In today’s economy, more and more family members are being asked to bring along their camera’s to document the event. Being a professional photography studio, I do not suggest this but understand the need when budgets are being squeezed. I am going to outline some basic tips that can be helpful when photographing a wedding.
1. Go to the wedding site ahead of time at the same time of day as the wedding is to proceed so you can check for any lighting problems or ideas!
2. Have the bride complete a “group shot list” prior to the wedding. On the wedding day, you can use this as a check list to make the group photos orderly, and to make sure you don’t miss an important photo.
3. Spend sometime before the wedding to advise the wedding couple to pause and look at the camera for all the significant moments in the wedding, such as the first dance, cake cutting, and etc. remind the couple again on the wedding day.
4. Incorporate personal items, things that mean something special to the bride or the groom, into your photo sessions!
5. When photographing a large group of people, have everyone close their eyes, count to three, then tell everyone to open their eyes! This way you are more likely to get everyone with their eyes open and if there are any children in the shot, they will be laughing by this point…which should all make for a great group shot!!
6. Try not to shoot everything at the front of the altar. Try windows, middle of the church between the aisles, or even the back of church. Mix it up a little for different perspectives.
7. Walk around the church or reception site and look for any architectural details, such as arched windows, stone steps or balconies that would add a special element to your photographs.
8. Encourage your bride to tear pictures out of bridal magazines to show you what she likes. This will tell you what shots are important to the bride.
9. When shooting weddings, be patient, and something beautiful will happen.
10. Don’t be afraid to shoot into the light. Spectacular halos and brilliant saturation are waiting for you if you just turn around.
11. When shooting in various environments, try to find background colors that match the eyes of the subject to enhance the focal point of a photo.
12. 99.9% of wedding photography is anticipation. Keep your camera up, and your eyes sharp and the magic shots will come.
13. The lower a bride holds her flowers the thinner she will look.
14. Pay close attention to the facial expressions of the subjects. Do not seek only the smiles, but also the frowns and genuine emotions of the moment.
15. Almost any photograph can be improved by getting closer to the subject (or zooming in) to eliminate needless background details.
I hope that you find these tips helpful. I do want to mention one last time that having a non-professional photographer is a very risky proposition. If you want to guarantee that your memories with be captured properly, always try and hire a professional photographer. It is worth the investment and there are many studios that have very affordable wedding packages.