When shooting wedding photography, challenges, both arising and unexpected, are nothing more than perfect opportunities to shoot images that stand out. Some of your best images may come from a few of of the toughest situations you are placed in, because you are challenged to think outside of the box and push yourself when it comes to creating stellar images.
In our webinar, Shooting Stand Out Imagery in the Toughest Situations, wedding photography duo Justin and Mary Marantz discussed how to make obstacles work to your advantage. They shared tips and strategies on how photographers can turn any challenge into an opportunity to shoot some of the most stunning images. We’ve put together the top 5 tips for shooting stand out imagery for you to implement into your business today!
1. Create a Common Theme in Your Images
During the wedding day, every part of your shoot will have its own set of challenges for you to overcome. The easiest way to face these obstacles is to keep the scene free from distractions. Avoid creating too many calculated moments – let the shoot take a natural course that provides you with stunning images. Since the getting ready shoot is about the moments leading up to the ceremony, be sure to highlight the details that represent the bride and groom during this time. The getting ready room may also have many beautiful details, but those are not necessarily what you should focus on during that shoot.
If your couple’s getting ready room is not lit properly or do not fit the theme of your shoot, make adjustments that allow you to capture the details without straying from your intended goal. It is okay for you to move your details outside for a location that creates better lighting situations – just be sure that your detail shots match the rest of the images.
Tip: A photo editing company, like ShootDotEdit, can help you color correct your images so that they follow the same theme, and your couple will be thrilled with the results.
2. Shoot Different Angles and Positions
When it comes to shooting the wedding ceremony, each location can have its own set of rules and regulations for what photographers are allowed to do. Justin and Mary shared that they were once told that they had to take photos without being seen by any of the guests. In another incident, they were not even allowed in the cathedral, and had to shoot photos from the back door!
When challenging scenarios arise, take advantage of angles from balconies, stair cases, and different corners of the building. These may be more difficult to shoot, but shooting photos from hidden angles and positions make your images creative and unpredictable. Utilizing your surroundings allows you to think outside the box when taking wedding photos.
“Whatever situations you’re in, you have to find a way to rock it” – Mary Marantz
3. Draw From Natural Light Sources in Darker Areas
Even if you scout the location before your shoot, there are many obstacles that can arise on the day of the wedding. One of the biggest challenges that you may face is with lighting, especially at ceremony sites and reception locations. There may be some instances where you are not allowed to use a flash (such as during some church ceremonies), even when the lighting is dim. When this happens, strive to look for as much natural lighting as possible, and choose angles that allow for the most amount of light to enter into the frame of your image. Some of the most stunning images come from natural light from a window or a door, so it is important for you to train yourself to look for natural light that you can work with.
4. Shoot Simple Poses during Time-Crunches
One of the best ways to maneuver around the challenge of unpredictable time-crunches is to put couples in poses that are simple and require little movement. Take a simple pose, such as the bride and groom facing one another with their hands interlocked, and use this as a base pose. From here, you can slightly change their positioning and your angles to create several different poses.
Photographing the wedding party can sometimes be a time consuming process, because everyone is excited for the newlyweds. To speed up this process and stay on track, have a few go-to poses to use for large groups. Positioning all of the bridesmaids on the left and the groomsmen on the right is an effective way to take quality photos in a timely manner.
Tip: Shake things up between bridesmaids and groomsmen. Pose them in “guy-girl” or “tallest-to-shortest” patterns to make things interesting. These are some other simple poses that will save you time and help create stand out imagery.
Related: Top 5 Tips for Posing Women
5. Have a Plan for Reception Details
Attempting to take photos of reception details can quickly become a challenge when the guests and caterers begin to fill up the scenery. Not only does a plan allow you to take the photos you need for the reception, it also saves you time when dealing with tight situations that often occur. For example, the Marantz’s suggest shooting all of the wider photos first and then moving into your close-up detail shots as time progresses. The benefit of doing this is by the time you are shooting place settings and table decor, if guests start filtering in, it will not be a distraction to your images.
Fun fact: By having a strategy for how to approach the reception details, Justin and Mary were once able to shoot the details of a reception venue for a multi-million dollar wedding in about 6 1/2 minutes!
When you embrace the tough situations you encounter during the wedding day and make the most of them, you may find that even your most challenging shoots can be your favorite. Stand out images are reflections of your talent as a wedding photographer. For you to shoot the best images every time, understanding how to pose your clients is also necessary. Download our Posing for the Wedding Photographer Guide to access tips and tricks from pros around the world!