Melchior Imboden, Porträt von René Burri, 1999
© Cluney Photo

10 great techniques for wedding photos

A couple’s wedding day is often one of the best days of their lives. But, sadly, this special day eventually has to come to an end. What remains are some fond memories and – hopefully – some wonderful photos. What could be lovelier than picking up a photo album 50 years later to show the wedding pictures to your grandchildren? After all, what better way to keep precious memories fresh for eternity than with photos?

Wedding photography requires skill and patience. To avoid unpleasant surprises on the big day, it’s worth taking a moment beforehand to think about how you’d like your wedding photos to turn out. This includes making basic decisions about whether you prefer classic, conventional photos or ones with a more experimental approach, or whether they should be in colour or black and white. For those who aren’t sure, the internet is an endless source of ideas for special wedding photos. To inspire you and make it easier for you to decide, we have put together a list of 10 great techniques for wedding photos.

1. Zoom in

A wedding is a big event, so you’re sure to encounter many guests who simply love to have their picture taken. But it would be a great shame to miss all the lovely little details that the bride and groom have thought of when preparing their big day. So it’s important to always keep an eye out for the small details, like the elaborate lace pattern on the bride’s wedding dress, the boutonnière on the groom’s suit jacket, the wedding rings that are waiting to be worn and, of course, the newlyweds’ very first kiss.

It’s worth getting closer to the action, as it usually results in intimate pictures that, even many years later, will remind the couple of all the wonderful details of their wedding.

© Dawid Zydorek Photography

2. Zoom out

After taking some great close-up shots, why not try the exact opposite? Individual and couple portraits are all well and good, but it’s sometimes worth taking a few steps back.

Capture the closeness: the wider the angle, the closer the bride and groom will appear, setting the tone for the rest of their lives together. This technique results in fabulous, artistic pictures that the couple will never get tired of looking at, and may even want to hang above their fireplace.


3. Change your perspective

Changing the perspective can be a great idea. If you’re not entirely happy with the shot, or if you simply fancy some variation, try staging the photo from a different angle. This can make the picture look fresh and artistic – and it allows the couple to experience their wedding from a whole new perspective.

© Junebugweddings via Daniele Del Castillo

4. Blur it up

Good photos are usually sharp and crisp. But it’s sometimes worth striving for the opposite effect. Blur, combined with different light and shadow, can result in wonderfully romantic and soft pictures that are sure to enchant everyone with their hazy beauty.

Another idea is to shoot the couple out of focus, in order to capture the oblivious wedding guests in the background. With this technique, you can be sure of some exciting and emotive pictures.

© Todd McGaw

5. Secret snaps

Posing in front of the camera is, of course, a major part of the big day. But, often, the best moments happen when the couple or the guests are not directly in front of the lens, or at least not intentionally. Intimate moments are best captured from a ‘secret’ position. A look behind the door before the bride and her father enter the church, or a tender, private moment between the groom and his family... Such unstaged, natural photos reveal genuine feelings and record important and emotional events.

© Sara Kauss Photography

6. Shadow play

Good light is essential in photography. The right lighting adds the perfect touch to an image, hides small flaws and directs the focus onto the main attraction. But it can also be interesting to do the exact opposite sometimes. Illuminating the couple from behind and only capturing their silhouettes, or focusing the light on something unexpected, will guarantee a dramatic and exciting picture.

© Kevin Mullins Photography

7. Focus on the foreground

The couple and guests may be the main attraction at the wedding, but that doesn’t mean they always have to be the centre of attention. It’s sometimes worth moving them into the background a little. After all, every photographer knows that the foreground can make a picture profound. A little distraction in the foreground of the picture can sometimes help shift the attention onto what matters most.

© Gaby J Photography

8. Bird’s eye view

What looks great from the front will look just as good from above. Taking pictures of the couple or the wedding guests from above opens up a whole new perspective and reveals new details that may otherwise be overlooked. Drones are a new trend that is becoming increasingly popular at weddings. They allow fascinating scenes to be captured... and they make it easy to fit all the guests into one shot, so no one can complain about being left out!

© Phillippe Wiget Photography

9. Get there first

Weddings tend to be busy affairs, with lots of people around. It’s therefore a good idea to take a few shots of the venue and decorations before the guests arrive. After all, the bride and groom will have spent many hours preparing all the fine details and it would be a shame not to capture the artistic arrangements on film.

© Jasmine Star Photography

10. Upside down and inside out

Why not try something out of the ordinary? To give your photos a touch of freshness, simply turn the world on its head. Whether it’s a reflection in the mirror, or a pose on the grass: these pictures will exude a sense of dreaminess and intimacy.

© Michelle Lyerly Photography

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