Wedding Day Photo Checklist for Couples
1. The First Look
This is always a special one. There are so many emotions packed in one picture. You could try different ways to photograph this one. You could stand behind the bride and photograph the groom’s reaction, you could stand behind the groom and photograph the bride’s face, and you could also take this photo from the side. It might be helpful to have a multi-camera set-up so you don’t miss out on any moment and get raw, unfiltered emotions in your images.
2. The Blindfolded Groom
This could act as a build-up to the first look photograph. Someone could tie a piece of cloth on the groom’s eyes or he could be blindfolded by the bride. You could try this shot to bring out a fun side in your couple. It’s a big day for both of them, so some fun and games just add to the celebration.
3. Add a Hint of Drama
If weather permits, you could head outside for this shot. Depending on the location you are in, you could consider framing this shot with a dramatic background – could be the big blue or gray and moody skies or the mountains. While it is the happiest day of their lives, you could ask the bride and groom to get a little serious – just enough to make them seem like they are smiling slightly while looking at something in the distance. Of course, you could take smiling photographs too.
Alternatively, if there’s a big room with beautiful decor and furniture, and perhaps some dark walls, you could take some impressive photographs indoors too.
4. Getting Ready Together
The bride and groom getting ready together may not be a trend, but if and when you do come across a couple who is choosing to get ready together, be prepared to photograph some of the most intimate moments between your couple. You could photograph them as they put the final touches to their wedding ensembles and even have some shots of them talking or being silly together. If you want to add a fun angle to this, get the bridal party to participate too!
5. The Ceremony
As the bride and groom stand at the altar, there are plenty of couple photos you could take. From the moment they exchange rings to when they say their vows and say I do, there are so many emotional moments ranging from happy tears to giggles. You could take some amazing candid couple photos during the ceremony.
Shooting in a low-light venue? Use our blog on How to Shoot in Small and Dark Wedding Venues for some tips and tricks
6. Capture Sweet Moments
Honestly, this photo could be taken at any moment of the day. But taking it right after the groom has seen his bride for the first time would make this image even more special. They could be sharing a sweet embrace or he could be kissing her forehead. This photo could be all about the small, intimate moments they get to spend together before the ceremony.
7. The First Kiss
This is another first after the first look, and they are both equally special. The couple is now officially married and this is a moment you want to try to photograph in the most perfect way. Try to find a spot that’s not too close to the couple to get this photo right.
8. Away From the Crowd
Now that the ceremony is over, try to whisk your couple away to a secluded spot – this could be within the venue or if you are familiar with the location, you could try taking them to a spot you know. Try to have a different background for this set of photographs. It could be a brick, flower or a beautifully-colored wall, by a fountain or simply with lush greenery in the background. If none of these are available, try to find something equally aesthetically pleasing and work with it.
9. Showing Off the Rings for Photos of Couples
This is a symbol of their commitment to each other, so you’d definitely want to try to get some photographs of the couple showing off their rings. These could be the classic fingers in front of the camera photo or you could get a little creative and ask your couple to kiss while pointing their fingers at the camera. While the couple is in this photo, you could blur them out a little. This increases the focus on the rings.
You could also take this photograph while they are holding each other’s hands or ask the groom to put his hand over the bride’s shoulder and she could be holding his hand. This way, you’ll be able to get both rings in a single frame.
10. Bride and Groom Leaving After the Ceremony
There are so many ways to make this photo look special. If you are shooting during the day time, you could ask the guests to shower them with flowers or hold up bouquets. If it’s a nighttime ceremony, guests could form a tunnel while holding sparklers as the couple passes through. Sparklers make for an excellent addition to your lighting too.
11. Get Silly
This is the time to let your couple bring out their inner child. If the couple shares a pet or pets together, make them a part of this. Just try to let the couple do as they please for these photos. They could be teasing each other or making faces at the camera. Photographing a sporty couple? You could suggest they challenge each other to a game of hopscotch! It could be a light and fun moment for the couple before they return to the guests.
Want to help your couples let loose? Our blog on 3 Tricks to Make Your Couples Laugh could give you some ideas.
12. Go On a Walk
If you are in a picturesque location, take your couple out for a walk. They could even sit down somewhere and talk to each other while you continue to take photos. It will be a special moment shared between just the two of them (plus you).
13. Bring Out the Props for Photos of Couples
As a wedding photographer, you already know how helpful props can be. Therefore, try to keep some handy. Props with Mr. and Mrs., Just Married, Soulmates, Forever etc. written on them can make for some quirky options. You could also discuss props with the couple before the wedding day. If they want to make it fancier, they could have some masquerade eye masks or get crafty and make their own props.
14. The Reception and the First Dance
Try to photograph their entry as husband and wife when they enter the reception area. Keep up with them as they mingle with the guests, and then prepare for the first dance photos. It would be helpful if you familiarize yourself with the dance floor. You could figure out all the spots from where you’d be able to get the best pictures.
15. Interacting With the Guests for Photos of Couples
While the guests would want to take some formal photographs with the couple, you could also photograph the couple as they interact with the guests. There may be some people who are closer to the couple, so you may want to spend some more time preparing your shot list and discussing the guest list with the couple.
16. Dancing with the Guests
These are bound to be fun photographs. While the photos from their first dance were all about romance, you could show the silly side of the couple as they dance with their guests and maybe pull out some goofy dance moves!
If your couple is up for it, you could also suggest they try a dance battle at the wedding. If feasible, they could involve all the guests or keep it limited to the bridal party. They could play in teams of two with the bride and groom playing as one team.
17. At the Head Table
Keep your eyes on the couple because there might be times when they whisper into each other’s ears or look at each other lovingly, and those are the sweet moments you want to photograph. Even in a crowd, they only see each other.
18. Taking a Break
Tired from the ceremony? Exhausted from taking pictures and dancing? Couples need some timeout too! This is the time to photograph them as they sit down and take a break. They might be too tired to pose, but don’t worry, try to photograph them as they stretch out their legs and relax while enjoying the day.
19. The Cake Cutting
There’s a limited number of photos you can take as the couple cuts the cake – the couple standing by the cake, the couple cutting the cake, and the couple feeding each other a slice. However, if they are open to getting a little silly (and messy), you could suggest they pretend to feed each other a huge slice or even put a little cake on each other’s cheeks.
Want some more ideas on taking pictures of the wedding cake? Check out 7 Wedding Cake Photos Your Couple Will Love
20. The Final Exit
The wedding reception exit could be similar to the wedding ceremony exit. To make it a little different and more special, you could suggest they use fireworks or sparklers for the final exit. You could take some amazing photographs of them watching the fireworks. You could also have the bride and groom pause for a kiss as they make their grand exit.
Additionally, if your couple are performers, then you could suggest they end the reception on a high note (literally, if they are singers). They could perform a duet together and thank their guests at the end. You could end up getting some unique photographs out of their performance.
Try to Make Photos of Couples Fun
Allow your couples to have some private moments together and have some fun on their wedding day while they are being photographed! If you let your bride and groom just be themselves for their photos, you get to see their real side and bond with them as you work with them. Also, this way, taking photos could feel like less of a task and more fun for both sides. We hope this blog has given you some useful couple photo ideas.
If you are looking for some more detailed posing techniques for your couples, check out our blog on Posing Your Couples.
At ShootDotEdit, we believe in providing wedding photographers services that help them focus more on their couples and less on the post-production timelines. Take a look at our price plans to see how we can help your wedding photography business. Want help blogging? We’ve got you covered with Fotoskribe!