Wedding photography. Basics

Wedding is a pinnacle event of the relationship of every couple, the emotional peak, a day of unrestrained happiness, and I find it hard to understand serious photos from this event. A happy person smiles and laughs. And I try to get those feelings on a photo shoot. I try to take pictures beyond the narrow genre of wedding photography, I seek to make the content, light, emotions and the story itself live an independent life, apart from the characters of these shots. It may seem to a novice photographer that original interesting photo requires excessive technical and creative difficulties of the process. I intend to dispel those thoughts with examples from my own experience.

Wedding photography. Basics


Starting to make wedding photos is very simple, it is enough to buy a camera and call yourself a pro. However, this simplicity is deceptive. In reality, the true creative wedding photography as a trend includes many genres: landscape, portrait and report, still life and even the macro.

Wedding is the zone of positive emotions and energy, which is contraindicated to be negative. I love people, I like watching them. Globally, there are few professions that allow you to come into another family and spend the whole day in it. However, I assure you, more than 90% of photographers don’t use this opportunity! I often see as they stay on the sidelines. They just make a couple of shots and leave. Moreover, you have to live within the events that occur at wedding, to dive head first into them, to live this day together with the newlyweds and their guests.


Sorry, fans of Canon) Nikon D750, in my opinion, is the best camera in terms of price and quality. It produces an amazing picture with an extremely high dynamic range. Conditions in wedding shooting are complex: a white bridesmaid dress, a dark groom suit, bright sunlight during the day. One need to reveal all details both in lights and in shadows. A few years ago it was a daunting task for a digital photographic technique. This problem is completely resolved in the new generation of Nikon cameras.

Wedding photography. Basics

Shooting of wedding. 2 cameras

Generally, two cameras are required condition for a wedding photographer. This applies to any event-related shooting, which cannot be repeated. Nobody will celebrate a wedding twice, if you have only one camera and something happened with it. A few years ago I shot a wedding in Sicily. There was an ancient Italian town, i ran around, shot the newlyweds in all possible ways. I pick up my camera and saw that I had a broken shutter (by the way, it was a short period, when I shot by camera from another manufacturer). I just put lens on another camera and continued shooting. Just imagine if I didn’t have a spare one… I probably would have this indelible shame for the rest of my days. Which excuse can be in this case?! Moreover, the process of shooting by two cameras, when you do not spend time to replace lens, is significantly accelerated.

As for the choice of optics, everything depends on the magnitude of one`s wedding. If this is a great event with lots of guests, you need to move a lot, I shoot with zoom lens. If the wedding is chamber- like, which often happens in my case (this is when only newlyweds and their friends are present, it is very fashionable wedding trend without marriage material costs), I work only with prime lens here. Of course, fixed focal length gives an interesting picture. However, it is noticeable only to a photographer! For 14 years of my shooting, nobody from my customers ever said: “Oh, this photo was made by zoom lens, and that one-by prime lens!” A good picture pays off everything, and the type of lens for shooting is not important.

Wedding photography. Basics


I really like the light from skylights, shop windows, street lights. Here’s the sunlight, which falls on a building, it reflects off windows, walls, windows give the glare… I like walking through the central city zone in a bright sunny day at any season of the year. When the Sun is high (it is when photo textbooks do not recommend shooting), urban atmosphere is filled with beautiful light of reflections, overtones and glare. The Sun can become your enemy only in an open field at noon, where there is no reflective surfaces. Even then, you can find interesting lighting solution.

The main task of a photographer is to make a photo more expressive. And light, which will make a shot dimensional, is enough even in a gray gloomy day. Turn attention to natural light absorbers— arches, tree crowns, dark side of buildings… The same thing should matter while shooting indoors, for instance, in the bride’s home. You do not have to use only the light from a window, boldly take in hand lamps, floor lamps, everything that glows. Modern cameras allow taking pictures with high ISO value. You can diversify a photo shooting by artificial rain, to simulate which it is enough a bottle of water and free assistants from guests.


I really do not like a standard setting and repeated postures. Our task is to reveal and show the relationship of a couple, rather than draw up a report on the auspicious occasion of the gathered. Abandoning this officialese, I create a managed chaos on a venue. The more movements and bustle, the more is the chance to catch an interesting shot. Often people don’t have a furious temper and behave decently, even overdecently. To startle them out of this state, you need to engage them in some process, movement. Ask guys to move: to hustle, standing shoulder to shoulder; to dance to music; to turn to the side and then to turn around abruptly on a signal and look at each other. Let them play a bit, fool, relax. Making interesting shots in the first minutes, you will gain the unconditional trust of the couple.


By the way, I do not recommend shooting in burst mode shooting. Try to develop a sense of a casting shot: “We are only interested in the climax.”

As soon as the first interesting shot is made, I immediately go over and show it to the newlyweds. No matter how beautiful your portfolio is, the couple still does not see themselves on your photos. Shots of other people are the same as photos with models. Somehow people often cannot imagine themselves so happy, light and relaxed. And in the process of this little presentation, chaos, they smile and look organic, because they forget that they are on the shooting, they do not do a twirl. It is great, if you can use music during a photo shooting. Use maximum of movements, no stops, keep the tempo throughout the entire photo shooting. And do not forget to show good shots to young marrieds.


I try to change locations as often as possible. Because when you shoot a few hours in a park, though you contrive a lot, it is immediately clear that the whole shooting took place at a single location. And if you change locations more frequently, everything looks different: new light, new background, borders are expanded and duration in time increases significantly. And then the feeling is that you traveled with the couple a few days. Therefore, I urge you not to take pictures in one place and not to make repetitions of poses and scenes. Thus, your photo shooting would be maximally diversified.

Wedding photography. Basics


The mistake of the absolute majority of wedding photographers is their try to make every effort to get rid of guests during a photo shooting. They take a couple of young marrieds for a walk and work only with them. I take everyone to the photo shooting: relatives, friends. Guests are the same real extras and crowd shot that are free to do whatever you want! You can get them to literally work on your idea. Ask them to do something in shot, engage them in a game. Look for new views — for example, shot the company from the top point.

Wedding photography. Basics



Cinema is an inexhaustible storehouse of ideas for me. Watch a film, do not watch the main characters, but see what other people present in shot do, how the light works and the atmosphere is created. Watch many quality made movies made by known operators, make screen-shots and collect these ideas to implement them on your photo shootings. Moreover, you will be surprised, but I think that almost any film genre can be described as wedding one, since all films show relationship of a man and a woman. Therefore, each of these films is able to give you many ideas for your photo shootings…

Like any human quality, visual erudition can be developed in yourself, and the more quality images you absorb, the faster you will gush of ideas for photo shootings. And it is an obligatory condition for a success of a wedding photographer!

Wedding photography. Basics


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