On your wedding day
Although every wedding is unique and the service will be tailored to suit each couple, the following guide provides a useful framework for considering photography at most weddings.
This is a time when there’s a great atmosphere of excitement and anticipation ahead of the occasion. There are lots of opportunities for candid shots of the bride and bridesmaids getting ready. It’s a good idea to make meaningful items available for photography, such as the dress, jewelry, flowers, ornaments etc. Most of the photography here will be natural and unposed, however every now and then I’ll request individual and group shots of the bride and her group.
If coverage of the groom’s preparation is required, there may be time for me to visit his location and spend 20 minutes or so with the guys. Alternatively, I can provide a second photographer to cover this process while I’m at the bride’s place.
Allow at least an hour of photography
At this point I’ll get candid shots showing the bride leaving the home or hotel. I like to get a few of her in the car and entering or leaving it. Upon arrival at the venue, I’ll take photos of the scene, the groom and groomsmen, as well as the waiting guests.
Here I’ll tell the story of the ceremony using different lenses, perspectives and angles. Coverage will include the guests, bridal party and venue as well as the couple. Following the ceremony I’ll cover the signing of the register.
This is a great chance for candid photography as the bride and groom are congratulated by their friends, family and guests. You’ll be buzzing with emotion and the energy is amazing.
As all the guests are now in one place, this is the opportunity to take a large group shot of everyone if required, followed by the different sets of friends and family. It’s helpful at this stage to have someone on hand to gather together the different groups to be photographed. A list of groups prepared ahead of the day ensures that no-one gets missed out.
At this point the guests can move on to the next venue and the bridal party are taken off for photos. There will be a mix of natural and posed photos, and having a great setting can really add to the shots. Natural environments such as beaches, parks and forests are ideal.
Allow 20-30 mins
Following the group shots I like to go for a walk with the bride and groom and use different backdrops and lighting effects to create a great variety of images, from the dramatic to the intimate.
If at all possible, lighting conditions are much better towards to the late afternoon/ early evening, so please try and arrange the location shoot for this time.
I love working with natural environments such as parks, forests and beaches. Urban locations can work well too and I’m always open to suggestions. I encourage the couple to relax and I try to capture both their individuality and sense of togetherness.
Normally at this stage the second shooter would hold light modifiers and off-camera lights while I shoot. I can provide an assistant or alternatively one of the bridal party can help out.
It’s a great idea for the bride to have an extra pair of shoes available at this stage for venturing and exploring on different terrains.
Allow at least an hour of photography
At the reception, I take a lot of photos of the guests and their interaction with the couple as well as covering the formalities, including speeches, in an interesting way. I also pick up on the details of the room such as the cake, décor, flowers and so on.
I request that while the guests eat, a dinner can be set aside for myself (vegetarian please 🙂 ) and the second photographer. l take a break of 10 mins or so to eat at this time so that nothing is missed out.
The first dance is covered in a way that celebrates the close connection of the couple and the atmosphere of their surroundings. As the rest of the guests join the couple, I use a variety of lighting techniques to pick up the light, colour and movement of the dance floor.