Wedding season is now upon us and this is the perfect time for amateur photographers to begin or continue pursuing wedding photography. Wedding photography requires a lot of skill and attention to detail. Here are some tips that can help you with photography the day of the ceremony. Whether you are photographing a traditional or non-traditional ceremony, everyone wants to have stunning and magical photos taken of their special day. This will be a two-part blog, with the first one focusing on where and what to shoot, and the second blog focusing on what equipment you should bring. Let’s dive in!
Have a Plan
Always create a plan and guideline with the couple. In your first meeting with them, go over what they are envisioning. How many shots are they looking for, is there anything specific they want? It is their special day and you want to make sure that you capture every moment that they want to remember.
Many couples are having outdoor weddings during the summer months in gardens, backyards, parks, wineries, etc. Beautiful locations give photographers the perfect opportunity to take some stunning photos. As the photographer, you want to go to the location early or a few days before and scope it out. Where is the ceremony going to take place, where the best spot for the couple and bridal party photos? Check the weather leading up to the wedding. You want to be prepared with what equipment you bring and how the weather will affect the landscape of the wedding venue, as you don’t want to have the couple stepping in mud and ruining their outfits!
If the wedding is indoors, you may want to take the bride and groom to an outdoor location for their couple and the bridal party photos. Outdoor lighting is something that cannot be matched. If the couple is having an indoor wedding, you may be racking your brain on where to take nice outdoor shots. Depending on yours/the couple’s situation, someone may offer their property. But if this is not an option, you could take photos on public property, such as in a garden or a park, as these are usually maintained. A forest may be a more rustic option but could provide amazing scenery and lighting. Be sure to look up rules and regulations on whether you are allowed to take professional photographs in private parks or gardens, and, as mentioned earlier, always track the weather. It is also helpful to have a few places in mind if for some reason your primary location does not work out.
It is always great to get candid shots of the couple and guests. It captures intimate moments that the couple can cherish forever. This can be a difficult task to accomplish, as people tend to pose when they see a camera around. To capture candid shots there are some options the couple and photographer can take. Have the bride and groom set up a photo booth where guests can take clearly posed photos, and this may take the focus off the photographer doing “posed photos”. The second option is to try to blend in. If you are trying to take candid photos, stay on the sidelines so guests don’t notice you and they focus on the happy couple, someone giving a speech, the ceremony, etc. Make sure to capture moments leading up to the ceremony, such as the bride or groom getting ready, as well as flower girls, bridesmaids, groomsman, parents, etc.
Close up Shots
Get shots of the rings, the couple’s hands, details on their outfits, flowers, etc. Many say that weddings can be a blur for the couple. They need to take photos, have the ceremony, organize the bridal party, entertain their guests, dance, have dinner, etc. Taking photos of the small details will remind them of all the effort that was put in on their special day, such as items that they chose weeks before the wedding, what they ate, how the flowers smelled. It gives the couple reminders of the little details that they may have missed on their special day.
Have a Second Photographer or Assistant
It will make your life so much easier if you or the couple hire a second photographer or assistant. They can help you set up the photo-shoot area. They can also be in charge of a specific set of photos, such as candid shots. If you, the main photographer, are taking photos of the couple, wedding party, ceremony, etc., the second photographer or assistant can be taking photos of the parents seeing their son/daughter getting married, the flower girls and how they are looking up at the couple, etc.
All this information may seem overwhelming in the beginning, but it will get easier with time and practice. Let us know if you have any more questions about wedding photography, and keep an eye out for our next blog on what equipment to bring to a wedding.