on your stomach). You fill 2/3rds of the frame with the tractor. Using selective focus, you make the tractor in sharp focus and the barn is now soft focus.

These are the basic shots I would shoot in this situation. Now admittedly there are other possible combinations. You could; (for example) put the tractor in the lower 1/3rd of the frame, then focus on the barn and deliberately make the tractor itself go soft focus. This way the tractor is framing the rest of the shot. To be honest there are dozens of possibilities, but each of those still boils down to one main subject and one supporting background (or foreground).

Yes, the camera can technically take a shot with everything in it. But the human mind is only going to focus on one story, or one set of foreground/background images at a time. Your job is not to capture the universe of possibilities all at one time and confuse your viewer. Your job is to point out the individual miracles within the universe so that your viewer can appreciate them more than they ever have before.

The most powerful images in history are those that are simple and direct. They tell a story. The viewer should immediately be drawn to your image and feel an emotional impact. This can not happen if he or she has to visually sort through all the clutter you left in the image. If you want to be award winning, if you want to get published, if you want to sell your work . . . keep it simple.

Prize Winning Photos Made Easy

Photographers seeking to create prize winning photographs, or those looking to get paid the big bucks for their photos, would do well to heed the words of the wise old success author, Wallace Wattles. In his famous 1910 book, “The Science of Getting Rich”. Wattles observed that in every endeavor folks don’t succeed by doing certain things, but rather they succeed by doing things in a certain way.

He says folks don’t get rich because they do some certain, secret, specific things. Folks get rich in every field imaginable. But the ones who do best, excel because they do what they do in a certain way. Great photography is no different. Art is no different. In every different style there are prize winning works.

So, in photography, what is that “certain way” that lets some people create prize winning photographs again and again? How are they doing things in a certain way that different from the all the rest.

There are 4 critical factors that go into creating great photos. I call them the 3C’s +1.

Composition – great photography mirrors great art. If you want to be a great photographer, make it a habit to study great art. How the image is put together. The placement of objects and lines. The angles. Too many things, too few. All play a critical part in the final outcome. Remember this phrase and you’ll improve your photographs dramatically, “That one thing I do”. Each photo should be dramatizing one thing, making one thing stand out. Making one story easily understood.

Color – bright, vibrant colors. Particularly reds, blues, and oranges, carry significant weight in the judging of your photos. These colors attract the eye much more than soft pastels or dull, drab tones. The use of complementary colors will always allow your photos to command attention. Get yourself a color wheel and keep it in your camera bag or near your computer for post processing. With programs like Photoshop, it’s easy to create the colors you need, even if you didn’t capture them in camera.

Clarity – clarity has two parts. Focus is critical. Nobody want to look at a blurry subject. If your subject has eyes it’s absolutely critical that they must be in sharp focus. Sure you can blur the background or surrounding areas but your subject must be in focus. Soft focus is OK if that is the style of your work, but camera shake or other obvious signs of uncontrolled motion are a no-no. The second part of clarity was mentioned before in Composition. Clarity of purpose. You must instantly and clearly answer the viewers question, “What do you want me to see here?”

And the Plus One – you must present something different. We’re all bored, seeking some new thrill. We’re tired of seeing the same old things.We crave a new perspective. One of my simple flower shots just took top prize in a contest. Search “flower photographs” on Google and you’ll see millions of photos. What makes one flower stand out among the rest? The 3C’s + 1. My flower won because it contained the 3C’s above plus it offered a new perspective. The flower, one simple yellow Daffodil shot against a sky blue background, won because it had that +1 feature. It was shot from the unusual perspective of a bug on the ground. It was shot looking up while nearly every other average flower is shot from a “people perspective”. That is, looking down. If your viewer can say, “Wow! I never saw that before”, you’ve got a good chance to take the prize or earn big money from your photos too.

But you don’t have to be too creative or spend a fortune on props to offer something different. Now, with digital props and digital backgrounds, you can quickly and easily add tremendous value and eye appeal to your photos.

A few minutes with Photoshop and these professional, pre-shot digital props and backgrounds can quickly take your average photograph and make it a prize winner. If you’re a portrait photographer or wish to be, these backgrounds can let you make a lot more money with less effort by offering your clients fresh new scenes without the cost, hassle, or responsibilities of owning a fancy photography studio.

Digital backgrounds are a great way to take the prize.

Following the 3C’s + 1 is the “certain way” to start creating your own prize winning photos today.

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