Wedding Photography is one of my favorite events to shoot because you are capturing meaningful moments that tell a story about the couples’ big day. These photographs I capture give the bride and groom memories to look back on as they move forward. I’m going to take you on a tour of what I do and look for when I’m shooting a wedding.
I always start by taking pictures of the pre-ceremony which includes pictures of the bride/groom and bridal party getting ready for the big day. These pictures are important so you can catch everyone’s reactions and get a lot of details as well. Throughout my day I use two lenses (Canon 50mm) for close pictures like rings, shoes, jewelry, things like that to get a great quality picture. For candid’s and group pictures, I will use a (Canon 24-70mm) this is great for wider shots and closer focus. The range if this lens offers limitless possibilities, you can easily go from wide angle to a zoom as quickly as your subject’s change. This lens is a wedding photographers best friend allowing them to capture precious moments without any lapsing to change out any gear. As you are getting candids of the bridal party getting ready to make sure if you also get pictures of the dresses before they put them on, rings, bouquet, jewelry etc. Make sure you are getting different angles of pictures, don’t just stay in one area or it’s going to get boring. When the bride is coming out in her dress make sure you don’t just get pictures of her walking out. You want to get the bridesmaids reactions as well, or anyone else that is there. After this, I usually get some shots of the mother of the bride buttoning up the bride’s dress. Getting a group picture of the bridal party and each bridesmaid with the bride separately as well is one of the last things you should shoot. After getting pictures of everyone getting ready I would then head to the church to get pictures of the church and the groom/groomsmen getting ready (if they are getting ready at the church.)
As soon as I get to the church the first thing I do is go outside and get a wide-shot of the church. When I get that picture, I would then head inside to get all my camera settings right so I don’t have to worry about that during the ceremony. Your shutter speed should be set to 125-200 inside, followed by a 2.8-3.5 F-stop. The brighter the room is or if you’re outside your ISO should be lower, if it is darker then you need to turn your ISO up.
During the ceremony, it is important to get shots of guests arriving and parents being seated. As the bride is walking down the aisle make sure you are getting both the reactions of the bride and groom even the bridal party, parents and guests if possible. Get different angles of the ceremony and don’t just stand in one area, move around and be creative. Watch for moments with the bride and groom and try to capture them.
After the ceremony, if there is a receiving line I will get a few pictures of people hugging and talking with the bride and groom. From here I would set up my light stands and get ready for family pictures with the bride and groom. I keep a list of what pictures I need to take for the inside of the church for example (Father of the bride, mother of the bride, bride, and groom) would be one photo. After getting all the family pictures and the bridal party it’s time for more bridal party pictures. These pictures would be taken wherever the bride and groom choose to have the taken, it would be ideal to get some pictures with the bride and groom and the bridal party outside the venue as well weather depending of course.
Before the reception, there is a cocktail hour for guests while they wait for the bridal party and the venue to be ready. While the cocktail hour is going on be sure to get guest photos, the cookie table, the dinner tables, details on the tables, cake, any tables set up with pictures or card table etc. Remember to be creative with your pictures and don’t forget, while you have the time before the reception starts; be sure to get your camera settings right and your light stands are in the right place for entrances.
Now it is time for the reception! Like I said in the previous paragraph make sure your light stands are in the right spot for the bridal party entrances, so you get the best shot. Make sure you are getting the speeches, toasts, first dances, father daughter dance, mother son dance and any events that will be held that night. Be sure to talk to the DJ as well so you know what events are going on and he/she can let you know when there is an event coming up. Don’t just get guests dancing because it’s going to get repetitive after a while. Go around the room and grab some shots of guests and group pictures as well. Don’t be afraid to go up to someone and say, “hey can I get your picture for the bride?” It is important to get a group picture of each table as well. At the end of the night try and get a picture of the bride and grooms rings, take them to a table and be creative with your shots.
If you have any photography questions or comments please feel free to comment below and I will be glad to help!