Photographing a wedding can be a challenge, even for a seasoned pro, As well as being physically and mentally demanding, high levels of creativity are required to capture the unique spirit of the occasion.
But don’t let this keep you from considering DIY wedding photos. With proper preparation, they can be a wonderful option.
If you’re considering asking someone close to you who has a background in photography to take your wedding photos you can go a long way toward getting photos you’ll cherish by taking the time to consider the task and your personal preferences and communicate well with that special person who’s so graciously accepted this responsibility.
The essence of wedding photography is capturing the emotion of the day in a series of still images. It’s a mixture of portrait, documentary and candid photography. Each wedding is different, but there are some key pictures that serve as permanent reminders of the day. If your photographer shoots these well, you and your family will be nothing less than delighted.
Capturing the following key moments on your wedding day will help to create a wedding album that you both will treasure forever, and are a great base to build on.
This list is just a taste of things you might think about. In addition to the specifics that follow, hopefully it will spark your inspiration and prompt you to start making a list of the loved ones, props, spaces, and moments that you’d like to catch.
The bride’s preparations
Preparing for her wedding is something many brides dream about from a young age. After months spent choosing a dress and accessories and planning hair and make up for the day, it’s finally your moment.
Your photographer should be there to capture this, and it’s the perfect time for bridal portraits.
It’s traditional for a bride to prepare at her parents’ home on the wedding day, but you may choose to get ready at a hotel. Large windows and light and airy rooms are perfect for bridal preparation pictures.
Natural light is more flattering than flash, and a reflector is a useful accessory to reduce shadows and soften daylight.
The bride and her father
Portraits of a bride and her father record symbolic moments of a wedding. A father hands over care of his daughter during the marriage ceremony, and this marks a new chapter in their relationship.
Shots of the bride and her father leaving the family home together can be particularly effective.
Exchanging wedding vows
Shots of you and your partner exchanging your vows are considered essential by many. The exchanging of rings is also a great opportunity for photographs of once in a lifetime moments.
The photographer should position themselves so that they are close enough to record these precious memories, but aren’t too intrusive at this intimate part of the wedding day.
A zoom lens is ideal, as it allows your photographer to shoot close ups of facial expressions and wide shots of you both together.
This brings up the question of what is appropriate in terms of how close the photographer gets in certain moments, and you might well want to discuss such things with the person you’ve chosen to take your photos, so that there is no hesitation or awkwardness on the big day.
The happy couple celebrating their love
You should allow time away from your guests for some intimate portraits. Some couples aren’t comfortable posing, so it’s important to discuss what you would like before the day.
If you aren’t familiar with the wedding venue, make a visit before to find a suitable location for portraits. Make the most of any attractive features at the venue, such as trees, gardens and water features.
Later in the day, when you’re both enjoying a drink with their guests, your phtographer can use a zoom lens to capture natural moments. A smile, a kiss or shared laughter can make beautiful pictures.
The formal wedding speeches are also a great time for shooting natural exchanges between the bride and groom.
The first dance
It’s traditional for the couple to take to the dance floor on the evening of their wedding day.
Some couples take classes to learn a specific dance for this occasion. This is another key moment of the wedding day. To capture the atmosphere of the bride and groom’s first dance, hopefully the available light will suffice rather than using flash. Colored lights from a disco add a sense of romance if shot correctly.
DIY wedding photo challenges and rewards
The photography of your wedding should be tailored to your needs and preferences, and asking someone close to you to fulfill this important role can be a wonderful choice if proper consideration is given to the various demands of the day.
When going the DIY wedding photo route saving money is sometimes a motivation, for understandable reasons. But there are also intrinsic rewards in choosing this option.
If you prepare for it well by choosing the right person and communicate well with them, you’ll have your DIY wedding photos taken by someone who knows you well and sees this as an opportunity to express their feelings for you both.
After all, someone in your inner circle has an advantage of sorts over even the most professional of photographers in that they know you and your taste well, perhaps even better at times than you do!
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