Book Review: Mastering Digital Wedding Photography by Paul Gero

Nothing gets you in the mood for a wedding photography conference like reading a book all about wedding photography on the flight out. I can say that Paul’s book “Mastering Wedding Photography” is one of the best books I have read on the subject. If you are a Sony shooter and looking to start shooting weddings or if you are thinking of switching, please do yourself a favor, and buy this book. Mastering Digital Wedding photography is by far the most informational book on the subject of using the Sony alpha system for weddings.

A few disclaimers before we get started,

  • Paul sent me an early copy of the book
  • The book is Sony heavy (which I love) but Paul does his best to teach transferable skills
  • I currently work with Paul on a podcast we are launching soon 🙂
  • I plan to keep this review short and sweet just like the book which weighs in under 350 pages

Now that all of that is out of the way here is a little bit about Paul Gero,

Paul brings over 30 years of experience in the field doing thousands of assignments for newspapers (like The Chicago Tribune, and The Arizona Republic where he was on staff) and publications all over the world (such as Time, People, Newsweek, US News & World Report, Fortune and Sports Illustrated).

Book Review

My favorite thing about this book was the feeling that Paul was sitting next to me coaching me to be better. Filling my head with ideas on not only how to shoot the wedding but what my settings should be on my A7 and how I should set up my lights. This book has provided me with a ton of new ideas that I look forward to trying this coming year.

The beginning of the book starts out with the gear. Paul steps through each of the pieces of gear that he uses from lenses to flashes, he covers all of the elements in great detail. The book is super up to date and even covers the G-master lenses that were released just last week. Paul does a great job by going through the pro’s and cons of each piece of gear with honesty just like he was training you to be his replacement. I like that Paul does not just recommend one option he offers many and shares with the readers the pro’s and con’s of each.

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“It’s not about the gear, it’s about how you see with that gear”

After Paul goes through the different types of “Tools of the trade” he briefly talks about the different types of wedding photography and a brief history of where the different types came from.

From there Paul shares how he sets up his camera for the wedding day. He covers customizations to the Sony system such as custom functions, menu’s as well as setting up custom screens. This was invaluable to me as I have left most of these settings set to default and can’t wait to try out some of these features I was not taking full advantage of.

After going through the gear Paul turns to each individual portion of the wedding day and where he has found the best places to stand, best settings, and best lighting for each situation. I loved the individualized tips for each section especially the group portrait tips.

Paul then moves on to share his post production workflow that showcases maximum efficiency and even shares tips on building your albums.

The highlights of the book are the exercises that he shares at the end of the book that can help you be a better photographer while going through your everyday actions. Simple games like guessing an exposure when you walk into a room to forcing your self to see your day through a certain focal length, its games like these that help you become a better photographer and help you visualize your images before you capture them.

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Overall the book was an easy read. I thought for sure it would take me the whole flight just to get through it but I was pleasantly surprised it only took about 3 hours. The information that Paul was able to fit into 350 short pages is nothing short of amazing. Some of the topics I knew and many of them gave me a fresh perspective. The interviews from pro’s in the field definitely helped give the book a unique perspective and gave a perspective the was different from the authors. For Sony users that are looking to shoot weddings or just learning more about the Sony system then this should be required reading.

To pick up your copy of the book head over to: https://gumroad.com/l/adGf/wppi2016

Thanks for reading and hopefully you will enjoy the book as much as I did!

TJ

TJ Houston

TJ Houston is the Director of Technology at Shelby City Schools and New London Local Schools for Epiphany Management. TJ leads professional development in all areas of technology and loves developing ways to make teachers, students, and staff's lives easier with the use of technology. TJ also loves photography and his portfolio can be found at http://www.tjshots.com. All of the views on this site are his own.