Edited by Nataly Bogorad
January 13, 2020
Wedding Photography Tips 2020
Whether you're a professional wedding photographer with several weddings already under your belt or you're looking for a tutorial that will help you shoot your first wedding, there are always things to learn about wedding photography. Wedding photography is unlike any other type of photography. You don't have the luxury of going back and recreating those special moments, so it's critical to get them right the first time – including stunning images that will delight the bride and groom for years to come. Are you ready to become a more effective wedding photographer? Add these tips to your arsenal.
How to Shoot a Wedding
1. Pack Your Bag with Care
When you're preparing to go shoot a wedding, pack backups of everything. You don't just want to take along one camera; instead, take along two (or even three). Have your cell phone in your pocket as an absolute last-ditch backup option. Make sure that you have an extra flash, extra memory cards, and plenty of batteries. Extra gear will enable you to be prepared for anything, including potential equipment failures and malfunctions.
Of course, with all that gear to carry, you want to make sure that you aren't going in alone. An effective wedding photographer rarely handles the entire wedding by themselves. You need an assistant to help carry your gear, to fetch things forgotten in the other room, and even to take some extra pictures. You can't be in the room watching the bride and groom get ready at the same time, nor can you be on both sides of the reception floor at the same moment. An additional photographer can help capture all of those important moments.
2. Get to Know the Bride and Groom
If at all possible, don't go into the wedding cold! Instead, take the time to get to know the bride and groom ahead of time. Knowing how to shoot a wedding is about so much more than just going through a list of staged photos: the bride and groom together, the bride and groom with all of their family members, the first kiss, the bride and groom cutting the wedding cake. Instead, get creative! Talk with the bride and groom about their wedding. What are they hoping to highlight? What important moments have they included in the ceremony? You should also show them past examples of your work and ask about any specific images they're hoping to have from the ceremony.
While you're chatting with the bride and groom, make sure you have a solid understanding of their expectations. Some couples will want carefully scripted photos chosen well ahead of time, while others are eager to encourage your creative expression and want you to capture more candid shots of their special day and their guests. The better you understand what the bride and groom want, the better your odds of producing it for them!
3. Create a Plan
Sure, you want to embrace creativity and spontaneity. At the same time, however, you need to go into the ceremony with a plan in place. Get a copy of the wedding timeline so that you know where the couple will be and when important moments are expected to happen. Pre-plan some of the shots you'd like to create, especially the most creative shots. Creating great wedding photos doesn't happen at that moment alone! Try:
- Creating a shot list that includes some of the most important shots you want to catch. You may need a checklist to make sure you don't miss out on any shots with family members – or that you don't miss a critical shot you wanted for a collage.
- Visiting the venue and scouting out potential locations for moments like the first look or photos of the bride in her dress before the wedding.
- Planning out some creative shots that fit the couple's vision.
4. Stay in the Moment
You have a plan, and you're going to stick to it so that you don't miss anything. At the same time, however, make sure that you don't stick so closely to that guide that you miss out on the most important moments. Look around you – both through the lens of your camera and by coming out from behind it to check out what's going on around you. When you see those incredible, spontaneous moments that help make a wedding so special, capture them! Those images will often be some of the most cherished from the wedding.
5. Consider the Value of a First Look
First looks are becoming increasingly common for many couples, in part because it allows you more control over that amazing moment (and a better chance of capturing it). Instead of the groom seeing the bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle toward him, the bride and groom take a few minutes to connect with one another before the ceremony starts. The first look can be an incredibly romantic, much-cherished moment for the happy couple, giving them a chance to talk before the ceremony itself. Instead of the groom seeing the bride for the first time when they're surrounded by people, he gets her all to himself for a few minutes. (Well – to himself, with you and your camera looking on!) Even better, you'll know you can get that great shot of the groom's face without having to worry that something else will get in the way. Discuss this with the bride and groom ahead of time so they have a chance to talk about it, rather than springing it on them on the wedding day, and you'll get some good wedding photos that you can't wait to share with them as they celebrate their marriage.
6. Photograph the Details
Get shots of the small details of the wedding as well as the big ones. Often, the bride has poured her heart into creating or choosing some of the smallest things, and understanding how to take wedding photos includes capturing those amazing details. Take shots of the rings, the unity candle, and the table centerpieces. Highlight any decorations the bride went out of her way to create. These detail shots might not end up hanging on the couple's wall, but they will certainly be much-cherished memories in the wedding album.
7. Shoot in RAW.
One of the best wedding photography tips: shoot in RAW. This will give you larger, more detailed files as well as giving you a larger canvas – a computer screen – to take care of your editing, rather than doing it in-camera. Often, that means better quality when you're ready to start editing. Shooting in RAW, however, does mean that you will need plenty of memory cards on hand.
8. Use the Right Editing Software
When you're editing wedding photos, you don't want to use the same old software you would use for editing just any picture. Movavi Photo Editor makes it easy to edit those stunning wedding photos to perfection as well as offering plenty of creative freedom to help you craft the edits and designs the happy couple wants most. Learn more about how to edit photos here:
With this simple tutorial, you can get started on shooting the wedding of your clients' dreams. Whether you're looking for a guide for beginners or you're ready to take your wedding photography business to the next level, this guide will enable you to create some of the best wedding photos imaginable.
Movavi Photo Editor
The easiest way to turn any snapshot into an eye candy
- Improve quality and retouch blemishes
- Add effects and filters
- Crop, straighten, and flip pictures
- Change image backgrounds and remove objects