A wedding can pose quite a challenge for photographers. There are pictures to be taken at the church, at home, outdoors, in the restaurant... The location changes throughout the event, and each feature needs different lighting conditions and requires different shooting techniques. Follow our tips so you don’t miss out on any photo ops on the big day!
A word of warning
To photograph a wedding is to sacrifice a day of fun and happy times. In fact, your camera is sure to come between you and your ability to experience these blissful moments! In short, you won’t experience the ceremony like other guests will. If you don’t like the idea of missing out on the big day, ask a professional photographer to take the reins instead!
What equipment should you bring? You’ll want to be free to move about, so the less lenses and cameras you carry around with you, the better. Here’s what you should bring:
- A wide-angle lens, which will allow you to capture the little details, provide you with a wider range of possibilities when taking indoor pictures (e.g. in the church), and take group photos.
- A close-up lens, which will allow you to capture the little details, like the exchanging of the rings, without you having to elbow your way closer.
Key moments to capture
Before the wedding ceremony, draw up a list of pivotal moments and jot down ideas on how you can shoot them. Here’s our list:
- The bride and groom preparing for the ceremony, especially when the bride is getting her hair and makeup done. This is when you can take some charming portraits.
- The bride arriving at the church, the groom waiting at the altar, the expression on the bride’s father’s face, the exchanging of vows, the exchanging of the rings, the kiss, the joy.
- The civil ceremony at city hall, the relatives and loved ones, the kiss, the signing of the register, with close-ups of the bride and groom’s hands.
- The couple leaving the church/city hall, the rice/confetti being thrown, the procession of cars, the walk down the stairs, the couple surrounded by loves ones, family photos, etc.
- The reception, the party, the gifts, the first dance, the speeches . . .
- A private photo shoot with the bride and groom, in a peaceful, rural setting, with flawless, romantic poses... Remember to bring accessories (frames, ball, a chalkboard on which you can write tender words).
- Kids, while they’re playing—the children can be great subjects for 'in the moment' shots.
The bride’s dress
Capturing the exact shade of white of the dress can be tricky, especially if the groom is donning a very dark suit. To prevent problems from arising, go for a slightly underexposed shot, test it out, then adjust your settings if necessary. If the dress appears lackluster, go for an overexposed shot!
In the church or at city hall
Les intérieurs sont généralement peu lumineux. Pour éviter les photos ternes, n’hésitez pas à monter l’ISO. Rapprochez-vous de vos sujets et utilisez le flash pour éviter des ombres trop dures sur les visages.
The rice and confetti are flying?
Shoot them while in shutter-priority mode (1/250 s) and at a wide angle of view.
That special kiss!
A few rules to capture the most tender of kisses:
- Press the shutter-release button before the bride and groom’s lips touch.
- Get close to your subjects.
- Set your camera to aperture priority mode, and play with the depth of field to blur the background.