Author: Damon Tucci
Publisher: Amherst Media
Review by Conrad J. Obregon
Sometimes I wonder if wedding photography is so competitive that practitioners are always trying to get any edge they can so that they are always willing to buy new books on wedding photography. Or maybe it’s that the field looks so lucrative to outsiders that they are willing to buy wedding photography books to try and figure out how to get a piece of the pie. Or maybe it’s that so much is on the line that wedding photographers will grasp at any straw to avoid an error. There must be some explanation of why there are so many books published on the subject. Here’s another entry in the race.
After a brief introduction that deals with things like the initial meeting with the clients and advice like packing your bag yourself, the author follows the event in a time-ordered sequence from preparation of the bride until the end of the reception. Because he emphasizes the pressures of time to really capture the big day, he provides seven time-saving strategies. There are too-brief discussions of posing, lighting, file formats, lenses and post-production and then a message to find your passion and style.
The author is a great believer in available light photography, made easier by the newest low-noise, high ISO digital cameras. He gives us very little guidance on the use of artificial light. There is no mention of softboxes, or bounce light, or Gary Fong, all so beloved to wedding photographers.
The pictures in the book seem rather standard (except that Tucci loves to pose the bride by herself, without train, against a garishly colored wall or in an unusual setting). However, the information provided for each picture reveals his preference for wide-angle lenses (which on his Nikon camera with a crop factor of 1.5 are generally shot in the near normal range). I wish he had spent more time explaining this preference. He also appears to love a 10.5mm fisheye. It seemed to me that more than one picture like that per wedding album might be overkill, but I suppose when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Sprinkled throughout the book are lighting diagrams that show the subject, or subjects, in relation to the camera and a reflector, but rarely show the direction of the main light.
This is a fine book if you are interested in a quick look at how one wedding photographer handles his work, and picking up a few tips. But in a crowded field like this, a book really has to be good to stand out above the crowd. My own personal favorite is “Digital Wedding Photography: Capturing Beautiful Memories” by Glen Johnson, which is far more comprehensive than this book, and is the book to get if you are only getting one. Tucci would provide a nice supplement, particularly if you want to follow the available light route. But then considering how much is on the line in photographing a wedding, maybe one should read as many books as possible before undertaking the task.