Don’t default to wide apertures
Kate says... Danni confessed that she’ll often default to her lens’s widest aperture when shooting portraits or detailed close-ups, to minimize depth of field. Sometimes, though, you want to have slightly more of the subject in focus than a tiny, millimetre-deep sliver. You might, for example, want to get more than one diamond of a ring in focus (see Hot Shot #1), or both eyes of a portrait pin-sharp.
Take control with manual mode
Kate says... Danni uses manual mode for most of her work, but tends to default to the exposure recommended by the camera – shooting with the exposure needle at zero on the exposure level indicator. I shoot manual too, but start with the aperture that will give the depth of field I’m after, make an educated guess at the ISO that will give me a decent shutter speed, then adjust the shutter speed until the image looks how I want it to look – which isn’t necessarily when the needle is at zero.
Take control of white balance
Kate says... Danni tends to set her D3300 to Auto white balance, and in the stable lighting of a studio this makes perfect sense. But at weddings, where there’s often mixed lighting, I sometimes adjust white balance manually, by dialling the K setting up and down on my D5. I then try to gauge if what I see on my LCD is what I can see with my eye, so at least I have a starting point in post.