8 More Essential Tips to Follow When Photographing Wedding Ceremonies


There are so many things to consider when photographing wedding events, especially the ceremony itself. We gave you 10 essential tips in a previous article and here are 8 more to help you prepare for the big event: 

1. The presence of ambient light will provide extra illumination to your images and they can also certainly add to the mood to the image.  Candles or sunlight streaming from the church windows can boost visual appeal. 

2. Keep a shot list of the peoplthat you have to shoot during the ceremony aside from the bride and groom such as the parents, close friends, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. This will keep you focused especially when there is a large number of people who have attended. Familiarize yourself with their faces so they can be easy to spot in the crowd.  

3. Make sure that you are ready outside the church when the bride arrives since it is an important moment that you cannot miss. Take shots of her getting out of the car with her father, and some poses of her and the bridal entourage by the church doorway. Try to be quick, though, usually two to three minutes is sufficient. 

4. Photograph the bride as she walks up the aisle with her father. Also remember to take pictures of the guests’ reaction and the groom’s expression as he looks at his bride. Your job is not simply to record the sequence of events but also to capture the strong emotions and vibrant atmosphere permeating the room. 

5. Also keep a shot list of the essential key moments in the ceremony such as when the bride and groom meet at the altar, when they light the wedding candles, the exchange of vows, the exchange of wedding rings and the kiss after the priest pronounces them as man and wife. 

6. Be discreet. A wedding ceremony is a solemn occasion and no one would like it if you were walking back and forth in front of everyone just to get shots of the bride and groom. Find a position where you have a good view of the couple and the guests without them noticing you too much. For example, during the exchange of wedding rings, zoom in on the rings and the hands from a spot by the aisle. Do not go up to them by the altar just so you can get a good close up shot. 

7. During the signing of the register, take shots of the priest with the newlyweds, as well as the entourage. The bride and groom might be the center of attention in the ceremony but remember to take as much shots of everyone else, especially the special people that the bride and groom would want to have lots of photos of as well. 

8. As the bride and groom walk down the aisle and outside of the church, this is a moment full of photo opportunities. Make sure you have shots of the couple’s faces in close up, full body shots of them walking out the church door, and the expressions of the guests as they throw rice and congratulate the couple. Remember to adjust camera settings for outdoor exposures.



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10 Essential Tips to Follow When Photographing the Wedding Ceremony



The ceremony is considered the most important part of the whole wedding event. A lot of preparation would have been done into making the ceremony perfect, and every detail carefully arranged by several people, from the wedding planner to the mother of the bride. As the photographer, it is your responsibility to be as prepared and meticulous when recording the ceremony. Here are several suggestions to guide you when shooting the wedding ceremony:

 1. If the wedding is big, with hundreds of guests and a wide church area, it would be an advantage to have an assistant. Someone who can help carry all your gear and help you guide people in group shots means you will have more time to focus on the actual picture taking.

2. Having an extra photographer would also be a plus. You will have more shots to choose from and give to the newlyweds. Another boon is that you both can cover two strategic areas in the church area rather than just one. 

3. Try different angles and perspectives when shooting from the aisle to give greater visual impact. Being in a room filled with people allows you to take several shots that include a lot of guests in one shot. Since they will be seated for most of the time, you have more opportunities to set up your composition.

 4. Lights from a flash can be distracting so ask the priest’s permission beforehand if you can use a flash. Never fire the flash repeatedly at the bride and groom’s faces. This is one sure way to irk them and not want to refer you in the future.

5. Whenever you are not using a tripod, use camera settings that will not capture camera shake. Keep your shutter speed to at least 1/60 because any slower than that will increase the effects of camera shake.

6. Take note of the aperture size since this has a direct impact on depth of field. If you want to take a shot of only the bride and groom without including the guests behind them, you can use a shallower depth of field to blur out the background. Alternatively, you can set it to keep as much of the scene in focus. 

7. Use a long lens such as a 70-200 zoom to keep track of the movements of the key people in the wedding. This way you won’t be interfering with the actual ceremony and be as discreet as possible. 

8. If you will be using fill flash indoors, also use a flash diffuser to soften the intensity of the light. 

9. Use memory cards with lots of memory space so you won’t need to change it during the ceremony. 4GIG or 8GIG memory cards will do, especially if you are shooting in RAW since that would create huge image files. 

10. Check out the church before the ceremony so you have a good idea of its layout, where you can set up your tripod, which areas would make great backgrounds, and what the lighting is like so you know what kind of extra light sources you will need to use.

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