Book Review: Captured by the Light

I'm a bit delayed with this book review, but better late than never I suppose! My pal, David Ziser, recently published a great book that shares a lot of his knowledge in the field of wedding photography. This guy is a master at what he does, and the content in the book is quite unique.

Captured by the Light, by David Ziser, is an instructional book focused on wedding photography and effective lighting techniques. But the book is a bit more than that since it covers some general photography techniques, composition, and natural light. David lets out a lot of the tricks and techniques he uses for shooting high-end weddings, and he does so in a way that's easy to comprehend.

Captured by the Light (ISBN 978-0321646873) can be purchased directly from David Ziser or through The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.


Captured by the Light: The Essential Guide to Creating Extraordinary Wedding Photography is a softcover book containing 312 pages of text, photos, and diagrams. It's a medium sized book with a squarish format measuring in at 9×8.9 inches and .9 inches thick. Much of the book is laid out in a two column format with lots of supporting graphics, making it easy to read and understand.

There are 11 chapters, each with several sections. The book starts off with some basic portrait lighting and tips for using your camera. Then it gets right into a few chapters of intermediate/advanced lighting techniques (all with very little equipment and scattered with lots of neat tricks along the way). The technical stuff wraps up with natural lighting, composition, and other equipment needed for the job. The end of the book focuses on how to actually manage a wedding shoot, from planning to final presentation.

This is not a quick read… it's also not a slow read. You can definitely get through big chunks of it in one setting, but a lot of the material aims to teach you a technique and it will require some practice and experimentation on your part. The book is a good resource worth hanging on to so that you can refer back to it as needed.


David Ziser is an internationally renowned portrait and wedding photographer. He's also a top-notch educator and shares his knowledge via the Digital Pro Talk Blog, the Digital Wakeup Call tour, and as a lecturer for events such as the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI), and Imaging USA/Professional Photographers of America. He also provides training classes on DVD and online through Kelby Training, writes for Professional Photographer magazine, and posts his artistic works at the Fine Art Photoblog. And I thought I had too many things going on!

Really though, he's a great guy and he's very knowledgeable about what he does. I've known David for a few years and he always has such an upbeat personality. His enthusiasm for photography is contagious — so be careful.


Hands-down 100% awesome resource for wedding photographers — especially those just getting into it, though I'm sure still useful for the seasoned pros (just check the reviews).

The wedding photography gig is fairly involved and I would be completely lost to the inner workings without a book like this. For the photographers wanting to do weddings, and for those who have done a few already, this book is an essential item to have. I would even say that it's quite useful for photographers in the field of portraits because there is a lot of lighting and posing information throughout.

Again, Captured by the Light (ISBN 978-0321646873) can be purchased directly from David Ziser or through