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Three Ways to Improve Your Wedding Photography | Teaching Tuesday

by  Amy Lyn, Wedding Editor

1. Remember Mom and Dad

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the bride and groom make them the only focus of the day. Without being intentional, I’ve found a photographer can easily go through the wedding day without remembering to capture enough images of the parents. I am careful to photograph both sets of parents (and grandparents and siblings) at key points throughout the day. And, not just capture them but in a flattering portrait I am sure they will love.

My second shooter grabbed this image while I captured the kiss. The bride and groom would never see this reaction without the photograph.

2. Complete Formal Photographs Quickly

They are not the most fun or most creative photographs of the day, but often they are the most treasured–family formals. After the ceremony, I capture the basic family groups and bridal party in a well lit but efficient set up. I believe the key is to do this quickly. Grandparents often can’t stand for very long, kids get antsy, and everyone is itching to get on with the night.

I am careful to capture all the important people but I plan ahead and make it as orderly as possible. I prefer to start with the largest group on the bride’s side removing people as I go until I have all the desired combinations. I then switch to his side. On an average wedding, formals take no more than 20-30 minutes. Then, I move on to more creative photographs of just the bridal party and couple (usually at a different location.)

3. Learn to Use Off-Camera Lighting at the Reception

Reception Venues are by nature dark. Sometimes very dark. Your on camera flash cannot give enough light at times without some help. You can supplement your flash with off camera lighting that adds just enough to give your subjects dimension without looking so blown out and “flashy.”

You can see below how the light skims across the room to light the scene but without looking as if I used flash.

It also assists in keeping backgrounds from blowing out under a tent or pavilion. I love the colors of the grass and trees in this photograph that would have been lost without the help of the Speedlite off to the right.

Try these three tips and let me know what you think. Any others you’d add? List them below in the comments.

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2 responses on Three Ways to Improve Your Wedding Photography | Teaching Tuesday

  1. Great tips! I try to remember the parents, but I do forget sometimes, especially if they aren’t particularly involved in anything. I’ll have to make a mental not of that for next time :)

    I need to play with off camera lighting more. I do a lot of studio shots of small objects, but lighting a whole room is daunting to me! Practice makes perfect I suppose.

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