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Notice the Details — How to Make Wedding Photography That Tells a Story

A wedding is often one of the most important days in a couple’s lives, and as the wedding photographer, there’s a lot of pressure on you to capture those memories in the best way possible. Try our course, Wedding Photography for Beginners to learn about everything you’ll need. In this lesson, we’ll look at photographing absolutely everything! No detail is too small.

Photographing Wedding Details

If you’re with one of the couple getting ready, start with closeups of details like the dress or suit, any jewellery, that sort of thing. If possible, take them to a well-lit room where you have some room to lay things out nicely.

Close up wedding dress / Envato ElementsClose up wedding dress / Envato ElementsClose up wedding dress / Envato Elements
Close up wedding dress / Envato Elements

Go Macro

A macro lens is really hand here, especially for any lacy or beaded details on clothes. These types of shots are also really useful to pair with others in an album or montage to help tell a visual story.

Some of these images you’ll be able to do prior to the wedding, for example if it’s happening in a church, you could take your camera along when you do your pre-wedding visit and get some nice pictures of things like the stained-glass windows or other nice features. This will save you some time and stress later on.

Capture Details Before People Arrive

Of course, some pictures have to be done on the day and you’ll need to make time for that. Try to get into the reception room before the guests and take pictures of the centrepieces on each table, as well as the place settings of the couple, plus any favours on the table.

Wedding table decoration / Envato ElementsWedding table decoration / Envato ElementsWedding table decoration / Envato Elements
Wedding table decoration / Envato Elements

Wine glasses, plates, menus… anything is worthy of a photo. Move them around to get a better composition but always remember to put everything back the way you found it.

If there’s a cake, that’s quite often already in the room too so you can use the opportunity to get some close-ups of the decoration and detail. If we think of this in movie terms this would be b-roll. It’s a flavour of the day and your job is to capture the magic of that day; these details are an integral part of that and your photos are probably going to be the only reminder of all the little things that people will forget after the day itself.

If In Doubt, Ask!

Remember, you might not think of everything so don't be afraid to ask your couple if there’s anything in particular, they’d like photographing. You might be asked to take extra pictures that you've not thought of, so don’t worry if that happens. When it’s happened to me, the person tends to be almost apologetic, like they might be bothering you, so remember to reinforce that's what you're there for and you're happy to get anything and everything!

You can always discount pictures later, but if you don't get them at the time, you won't have that option, so be sure to photograph as much as you can while you have the chance.

More Wedding Resources for Photographers and Filmmakers

About the Authors

Marie Gardiner created the video course that includes this lesson, and wrote the updated text version. Marie is a writer and photographer from England, with a background in media.

This lesson was edited and published by Jackson Couse. Jackson is a photographer and the editor of the Photo & Video section of Envato Tuts+.

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