Professional photographers will tell you that a wedding is the most stressful event they can photograph. This event is only once in a lifetime, and it cannot be repeated or rearranged. It’s crucial to do it right. Prepare for the unexpected, be flexible and prepare your equipment and backup batteries.

Once Upon A Time…

To make unforgettable moments last a lifetime, capture emotions and tell the story.

As a photographer, it is important to be present and attentive while also being discreet. Couples should not be asked to do the same pose again and again. Be ready to capture moments of affection.

This image of wedding photography shows a groom kissing his wife’s hand. The large aperture (shallow depth of field) of f/5.6 keeps focus on the groom and the hand but still showcases the bright smile of the bride. Continuous shooting mode is best for multiple shots. Hold down the shutter button as long and as you like.

Grab the Chance

Wedding Photograp of a Bride and groom leaving church with motion blur effect

You, as the photographer, must capture hundreds of moments that are special on your wedding day.

Some events, like the vows or walking down the aisle, cannot be repeated.

You can create a nice effect by using slow sync flash mode. This allows you to capture blurry images of the couple walking but keeps the center of your frame sharp due to the flash freezing it. The mode dial should be set to TV or Shutter Priority mode. Set a 1/4th second shutter speed. For more power, you can use either the flash on your camera or a separate flash. Slow sync allows you to open the shutter longer, allowing more light in for your exposure.

Get Unusual Wedding Photographs

Bride and groom on the wedding day

There will always be time to take formal, posed photos of the wedding with all your friends and family.

These casual, fun moments are more unpredictable and less regular. You should look out for tender moments when the couple shares a story, a joke, or just a moment of affection. You might capture their affection, or just a glance.

Flash is used to freeze the moment. A small aperture, f/14 or higher will keep things sharp. You don’t want blurred images.

A warming filter (known as the 81A) can also be used. This filter has a subtle peach tone but makes your skin glow and appear alive.

Take them with you

Wedding Picture of a Bride and groom walking out the churchdoor

A classic wedding photo is one where the couple leaves the venue for the ceremony and their guests throw rice or confetti at them. This will usually be taken in daylight with lots of light. To keep the couple’s eyes on the subject and blur the background, use a large aperture (f/2.8 to f/5.6). To see the confetti in air, use a shutter speed of 1/125th of a second. If you want sharp images, use flash.

You might consider using continuous shooting mode to capture a series shots of the couple as they leave while confetti is being thrown at them.

Tell the Fairy Tail

A silhouette photograph of a bride and groom kissing

Although most people want the same family photos for the formal wedding shots (although they will be a lot more creative than the usual), it is important to remember to be creative.

Place your bride and groom outside of the noise and take them inside. You want to capture their silhouette so the light source should be in front of them. Make sure to get the couple to kiss. Use spot or multi-zone metersing modes and turn off the flash. Then, take a reading in the only bright area. Point your camera at them and click! This shot should be taken with a tripod, but you can also use handholding at 1/160s to keep it sharp.

Capture the Fun

Senior Couples Dancing Together At Wedding Reception

Photograph older people on the dance floor or the bridesmaid as she catches the bouquet being thrown by her.

Weddings are a once in a lifetime event. This is your chance to showcase your photography skills.

In the years to follow, your generosity will be appreciated by the happy couple.

Recommendations

This should be obvious, but when you take wedding photos, it is important to ensure that your images are sharpened and focused. These images can’t be duplicated. While you can use a tripod to take formal shots, indoor candid photos will require you to hold the camera. If you need to use flash, use wide aperture and a fast shutter speed. If indoor lighting is too dark, you can use flash outdoors to illuminate the faces of the subjects.

You should keep the ISO at around 100. Wedding photographs are often later enlarged so a lower ISO will give you a finer grain.

Equipment we recommend

Always bring a spare camera body when photographing weddings. Murphy’s Law says that anything can go wrong. Always bring a spare body for any camera problems. It is even better to have two cameras bodies, each with a different lens. You can quickly switch between them by having a telephoto zoom and a wide-angle on one.

For formal shots, always take extra batteries. You can get more power from separate flash units than with built-in flashes. So, make sure you have at least one of these.

To add warmth and light to the faces of your subject, you might consider taking large silver and gold reflectors.

Conclusion

Weddings are meant to be once in a lifetime events for the couple. As a photographer, you have a lot on your shoulders.

It is important to be present and not get in the way. It is important to be both creative and formal. As it is a large responsibility, many photographers start out as assistants at weddings. As a lead photographer, you should bring assistants to ensure that you cover everything.

These photographs will be treasured for a lifetime, so make sure you do your best.