Photographing Weddings: How to Shoot the Details
As a professional Minneapolis wedding photographer I’m all about sharing tips I’ve picked up along the way and sharing with other photographers. When I first started off my Minneapolis photography career I would tend to look at the big picture and lose the details of the day.
It’s All in the Details when Photographing Weddings
When it comes to weddings, you may have heard it said, “It’s all in the details.” That is especially true when it comes to photographing weddings. Here in Minneapolis Minnesota, many of my weddings are indoors (as winter seems to last forever in MN). When photographing an indoor wedding, you lack the vast options outdoor photography gives you. This is why it is important to focus on the details, as those tiny touches make the day special to the bride.
1. KISS principle
No, I’m not being cute and referring to the wedding first kiss… I’m referring the acronym for “Keep it simple, stupid”. When photographing wedding details try to keep the image composition simple. Don’t try to clump all the details together in one image, but instead focus on on thing per picture. With the exception of the rings, flowers and dress, it’s typically best to leave the details where they are when you photograph. The best images are those that capture the details beautifully in their element. Photography the tables as they were decorated, take a picture of the programs in the basket or ushers hands, take the picture of the boutonnières once they are pinned to the groom or groomsmen. Feel free to pose the key elements, such as flowers and dress. Find a location or background that won’t distract from the dress or bouquet. The pictures should capture the detail or full breadth of the dress or flowers.
2. Grab a 100mm
I think this goes without saying, but make sure you have a macro lens. While it is possible to take great detail shots without one, you will appreciate the depth of field and closeness of the 100mm. If your lighting is low, don’t be afraid to try manual focus.
3. Check your lighting
Lighting is so important when you are photographing weddings. Natural light is always best so if you can take pictures by a window or outside do that first. Obviously many details need to be captured in a getting ready room or dark reception hall and for these you need a flash. Make sure you are comfortable with you flash unit. Practice at home or your studio before trying to wing it on the wedding day. Use a bounce or diffuser for softer lighting on the details you photograph.
4. Don’t forget the rings
Rings often get forgotten in the hustle and bustle of a wedding day, especially since they are often in different locations and then on the hands of busy bride and groom. If you don’t get a chance to photograph them before the ceremony, don’t hesitate to ask the bride and groom if you can borrow their new prized possession. They will appreciate it when look the through their photos. While it’s great to keep the ring pictures simple, it’s also very fun to try to incorporate one other detail from the wedding. Use the brides bouquet as a backdrop or the table decor. Find a fun way to display all three (don’t forget the engagement ring!) rings.
5. The cake takes the cake
The cake is one of the most important detail pictures of the entire wedding. This is something couples spend astronomical amounts of money on to make it both beautiful and delicious and the only way to preserve it is in a photograph. The dress can be saved, flowers can be dried, but the cake will be devoured before the night is through. Take a variety of angles. Sometimes a view from the very top is most interesting and captures the cake topper in a fun way. Use the 100mm to get very close details of the topper, flowers, and other fondant details that adorn the masterpiece.