Welcome to my wedding photography tips.
For the professional, I do have a separate article as part of my Photography Business series of articles called ‘Make Money From Wedding Photography’.
The article you’re reading, however, is for the person who is just looking to take some great photographs on ‘the big wedding day’, perhaps as a gift for the happy couple.
You can capture beautiful memories of the wedding day, whether you’re making movies or shooting stills.
Photos and videos are always important to people, but those captured at weddings understandably become the most cherished of all. The happy couple, with all their friends and family, all dressed up looking fantastic, celebrating a new marriage, in a beautiful setting. Fantastic pictures are virtually guaranteed.
Although the majority of weddings have professionals to take care of the photographs, if you are a guest there is no reason why you can’t also take images or video to be proud of.
Adam’s Top Wedding Photography Tips
Prior to the event, ask the bride and groom if they are happy for you to take pictures and / or video during the service. If they already have a professional photographer or videographer, you shouldn’t obstruct that person from doing their job. There is nothing worse than having an angry-looking bride or groom watching you buzz about like an uninvited, annoying, mosquito.
Taking your own pictures and making them into a gift for the couple is a thoughtful way for them to remember their big day.
Before the Big Day
Do check your camera or camcorder’s batteries are fully charged and remember to pack spare charged batteries if you have them. You could even bring your chargers for emergency re-powering during any breaks.
Be sure to carry spare memory cards as well. They don’t take up much room in your bag, but can be a real saviour if you get ‘snap happy’.
Essential Wedding Photography Photos
Here is my list of wedding photographs you simply must take on the day :
- The bride arriving and walking up the aisle
- The bride and groom coming out of the church
- The confetti shot
- The car / transport (horse and carriage !!)
- The cake and cutting the cake
- The first dance
Choose Your Seat Carefully
Key to great wedding photography techniques is your initial positioning. Get this wrong and no matter how good a camera you’ve got, it’s not going to make up for any awful ‘lines of sight’. If you can get into the wedding venue prior to the ceremony starting, have a look around for interesting backgrounds or vantage points. This is where you’ll be guaranteed a good view of the event.
It is particularly important when selecting a seat for the main event to ask yourself the following :
- Can you see the couple ?
- Will your camera block someone else’s view ?
- Assuming you won’t clatter about, see if you can place yourself at the end of an aisle and move around during the ceremony. This will enable you to get different perspectives on the action.
Details, Details, Details
Remember, the couple will no doubt have spent considerable time making sure that all the details of their big day is perfect. So ensure that you get pictures of the small things for them to enjoy after the excitement (and stress) of the day is over. For the happy couple, everything will just wash over them and, with so many things going on, they are likely to miss many of the finer details.
Images of the invitations, the service schedule, any flowers or decorations, the place settings etc. All of these will be treasured by the bride and groom. They also make nice background images for adding color to photobooks.
Friends and Family
For many couples, the best part of a wedding is reconnecting with the people they love; seeing them all in one place; and of course looking their best. There should be many candid smiling faces which you will want to record.
Prior to the big day, think about the important people at the wedding besides the newly weds.
- Key support personnel (bride’s maids, best man, person giving the bride away).
- The bride and groom’s parents.
- Other key relatives.
- Their best friends.
- Any children who are close to the couple.
And make sure you get pictures of other guests as well – give the newly-weds reminders of ‘the quiet ones who were there, but melted into the background’.
If you are really looking to impress, why not try some trick photography on the day ? It’s actually easier than you think. By far the best course on trick photography is Evan Sharboneau’s Photography Tricks Course.
You can actually get started immediately (you view the videos on-line and you can download the 295 page course straight to your computer). You might even be able to put the hired professional photographer to shame.
My review of Evan’s course is here : Evan’s Trick Photography Course Review
Evan’s official Website is here : Trick Photography Website
Photo Processing Ideas
Today, there are many more things you can do with images. It’s not just about having an album of photos. Why not create a gift for the happy couple that they can treasure forever. Here are some wedding photo ideas :
- Acrylic blocks and panels
- Key fobs
- Mobile phone cases
- Bottle openers
- Purses / bags
One good idea to get plenty of shots of the wedding is to provide each guest table with 2 or 3 disposable cameras. Invite the guests to snap what they want throughout the day and night (you could even start this off, by having some laid out in the church).
Have a ‘bucket’ for the cameras to go into once they have been finished with.
The best disposable camera for this is the 10x Pack Happy Hearts Wedding Party Disposable Cameras with Gift Box and Matching Tents, 27 Exp. You can find out more, or purchase them in bulk from this link :
Best Wedding Camera : Canon PowerShot SX260 HS
If you are looking for a wedding camera that can cover all of the tips I have mentioned above, then I would highly recommend the Canon Powershot SX260.
For those unrepeatable moments you need a camera you can rely on and this one really won’t let you down.
This camera is actually designed to take fantastic images in poor light conditions without the need to use a flash (ideal for inside a church, or when speeches are being made and you don’t want to blind the speaker). Really this camera is ideal for any formal occasion.
Canon PowerShot SX260 HS Specifications
- Make / Model : Canon PowerShot SX260 HS 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 20x Image Stabilized Zoom 25mm Wide-Angle Optical Lens and 1080p HD Video
- Dimensions : (Width) 4.2 (Height) 2.4 (Depth) 1.3 inches
- Weight : 8.2 ozs
- Megapixels : 12.1
- Zoom : 20x optical
- HD Video : Yes
It’s also pocket-sized and looks great to. It comes in 3 eye-catching colours : black, green, red.
It’s available from Amazon :
What About Video ?
The camera recommended above does do video as well, so you might want to think about capturing some movement during the day as well. Here are some video must have moments :
- Bride coming into the venue.
- Key individuals (couple’s parents) during the ceremony.
- Saying the vows.
- Signing the register.
- Bride and groom leaving together.
- The speeches.
- Laughter / crowd reactions.
- The bride & groom’s reactions.
- Cutting the cake.
- The first dance.
- The ‘embarrassing uncle’ dancing.
Don’t Zoom During Recording
Remember, when zooming in and out, it’s very difficult to keep your hand steady. Before you press the ‘record’ button you should frame the shot first. The result will be a much more professional appearance.
Action of what is going on in the background is important as well as focusing on the couple themselves. This all helps to tell the story of the day if you are looking to make a short movie for the couple. Capture the venues, modes of transport, meals being served etc.
Filming with a camera is all very well, but for a really professional looking DVD of the event, you will want to invest in a camcorder.
Best Wedding Camcorder : Sony PJ200
The Sony PJ200 is an ideal wedding camcorder. Not only does it capture video in full HD quality, your footage can be instantly shared and reviewed with the on-board projector. This turns any white surface into a screen.
Steadyshot Active will keep your footage steady, while the huge 25x optical zoom ensures that you won’t miss any moments.
Sony PJ200 Specifications
- Make / Model : Sony High Definition Handycam 5.3 MP Camcorder with 25x Optical Zoom
- Weight : 2.7 pounds
- Still Images : 5.3 megapixels
- Screen : 2.7 inches
- Zoom : Optical 25x, Extended 30x
- HD Recording : Yes
To find out more about the Sony PJ200, visit Amazon :
- Best Disposable Cameras
- Trick Photography Course Review
- Action Photography Tips
- Outdoor Party Photography Tips
- Portraits in the Sun Tips
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