9 Best Practices for Better Wedding Photographs

The trust placed on your shoulders as an experienced wedding photographer, or lenses, in this case, to capture a couple’s momentous occasion can seem like asignificant responsibility. And to a certain degree, it is.

Everything moves at lightning speed, it’s high pressure, and yet, your photos must capture the best moments in a blissful wedding affair. That said, your ability to capture magical moments throughout the wedding day is unmistakable — after all, you’re the expert.

To help you get through one of the most important days of your clients and produce stunning images for them, here are some of the best practices to keep your shutter professionally clicking away.

1. Get to know the couple

Becoming familiar and comfortable with the couple will make shooting their wedding that much smoother and comfortable. During the initial meetings, take the time to get to know your clients. Ask them questions that pertain to their relationship, what they look forward to as a couple, and even why they chose that particular date and venue for their wedding day.

These questions can serve as the framework for creative inspiration. By asking questions that cover all the angles, you can be sure that when the big day comes, you’ll have the opportunity to capture their special moments.

2. Shoot to your strengths

Every photographer comes with a certain skill set or strengths that make them unique. Perhaps your social skills enable you to work a crowd. Or your technical knowledge is brilliantly displayed through your photographs. It could even be your ability to capture emotions through your lenses.

Identify your strength as a photographer and use it to your advantage. This will enable you to capture unique images that no other photographer can.

3. Practice accurate exposure for the bride’s wedding dress

The bride’s wedding dress is just as important as the wedding itself. White color is tricky to photograph in any setting, but doubly so during the fast-moving pace of a wedding day. It’s important that you get accurate exposure for the bride’s dress beforehand.

To get the right exposure in any lighting situation, familiarize yourself with proper metering techniques. This ensures you capture the best tone for the dress without sacrificing any intricate details.

4. Familiarize yourself with the light situation(s)

From intimate outdoor weddings to grand, traditional banquet hall weddings, all wedding settings and venues require different approaches to lighting. With infinite options for controlling and manipulating light and light sources, know how to use multiple light sources from a variety of angles and distances.

Familiarize yourself with how you can balance available light with artificial light. Before the wedding day, practice exposure. This practice will not only eliminate significant time spent during editing but also ensures you’re ready to shoot at a moment’s notice.

5. Shoot with an extra set of hands

A great strategy to capture the entirety of the wedding day is to consider a second wedding photographer. A second photographer takes the pressure off you always having to catch every shot. Having one also means you get to diversify your photos from formal to candid, and you become less intrusive during the ceremony and speeches.

Having another camera during the wedding day offers another unique point of view to create beautiful, quality wedding photography.

6. Attend workshops

All the expensive gear in the world will not make you a great wedding photographer. Remember, it’s not the camera, it’s the photographer. The person behind the lens is the one that makes the wedding day look like a magical experience, not the camera itself.

To be great at your craft, attend as many workshops as possible. Not only do they help you improve your skills and technical knowledge of photography, but they can also introduce you to some unique ways to capture stunning images.

7. Don’t manipulate your subjects

When shooting weddings, photographers must remember that it’s important that subjects find you, rather than overtly directing poses and shots. Yes, wedding photographers must stage and direct the wedding party for the traditional wedding photo shoot. But when it comes to the rest of the wedding, let things happen organically.

Influencing the behavior of subjects during the wedding makes for unnatural, awkward poses. Orchestrating a scene can come off feeling fake and forced. Allow the wedding to unfold as it should, and capture the candid moments as they spontaneously come.

8. Don’t discard mistakes

When shooting a wedding, particularly with a DSLR, the temptation exists to delete images as you go. Deleting poses or photos that don’t immediately work limits the creative output later when you’re finalizing the wedding album.

Remember that these likely-to-be-discarded “mistakes” may offer some interesting perspectives of the wedding. Not to mention, these “mistakes” can simply be edited using special software like iPiccy, and manipulated post-production to create some really unique images.

9. Have fun

Too often you may get lost in your craft and technical skills that you forget one of the best practices necessary to create better wedding photos: having fun.

While it’s important to remain professional as you are documenting a special day for a special couple, it’s as equally important to let yourself be inspired by the moments unfolding before you. Weddings are about celebration, so the experience should be fun. Remember, the more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your subjects will be. So smile, and keep clicking away.

Conclusion

Weddings are a rewarding experience for photographers. Not only are you entrusted with your client’s most important day, you also get to bear witness to two people declaring to the whole world their unquestionable devotion for each other. Every time you do a wedding, take note of everything as this will help you improve your skills as a wedding photographer.

Have any best practice wedding photography tips not listed above? We’d love to hear about them.

AUTHOR BIO

Linda Pasfield is best known for her skill to capture emotion on film and expression in an art form. Linda has had 20 years of experience photographing weddings, portraiture and documentary. She is an award winning photographer and Linda’s career has taken her worldwide, photographing for Olim Aid International, Worship Centre and Cross Rds, and numerous other organisations. Photography is Linda’s passion and “capturing the true feelings on the day, blending creativity and lighting in the right way is a joy.”

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About Christian Tudor

professional photographer, main editor at Academy of Photography and owner and principal photographer of Tudor Photography