Once the ceremony draws to a close, it's time for the revelry of the wedding reception. The dance floor is abuzz with excitement as single ladies and gentlemen line up for the traditional bouquet and garter toss! Catching either of those symbolizes good luck in finding a special someone. But are you ready to capture the perfection of this lively wedding tradition? Despite its fun and casual nature, photographing dynamic images of the happy couple with their friends isn’t always easy. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a first-time photographer, these five essential methods will ensure that you nail stunning bouquet and garter toss photos each time!
5 Tips To Photograph The Perfect Bouquet And Garter Toss
1. Plan The Shot With Your Couple
The bouquet or garter toss is one of the most fun wedding traditions that your couples and wedding guests eagerly anticipate. Ensure that you discuss all your couples’ ideas for both the bouquet and garter toss well before the wedding day. You should also ask about any alternative takes on the tradition the couple has in mind. For instance, they might want someone special to catch either item or perhaps let destiny do its thing. With so many potential variations to tossing the bouquet or garter, it is important that everyone is on the same page to avoid any last-minute surprises!
2. Capture The Excitement
Prepare yourself to capture the entire action and excitement of the moment - before, during, and after the bouquet or wedding garter is tossed! Don’t miss the opportunity to capture a beautiful photo of the bride or groom with their enthusiastic group of friends in the background!
If your clients are open to it, suggest doing a false-start toss so you can catch that special moment when everyone jumps for joy together. Have the bride or groom make a quick motion as if they were about to launch into action. This playful act will delight the crowd and give you an extra chance to ensure everything is prepared perfectly before taking the final shot. Be sure to catch everyone’s natural expressions with both a wide-angle and a zoomed-in view! Even after the bouquet/garter reaches its destination, don’t miss capturing the post-catch moments of joy in the room.
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3. Be Camera Ready
When preparing to capture some must-have wedding day photos - such as the garter or bouquet toss - you need to triple-check your gear! Ensure you have a fully-charged camera battery and a fresh memory card. Choose a high ISO, a fast shutter speed, and your fastest focusing lens - probably a prime.
For more flexibility, experiment with autofocus on burst mode to capture different moments as they unfold. To capture unique perspectives, try shooting from different angles, such as a lower angle when the crowd looks up at the bouquet or garter in the air. For pictures that convey the excitement of this momentous occasion, try zooming out for an expansive shot of those gathered around and reaching for the bouquet or garter. Additionally, playing with a large depth of field (like f/16 or higher) can yield creative shots.
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4. Take Care Of Lighting
Capturing the bouquet and garter toss moments during wedding receptions can be challenging, particularly due to lighting difficulties! As you go through your wedding photography preparation checklist, assess the lighting options and devise a plan in advance. Also, be ready with your off-camera light strategies for shooting in dimly lit areas. To get those dazzling shots, it’s advisable to set up two lights – one towards the bride/groom, where attention should be, and another (or two) towards the crowd waiting anxiously to catch the bouquet or garter. Effectively setting the white balance and shutter speed can also help you capture this special moment in fine detail.
5. Employ A Second Shooter
As a solo shooter, it might get difficult to manage to capture both the bride's and the catch's reactions and to secure the moment’s liveliness. To simplify this process, you can assign your second shooter to cover either the bride/groom or the catch while you cover the other. This approach guarantees that both perspectives are covered. To capture it all, you need to find the best-fit positioning that allows you to capture both ends of the toss. Having a second shooter checklist will help broaden your angles and perspectives.
The fleeting nature of wedding traditions can often make it difficult to capture the best images every time. Therefore, it’s essential to prepare an action plan accordingly and be ready with your gear and checklists. If time permits, have the bride and groom pose for the shot you desire to take of them before the toss - such as a quick hand gesture suggesting the throw and the excited crowd waiting in the background. Whether it’s scouting out the lighting options in advance, utilizing your second shooter for different perspectives, or finding creative angles to take shots from - these techniques will help bring out the best in your photography skills when capturing this timeless tradition.
Here at ShootDotEdit, we constantly work on sharing processes, tips, and resources that will help you enhance and grow your expertise as a photographer and a business owner. We also help you share your wedding photo editing load by taking this tedious task off your plate. To learn more about how we can help, check out our pricing plans.