There is no doubt that a wedding is an extraordinary occasion. In theory, you are pledging yourself to the one person that you will spend the rest of your life with.
Naturally, this is cause for celebration. It is also an event which is often carefully documented throughout the day, with many of the most emotional moments captured in the form of photos.
What you will typically find is that a trained wedding photographer will capture all of these unique and precious snapshots of your day. However, many people have wondered how you take good wedding photos. Is there a particular skill set required, or do you need specialised training?
We are going to be examining how are you take good wedding photos, the type of person who is best suited to take them, and what conditions are needed for success.
Why do we take photos?
To begin with, we thought that we would assess why we take photos at weddings, to fully grasp what is needed to take excellent shots.
From an emotional perspective, the wedding is a complicated affair. You will find that many different emotions are experienced by all of the guests and the people getting married over the course of the day. Because such varying emotions are difficult to capture in the form of words, the wedding photo is often the best choice to ensure that such priceless sentiment and expression is appropriately recorded.
A photo is also one of the best ways to provide a tangible memory. It is no secret that as we age, our capacity for memory begins to diminish. We find ourselves unable to recall specific events in precise clarity, and this can be exceptionally distressing. Having a photo collection of the events of the day helps to reaffirm the pathways and connections in the brain, and in essence, allow you to remember.
How do you take good photos?
When it comes to taking good photos, there are a few different characteristics and qualities which many have agreed make up the ideal set of shots. The first of these is timing. When you are taking photographs of the wedding, you must be prepared to take advantage of any moments which emerge.
A single moment can effectively capture an entire lifetime‘s worth of emotion, but only if you are there to record it.
The ideal wedding photographer is, therefore, one who is ready to spring into action at any given moment. A great deal of responsibility is placed on your shoulders, and it will forward you to provide the bride and groom with an acceptable collection of the day’s events. Therefore, you must be alert and ready to give a photo opportunity at a moments notice.
As people who work with businesses like Wure will tell you, it is also about making sure that you have an eye for detail. As a wedding photographer, you have a unique position. You are both part of the events of the day and yet an outsider. However, there need not be negative connotations surrounding this notion.
You have the unique opportunity to observe all of the events which take place during the wedding, and then capture those events as you see fit. It is imperative that you have the requisite eye for detail required to accurately capture every single emotional moment which takes place during the day.
For example, a moment where the bride and groom are looking into each other’s eyes and are effectively lost in their world. The raw emotion which can come from such a display is not something which is easily replicated, and yet is so small and in the eyes of an amateur would be dismissed and ignored.
Wedding photo tips
We are aware that effectively capturing photos is sometimes a challenge. For this reason, we have decided to put together a list of tips and tricks that you can follow to get the most from your experience.
To begin with, we recommend that you are subtle with your photos. What we have come to find is that when you approach someone with a camera, their behaviour will change. It is an instinctive reaction to being in front of a camera, but it does alter the quality and the atmosphere of the photos that you take. If you can be subtle about your endeavours, then you will capture the natural atmosphere of many interactions, which will ultimately benefit you when it comes to creating an emotional representation of the day.
Contrastingly, there is an argument for creating a photo opportunities. When people are gathered together to celebrate an event, it is custom for them to arrange themselves in such a fashion which allows for a perfect photo to be taken.
For example, you will notice that there are occasions when the bride and her bridesmaids all stand and pose for a photo together.
These are all perfect events, and an excellent chance to capture the emotion of friends and family gathered together. Instigating these can sometimes be the prerogative of the wedding photographer, so make sure that you do so when you need a few extra shots to really help to capture the emotion of the day.
If you’re ever unsure about which photos you should take and which ones you should not, you are more than welcome to try coordinating with the bride and groom.
As this is their special day, you could try asking them if they have a particular moment or activities that they want you to pay close attention to. It is not completely unreasonable to operate in this fashion, because in essence you are removing some of the guesswork in favour of proceeding with specialist knowledge.
A big part of taking good photos for a wedding is learning the importance of distance, and how it can affect your shot. You see, how far away you are from the event when you take your photo can make a big difference to how it turns out and the reaction it gets.
What do you must understand about distance is that it is key to capturing different angles of the same photo. Allow us to explain. Depending on your distance from the target of your camera, you will be able to take a different shot. Will you opt for the close and intimate photo, or the wide shot which captures more than two people?
In some instances, this will depend heavily on the preference of the bride and groom. However, there is also an argument to be made for the discretion of the photographer, who will surely employ all of their experience and knowledge to provide the best collection of wedding photos.
From our experience, we have found that the best combination of wedding photos are those which imply a wide range of distances. The best shot is not always the most obvious one, and so it will fall to the experience of the photographer to best decide which angle and what distance is suitable.
This judgement is not something which is immediately obvious. Instead, it is the result of years of experience, and the careful cultivation of awareness of one’s environment and subject. What do you choose to be the focus of each photo will depend entirely on the situation, but as time goes on you become more accustomed to making these judgements.
In conclusion, there are many reasons why taking wedding photos is the job of an experienced photographer. There is no preset formula for taking good photos, as photographs are entirely subject to the opinion of the viewer.
What one person may see as being a sentimental shot, others may see as being simply a collection of people and thoughts. Making these judgements for yourself can be difficult, but as you progress through the industry you will begin to learn more and more.
No one is perfect at the beginning. It is also true that when you first begin taking wedding photos, it can seem like a considerable journey to reach the level of professional photographers, the likes of which you will see in magazines and on the front page of websites.
If you ever find yourself struggling to take the best photos in any given situation, it is advised that you collect people together and make them pose. This action may seem like a contradiction to the idea of natural photos, but these structured shots can serve as a useful way to help you figure out how best to proceed.
What you have to remember is that taking shots for a wedding it’s all about capturing the moment. Each second brings with it a unique emotion and atmosphere, and it falls to the experienced photographer to record each precious minute, to provide the family of the bride and groom with a collection of memories from the day.
This is something that only you can do, and it means that you will have all the opportunities you could need for successful photography.