Contemporary wedding photographers are under pressure to capture The Big Day in all its glory on film. Many couples want pictures that are a combination of formal posed portraits and snapshots of spontaneous moments. If you are in charge of the photos, here are tips for getting the best angle, lighting, timing and making the whole day go smoothly.
Location, location, location.Ask in advance where the ceremony and reception will be taking place. If the ceremony will be in a church, contact the priest, vicar or other minister for any special rules regarding photography inside the church.
Getting the location of the main entrance, the altar and any spots relevant to the ceremony.
Are there any places you are restricted from standing or putting equipment?
Checking the location of windows and doors. You may need them for lighting .
Is flash photography allowed? Would additional lighting be allowed and are there any electrical outlets?
Is there anything you are not allowed to photograph?
Finally, ask if the church representative has any suggestions. They may have seen many wedding pictures, so you can benefit from that expertise.Ask the couple if they want to avoid having the parking lot or cemetery in the background of the photographs. Some brides mind greatly and others believe it is fine.
Take some group shots outside the church.Because everyone in the wedding party is already together, you may want to take a group shot in front of the church. Many couples prefer a shot before or after ascending the stairs going in to the church or leaving as a group. The weather is unpredictable, so getting groups shots while the weather is fair is a great idea.
Photography at the reception venue.As with the church, get the address prior to the date and visit the location. Ask the manager or caretaker for a short tour and ask the same questions as you did at the church. If possible, take pictures of important things like the wedding cake, groom’s cake and the reception tables before the guests arrive to ensure a clear shot.
Have the bride and groom select one member from each of their families to gather family members for formal events, like group shots. A photographer may not be familiar with any relatives, so this is very important. Position people with their faces away from light to reduce glare and squinting eyes. Use the surrounding details like windows and arches, to add soft light to the shot.
Informal shots of the wedding including some of the bride and groom, are often favorites afterward. Try to get pictures of the guests having fun and taking picture themselves. the trick of informal shots is simply do not let the subject know you are there. Keep an eye on the happy couple. If you can capture an intimate moment away from the crowd, you may get the best shot of The Big Day.
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