Some say the best wedding day photos are those that capture candid moments. But are these the kind of photos your client will want to hang above the mantelpiece for decades to come?
Though every guest is likely to attend the event with camera in hand, couples will normally employ a professional photographer to eternalise their wedding day. As the one person trusted to document the couple’s journey, you’ll need to make sure that each and every photograph captures the mood and ambience of the occasion – and if that wasn’t enough of a responsibility in itself, you’ll also need to ensure everyone is looking their absolute best in every shot!
If you’re just starting out as a wedding photographer and don’t know where to begin, take a look at the ideas below for some inspiration. Be sure to take a mixture of posed pictures and candid shots throughout the day to add variety to your portfolio.
Our Top 5 Candid Wedding Day Shots
The ‘giving away’ of the bride. This is a key moment for the families involved and so needs to be captured perfectly. Before the ceremony begins, find a spot from which you can comfortably shoot the entire scene and focus on capturing the fleeting nerves and excitement of those in view.
The first kiss. Like the ‘giving away’, the first kiss can last just a matter of seconds, so you’ll need to work fast to catch the couple before they begin their walk back down the aisle! Our tip? Don’t stand too close to the subjects. Take your photo from afar where possible and add background interest to the frame to give the shot some perspective.
The bouquet toss. This is a tricky action shot, so choose a high shutter speed to avoid missing the moment. Be creative with your composition to create a piece that’s aesthetically interesting. For example, you could choose to keep the bride in the foreground with her back to the camera, or perhaps the scene will work best if you shoot inwards from the back of the crowd.
The cutting of the cake. Though there is scope here to pick up some beautifully candid shots, you can also ask the couple to pose for an organised shot as they both clutch the cake knife. Generally, the photo will be more flattering if the bride and groom are standing up straight and not hunched over the cake, so try to take formal photos before the cake is actually cut.
The first dance. In our experience, the couple will naturally detach themselves from their surroundings as they take their positions for their first dance as husband and wife. Capture their emotion by taking close-up photos and capture the entire setting by taking a sweeping shot from the edge of the dance floor.
Our Top 5 Ideas for Professional-Looking Shots
The register shot. Like many of the moments listed above in the Candid Shots section, signing the register is an important part of the ceremony, but to get a professional-looking image, some thought needs to go into the arrangement of the scene. You can take a great register shot regardless of whether the bride and groom are sitting or standing – just make sure they’re positioned comfortably, their hands are placed purposefully and their expressions are 100% natural!
The traditional group shot. Every attendee will want to get their hands ona large-scale panoramic photo. However, the photo will look chaotic and unprofessional if the group isn’t guided properly, so ask everyone to focus on the camera and let them know when you intend to take a shot – a crowd countdown is normally the best way to make sure everyone has plenty of warning). Many photographers choose to place the wedding venue in the background to add relevancy to the shot.
The intimate pose. Encourage the happy couple to strike intimate poses that portray their unity. You could ask them to clasp their arms around each other, lean in for a kiss or casually lean on each other’s shoulder – once you’ve got to know the couple a little better, you’ll be able to help them pick a pose that suits their personalities and communicates their closeness. Remember, your job is to make sure the bride and groom appear happy, relaxed and totally in love, so for the best results, make sure they’re standing close together and their expressions are soft, natural and candid.
The ‘dip’! The romantic ‘dip’ is a timeless alternative to a simple intimate shot and will really capture the couple’s sense of fun. Have the two of them holding hands, or ask the bride to gently wrap her arms around the groom’s neck. Above all, ensure the groom is comfortable and sturdy when dipping, otherwise the shot will look forced and uncomfortable.
The landscape shot. Choose a beautiful outside location within the venue’s grounds and experiment with the setting a little. The weather may dictate your options but you can still find great shots by making the most of the venue’s unique features and exploring the surrounding landscape. If you’re lucky enough to be taking photos at sunset, use the sky as the foundations of your shot. Use its size and colour to add real depth to your composition.
Annette of Trinity Photography is a well-renowned wedding photographer in Glasgow. She services the city and its surrounding towns and villages.
image source: http://theknot.ninemsn.com.au/