infographic stating backyard wedding photography tips and inspiration

Looking for inspiration on capturing the perfect backyard wedding? Well, you’re in luck because this blog provides all the intricate details of backyard wedding photography. Among the many types of wedding, backyard weddings, aka at-home weddings, have been growing in popularity due to their intimate charm, personal touch, and relaxed atmosphere. However, shooting a home wedding also comes with its own set of challenges. From adapting to varying lighting conditions to making the most of limited space, it’s important to know how to navigate these obstacles and turn them into opportunities for stunning backyard wedding photography. The backyard wedding photography tips listed below serve as a guide for wedding photographers to help them excel in photographing this trendy wedding setting.

Understanding Backyard Weddings

a wedding couple kissing in front of a rusty wooden shack
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @erinm_photography 

Backyard weddings are all about bringing the celebration home. They are a delightful blend of intimacy, creativity, and the great outdoors, which take place in the comfort of the couple’s own backyard or a family member’s home. This type of outdoor wedding also gives couples the freedom to infuse their personalities and style into all their wedding details and create a one-of-a-kind experience.

Picture this: Your couple exchanging vows under the bright blue sky or beneath a romantic canopy adorned with twinkling lights. The potential for outdoor wedding photography is limitless! From lush gardens and barns to rustic landscapes, the natural surroundings become a canvas, allowing you to showcase your couples’ unique style and wedding themes. 

Suggested Read: Outdoor Wedding Photos Inspiration From ShootDotEdit Customers

Backyard Wedding Photography Tips & Ideas

1. Essential Preparations For Backyard Wedding Photography

a wedding couple caressing their pet dog
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofieds

A. Schedule A Site Visit

Don’t skip scheduling a site visit to your couple’s home! While you may be familiar with most venues in the area, an at-home wedding presents a unique setting. A site visit helps you assess lighting, determine what photography setup needs to be done, track the sun’s position, and pinpoint the best locations for capturing stunning wedding pictures. 

B. Create A Wedding Shot List

Creating a wedding checklist of essential photographs is an absolute must. It will serve as your guide, ensuring no precious moment is overlooked amid the hustle and bustle of the big day. For backyard wedding photography, here’s a list to capture the magic:

  • Bride and groom getting ready
  • Wedding dress and accessories
  • Groom’s suit and accessories
  • Wedding rings 
  • Invitations 
  • First look
  • Ceremony setup and decorations
  • Bride walking down the aisle
  • Groom’s reaction to seeing the bride
  • Exchanging vows and rings
  • First kiss
  • Recessional walk 
  • Group photos 
  • Couples Portraits
  • Close-ups of floral arrangements and centerpieces
  • Wedding cake 
  • First dance, parent dances, and guests dancing
  • Toasts and speeches by the wedding party
  • Cake cutting 
  • Bouquet and garter toss
  • Candid wedding photography of everyone dancing
  • Unique send-off (e.g., sparkler exit, glitter, confetti, lightsabers, etc.)

Related Read: The Ultimate Wedding Photography Preparation Checklist

2. Take Wide-Angle Shots And Capture The Light

a wide angle shot of a wedding couple by a lake with some hills behind them
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @looyengaphoto

Utilizing a wide-angle lens can work wonders in capturing the beauty of your couple’s backyard or outdoor wedding. Grab that trusty wide-angle lens and dive right into the scene. Your couple picked this spot for a reason, so make sure you document every inch of its charm. Mix it up with some close-ups of those beautiful wedding details to tell a complete story of their day. 

Without the limits of walls and a roof, look for creative ways to capture the entire wedding ceremony in one shot. A nearby building’s balcony may offer a great bird’s eye view or use a drone to photograph the scene in all its glory. And don’t forget about the light! Whether you’re having a pre-wedding photoshoot indoors or outdoors, natural light is your best friend. Keep an eye on how it flows through the windows and trees, and use those light-reflective walls to your advantage.

3. Be Prepared For Inclement Weather

a wedding couple sharing a close moment on the porch
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofields

As wedding photographers, it’s essential to be ready for unpredictable weather conditions, especially for an outdoor wedding. Pack those extra layers to stay cozy, and opt for sturdy shoes that can handle rough terrain. Don’t forget the sunscreen and bug spray to keep those pesky critters at bay. 

Preparing for the rain is key. A trusty raincoat and camera rain cover won’t take up much space in your bag and can be absolute lifesavers on a rainy wedding day. Consider investing in umbrellas too, as they can add a touch of charm to outdoor shots with the entire wedding party. For winter weddings, plan ahead for colder temperatures and bring extra batteries. The cold can drain power faster than you’d expect!

Suggested Read: Wedding Photos In The Rain: Inspiration From ShootDotEdit Customers

4. Keep The Exposure In Check

a couple in their wedding attire walking through the lawn holding hands
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer

Before the ceremony begins, take note of the direction of light and identify the best spots to position yourself for optimal lighting. Outdoor weddings provide more flexibility to move around, so find those angles that capture precious moments while maximizing the available light. Pay attention to any tricky lighting situations, such as sections of sun and shade along the aisle. Adjusting exposure settings or timing the shots to capture the bride in the shade can make a significant difference. Flash can also play a crucial role in outdoor weddings. On sunny days or during mid-day shoots, using flash can fill in under-eye shadows caused by harsh lighting or create a more balanced image when working with backlighting. Mastering the art of blending flash with ambient light is a valuable skill for backyard wedding photography. Some weddings may not require flash at all, while others can benefit from a touch of fill flash to enhance the overall quality of the images. 

5. Embrace The Backyard

a couple slow dancing outside while the sun shines from behind them
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @brandiallysephoto

Backyard weddings offer endless possibilities to capture dreamy wedding photos regardless of the season. Don’t miss the chance to expand your portfolio and immerse yourself in the beauty of these intimate celebrations! Never underestimate the magic of a breathtaking sunset or the golden-hour light filtering through the branches. When both come together, you have the ideal outdoor backdrop. Even if most of the wedding takes place indoors, carve out some time to step outside and capture romantic couples portraits against the backdrop of that golden-hued sky. These moments will add an extra touch of magic to your backyard wedding photography collection, and your couple will be overjoyed when they see the final results.

Further Read: The Art Of Candid Wedding Photography

the bride is holding the grooms arm while he is leaning towards her
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @taylorkempphotography

Backyard weddings have carved a niche in the wedding industry, offering couples an intimate and personalized celebration infused with their unique style. As wedding photographers, you have the privilege of capturing cherished moments while dealing with challenges that come with outdoor weddings. By following the backyard wedding ideas and tips in this blog, you can document the true essence of backyard weddings. Embrace the charm of at-home weddings, and create unforgettable memories for your clients by showcasing their love story against the backdrop of nature’s wonders. Your clients will be over the moon when they see their love story come to life in your photos!

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you hone your craft! And we help with that by taking editing off your plate with our professional photo editing services, giving you more time to learn new skills. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.

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