Research and lots of practice are among the best teaching tools if you want to learn how to take wedding pictures. Both amateur and professional photographers can produce high-quality wedding photos by utilizing a few time-tested techniques.
How to Take Wedding Pictures
It is the bride and groom's most important day and they've asked you to document the big event. Despite the pressure of such a responsibility and the multitude of tasks on the agenda, there are several things you can do to alleviate the anxiety for yourself and the happy couple on the day of the wedding. Before you accept the job, take an objective look at your photography skills. If they are up to the task, the techniques outlined in this article will ensure the day proceeds smoothly for everyone involved.
One of the most important things you must do if you're going to photograph a wedding is to prepare. The checklist below can help you arrive at the wedding fresh, confident, and ready to shoot stellar shots:
- Coordinate with the couple early in the planning stages and make a list of the wedding shots they want you to capture.
- If this is a paying job, make sure your clients know your rates up front. If this is a freebie for friends, make sure everyone agrees on the expectations of the day.
- As the big day approaches, scout the venue at the same time of day the festivities will take place. Bring along some friends to photograph in order to figure out which angles and positions will produce the best images. It's important to take these practice shots near the wedding day so that the sun and other factors are as similar as possible.
- Stock up on batteries, film, memory cards, and other photo gear.
- Check your cameras, tripod, and light reflectors to make sure everything is in working order.
Every couple wants those gorgeous, professionally-posed shots to place in their wedding album. Hopefully, you've selected a location for this type of photography during your preparation stage. Knowing how to take wedding pictures both indoors and outdoors is crucial to a successful shoot. In addition, you want to vary the poses of each shot.Some popular wedding photo poses include:
- Full length bride
- Full length groom
- Full length bride and groom
- Up close bride and groom
- Bride with parents
- Groom with parents
- Bride and groom with parents
- Bride with bridesmaids
- Groom with groomsmen
- Flower girl and ring bearer
- Bride and groom with the wedding party
If the ceremony takes place in church, make sure you get approval from the minister to take photographs ahead of time. While you're at it, ask about using your flash as well. Some churches don't allow flash indoors. If you can photograph during the ceremony, here are some tips to capture great shots while the bride and groom exchange vows:
- Check the light level and make adjustments, if possible. Flash or fill flash can help brighten dark shadows, but soft, diffused light works even better.
- Position yourself on an aisle seat for some of your shots.
- Aim for reaction shots, such as the groom's face when the bride appears.
- Use your zoom when the couple exchange rings and when they kiss.
- Capture the flower girl and ring bearer as they walk down the aisle.
- Photograph the minister, musicians, guests, and wedding party throughout the ceremony.
Don't Overlook the Details
Everything about the wedding day is important. If time allows, take the couple aside and capture posed photos of their rings, bouquets, boutonnieres, the bride's dress and veil, or the couple holding hands. The reception is also a great time to capture details. Get there early and photograph the guests and wedding party as they arrive. Other shots to consider include table settings, place cards, menus, flowers or decorations, toasts, dances, candids, the wedding car, and the guestbook.
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