We offer tips and advice on photographing a wedding.
When the long-awaited day arrives, ensure that your batteries are fully charged and your equipment is packed the night before. Allow ample time to reach the venue to avoid missing any important shots. It’s all systems go from there.
Photographing a wedding: Be Early
Factor in potential traffic delays by allowing extra time for your journey, or consider staying locally the night before if the venue is far away. This will ensure you arrive in plenty of time and with a calm and composed demeanor.
Photographing a wedding: Location Check
If you can, go to the church and reception locations in the morning. Check for changes and find good places to take photos. Ugly backgrounds can happen if there is scaffolding or building work.
Photographing a wedding: Capturing the Preparation
If you’re assigned to take photos of the bride getting ready, check the best time to arrive so you don’t miss it or arrive too early. Usually, when the hairdresser is doing the bride’s hair is a good time to start. Don’t get in the way, and stay in the background to avoid adding to the stress. You can also take pictures of the groom and best man getting ready at the same time as the bride, as long as they’re not too far away.
Photographing a wedding: Photographing the Details
Take some shots of the dress before the bride puts it on, while it’s still hanging somewhere. Look for a clean background or take some detailed shots. You can also take pictures of the shoes and accessories as they can make a great composition and be a wonderful keepsake for the bride.
The car is also an important part of the day that the couple will want to remember. Take some detailed and static shots of it in all its glory before the bride departs in it.
Tips for Wedding Day Photography:
- Visualize the day and aim to capture moments for the album
- Vary your focal length frequently
- Collaborate with the couple and cater to their preferences
- Dress professionally and behave respectfully
- Make group shots enjoyable, take them quickly, and have a strategy in place
- Take photos while moving between locations
- Double-check your equipment before leaving
- Don’t finish until you have everything you need.
Photographing a wedding: Upon arrival at the church
To ensure comprehensive coverage of the wedding, aim to arrive at the church before the bride and consider enlisting the help of an assistant or second photographer to achieve this. As guests begin to arrive, capture the atmosphere and anticipation of the day. Don’t forget to take some wide shots of the church or venue to establish the setting. Once inside, focus on capturing detailed shots of the floral arrangements, as well as any other decorations, such as the books of service, to document the wedding ceremony.
Photographing a wedding: Bride’s arrival at a wedding
Capturing the bride’s arrival is a crucial moment that requires quick thinking and action on your part. As the car arrives, position yourself at the arrival point and take some shots as the bride walks towards the church doors. It’s helpful to have an assistant or second photographer to cover different angles and ensure comprehensive coverage. After taking the arrival shots, make your way to the altar, so you’re ready to capture the bride’s walk down the aisle and the main ceremony.
Photographing a wedding: Ceremony
The primary occasion calls for capturing some pictures, but only if the couple approves. It’s crucial to exercise discretion to avoid disrupting the ceremony or obstructing the view of attendees. Utilizing the quiet mode of your camera and turning off any beep or flash confirmations will aid in maintaining a low profile. Additionally, using a longer lens will enable you to keep a comfortable distance. It’s possible that certain officiants may have concerns about photography during the ceremony, so it’s important to confirm that the couple is content with the arrangements.
The moment when the register is signed presents an excellent opportunity to capture photos, but it can come across as contrived, and the scramble among guests to take their own shots can be chaotic. It’s advisable to take discreet photos as the signing takes place naturally and then capture a posed shot before stepping aside to allow other guests to take their photos.
Similar to when you arrived, it’s crucial to leave the venue before the couple, so it’s important to monitor the situation closely. Once you’re outside, take some initial shots with the couple before other guests exit the church. Utilize the doorway and the spacious surroundings to your advantage before the area becomes congested with people.
Photographing a wedding: Posed photographs
The reception venue may offer picturesque spots for taking photographs, such as the church grounds. However, it’s important to consider that the newlyweds may want to spend some time greeting their loved ones after the ceremony. To accommodate this, aim to work quickly and patiently. Take some shots immediately and then take advantage of candid moments as the couple mingles with their guests. As the couple prepares to depart, there’s usually an opportunity for confetti, which can look stunning in photographs when captured skillfully. If there’s a car waiting, it provides another location for photos both inside and outside. However, once the newlyweds are inside the car, it’s time to move quickly to the next venue and ensure that you arrive in time to meet them.
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