by our amazing wedding editor, Amy Lyn
Wedding days can be chaos. There are so many elements completely out of a photographer’s control. The light may be horrible. Or the location you’ve been scouting for formals may be flooded. OR…well, anything really. But, the one element I feel I can always control is the detail shots. I think that’s why I enjoy them so much..in the midst of all of that unknown, I find a little piece of control. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve come up with over the years. I hope they help.
First, when I arrive for the day, I ask the bride (or a bridesmaid preferably) where the jewelry, shoes, and details are and then I go to work collecting items and thinking of the most creative way I can photograph them. Sometimes interesting compositions come easily…sometimes not. But if I don’t consider the best way to photograph everything and every person I’m not sure I am doing my job.
Here are some examples of details I shot at last Saturday’s wedding. I was lucky that the wedding dress was hanging by a four poster bed in a beautiful hotel room. Yet still, I had options. I chose to photograph the dress in two ways. I immediately “saw” the first shot when I noticed the dress. The second took a little thought as I considered my options but I think makes for a much more striking composition.
The bride’s jewelry was a little bit harder than the dress for me. Her earrings were still in their holder and I couldn’t find anything in the room that would make an interesting backdrop. This is the best I came up with but I wasn’t happy.
Since I knew the wedding colors were gray and yellow, I searched for something that might work well for her engagement ring. Another room held the bride’s bright yellow bag. I asked her if she minded if I borrowed it and went to work. I think this works much better and means more to the couple than a bedside table. (At least I hope so!)
Rings are some of the most fun details because they offer so many options. I always try to incorporate either the wedding location or a fun detail when I capture the rings. Here I used both a flower from the centerpieces and the reception’s vineyard to create something unique. Which do you prefer?
Pointers to keep in mind:
• Find the best light you can. Just because you discover a detail in one place doesn’t mean you can’t briefly move it.
• Look around 360 degrees. Check all of your angles. Often the most obvious isn’t the most interesting.
• Consider what would mean the most for the bride and groom. Could you use the lace of her veil for a backdrop instead of the table cloth provided by the reception hall?
• If you move something be sure to put it back. Ask permission if appropriate, of course, but I have found that no one minds when you respectfully shake things up a bit.