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Fast 5: Capture the Perfect Wedding Detail Shots

ShootDotEdit’s Fast Five — 5 useful quick tips you can apply to your photography business right now!

At a wedding, every detail is planned. From the guest list to the attire to the fold of the napkins. The planning that goes into most weddings is the culmination of countless decisions and immeasurable effort. So capturing the most important detail shots and moments are essential to your success. 

As the wedding photographer, you get to be the one to document the day as it all comes together. And it’s your job to help encapsulate all the tiny little nuances.

So here, we’ll cover the FIVE basic rules you should follow to capture the perfect wedding detail shots.

Top 5 Rules to Getting Perfect Detail Shots

Diane Clifford of @dianenicolephoto

1. Communication Is Key

The first step — the one you need to do before you even think about what camera to bring or what lenses to use — is ask yourself, “What’s important to my bride and groom?” Open a dialogue with them and you may be surprised to learn about something obscure that could have been overlooked.

2. Getting Ready Details

It’s the wedding day and she said “yes” to that dress, so she’ll be super excited to wear it. What compliments the dress? Shoes, hair and make-up! They complete the look and deserve their own photo.

Next, it is time to capture the bouquets at their freshest state. Look for an interesting location or clean backdrop to make them pop. Don’t forget to get a photo of the guys’ boutonnieres if you’re joining them later.

Finally, there may be an invitation photograph or jewelry waiting on the dresser. Look for bridesmaid or groomsmen gifts.

Angela di Paolo of @angeladipaolo_photography

3. Ceremony Details

Try to grab a wide shot with no guests, to set the scene. Now, move on to the smaller details. Maybe there is a handmade Chuppah, or initials carved in a birch bark archway. Perhaps there is a refreshment table with signature drinks for couples to sip on their way to finding a chair. Be sure to track down a ceremony program and find somewhere pretty to place it.

Think of flowers now. Florists love to dress up the aisle with cute arrangements hanging off the end of the pew. Often, there are large floral arrangements near where the couple will soon say their vows.

The other big shot, besides the kiss, is the ring exchange.

4. The Reception

At the wedding reception, find the place card table, guest book and the gift table. Now think about the room as a whole. The full room shot is the culmination of both the bride and the coordinator’s work. Sometimes there is staff attending to details right up until the last minute. You can get the room cleared with the help of a coordinator. Be respectful of the fact that the venue staff still have a job to do, and limit your shooting to 1-2 minutes — tops.

Now, focus on reception centerpieces and the place settings. Keep an eye out for personalized favors or custom menu cards. This is often the time you should snap photos of the cake. Lots of cake companies love to feature wedding photographs in their store, so remember that these details you are shooting for the couple can also be a good way to make friends with other vendors.

Chris Arson of @chris_arson_weddings

5. Tying It All Together

While these shots are by no means an exhaustive list, they’ll serve as a framework for capturing all the hard work that went into planning for the day. Balancing these images with a mixture of posed and candid moments throughout the day will give you well-rounded coverage that your couple can go back to year after year to relive their memories.

With so many important moments from the wedding day, it’s necessary to understand exactly which ones your couple wants you to capture. Plus, the better you become at shooting details, the more you will have to submit for publishing.


At ShootDotEdit, our goal is to take the “heavy lifting” of photo editing off your plate — giving you more time to run your business, spend time with your family, or even just have a life again!

Click here to learn more about what ShootDotEdit can do for you!


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