How to go about photographing a wedding

English: Basque bride and groom. Zarautz, 2000.

English: Basque bride and groom. Zarautz, 2000. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wedding photography refers to photography activities that are related to wedding ceremonies. It includes pictures of the couple before marriage such as wedding announcement portraits, wedding day coverage and the reception. Just like general photography technology, wedding photography has evolved since the art of taking pictures was invented in 1826 by Joseph Nicephore. Due to the nature of the bulky equipment and lighting issues most coupled preferred to have their photographs in a studio. This practice has changed as result of technological advancement enabling a wedding photographer to take great pictures of the couple in various settings.

Most photographers take basic approaches when covering weddings related events; traditional and photojournalistic approaches. While photojournalistic style takes its cue from editorial reporting styles with focus on candid images the traditional approach provides for more classically posed images. The fashion-style approach is a more recent style that is fast gaining popularity while a 4th style commonly known as wedding studio is popular in China.

A wedding is a one-time event so a wedding photographer must be prepared to go to any lengths to get the best images; he/she has also must also be prepared for any unexpected eventualities. Most of the time planning and communicating time-lines before the event will save you from many stresses associated with covering such events.

It is recommended that you arrive at the bride’s residence early enough to assess how she is proceeding with her preparations. You can take a simple shot when she is in the final stages of having her make-up applied. Lookout for details such as the delicately embroidered details of her dress, you can also capture other special moments including when she is chatting with her friends.

In the ideal world of wedding photography you should arrive at the church before the bride. Find out where the bridegroom and his ushers are and get some good pictures both from a distance as well as close ups to enable you capture details such as cuff links or shoes. Capture images that also help to tell the story including guests arriving, flower arrangements and children playing. While you are doing this do not forget to capture the moment when the bride arrives at the church.

The ceremony is the most important part of the event however it can also pose immense challenges because there are no second chances. You can opt to switch from program or semi-automatic modes to manual; this will give you full control over the camera. Maintain your white balance at auto if possible and try to get to the front of the church so that you face the bride.

A good photographer should be ready for the moment the bride and groom comes down the aisle and should have his or her camera settings right. If possible

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