Couples spend a long time planning their weddings and pay a lot of attention to even the smallest details. The flowers, the cake, the reception set-up, the table settings – they are all planned with purpose and bonus! they make for amazing pictures too. Even though every wedding is different, there are some detail photos that are common at most weddings. From the rings to the dress, there’s likely something in these details that are personally connected to the couple that, when captured, will help you tell a better story.
In this blog, we will share a checklist of 10 must-have detail photos for every wedding that you can always keep handy. Start with our list and then consider discussing this list with your couple and ask them if they have any special elements that they personally would like to add.
Wedding Detail Photos Checklist
Keeping a wedding detail photos checklist will help you keep your A-game intact. You could merge this with your longer wedding shot list or keep it separate, whatever makes the job easy for you. If you are someone who is naturally inclined to forget about this (or any!) list, you could even set a reminder on your phone. Whatever method you pick to remember, try to ensure that you capture some detail photos at the wedding.
4 Tips to Capturing Killer Ceremony Details that could help you get those stunning detail photos at the wedding.
1. The Rings
When it comes to shooting the rings, try to capture them along with other elements from the wedding day. You could photograph the rings while the bride and groom are wearing them or place the rings in front of a beautiful background. If there are any unique elements from the venue, get creative and try to incorporate those elements into the ring shots.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to bring your Macro Lens along. Macro lenses make for some seriously gorgeous captures when it comes to rings and bridal jewelry.
2. Sentimental Items
If the bride or the groom are wearing something that has sentimental value to it, then that’s another detail shot you could take. Set up these photos with the bride or the groom wearing the pieces or even holding them. If the item belongs to another family member, you could take photos of that family member helping the bride or the groom with it. The photograph will be a beautiful candid capturing an emotional moment. Another way to take this detail photo is by placing the items against a complimentary background.
3. Hair and Makeup
If your bride is getting her hair and makeup done at a salon, you could ask her if you can join her for these detail photos. You could take a few photos of the makeup artist in action. If her bridesmaids have also joined the bride at the salon, you could incorporate some bridal party photos here as well. If hair and makeup are being done on-site at the venue, the getting ready room can provide some great opportunities for everyone together as hair and makeup is happening. If the bride is getting ready at home, try to get some quiet moments with her when all her hair and makeup is done. In any location some great images to capture include close ups of lips, eye lashes, and blush all being applied by the makeup artist, or hair piece being placed by the stylist.
4. Dress and Veil
Photographing the dress is a classic shot. It’s a great opportunity for you to add to your visual story, especially if the dress has some sentimental details too. While you can always take these detail photos once the bride has put on the dress, taking pictures of just the dress makes for stunning photographs. You could take it outside (while guarding it with your life) against a beautiful fall backdrop or lush greenery or you could also photograph it indoors. You could also try to incorporate a unique hanger in this photo.
If the bride has a dramatic veil, try to dedicate some extra time taking pictures of it. These images could have the bride in it as well. When you are trying to get detail photos of the veil, try to get all the little intricacies in your frame. If your bride also has a mask that matches her gown, don’t forget to take some detail photos of that.
Also, don’t forget about the bridesmaid’s details. The bridesmaid’s dresses can be all lined up and photographed together, along with their shoes and bouquets. Also, look out for any gifts the bride has given to her bridesmaids – she’s likely put a lot of thought into these gifts and they make for great detail photos!
Besides the dress, the bride’s footwear can be a fantastic focal point. Some brides may consider their shoes to be an extension of their personality, so try to make sure you get detail photos of their footwear. Whether they are wearing a pair of classic heels or funky sneakers, it’s always a good photo to capture.
Pro Tip: Look at the bottom of the shoes and see if there is a custom message painted on the sole! Oh, and don’t forget the groom! He could also be wearing some cool shoes too.
6. Bouquet and Boutonniere
The flowers, if they are real, won’t stay at peak freshness forever, so try to take this detail shot right in the beginning as soon as the flowers arrive. Most brides spend a lot of time choosing the perfect bouquet, and this makes detail photos of bouquets a must-have!
There are endless ways of taking detail photos of flowers. You could get the bride and bridesmaids to hold the bouquet, or the mother of the groom to put the boutonniere on the groom’s lapel. You can also photograph the flowers against a unique backdrop – like a wooden door or a reflective surface. Using window light can add dimension to the flowers if you use it as side light, but you can also use window light straight on the flowers and really make the colors pop. Don’t forget about other places where flowers show up at a wedding – the venue, the ceremony site, the table decorations and sometimes even the cake.
Pro Tip: Ask the bride if there is anything special going in or on her bouquet, like a locket showcasing a special family member who is no longer with us, or a special bit of lace or keepsake. Knowing this ahead will help you plan for the best detail photos!
7. Gifts or Letters
It’s a beautiful moment when brides and grooms give each other gifts or handwritten letters. You definitely don’t want to miss out on this moment! Try to get some shots of the gift and the couple’s reactions too. It’s an intimate moment between the bride and the groom, so getting their emotions right in a detail photo would look amazing.
Pro Tip: Is your couple doing a first look? Ask the couple to exchange gifts at the first look so they can see each other’s reactions and then capture them with the gifts together.
Need some ideas to make the bride and groom more comfortable in front of the camera? Check out our blog on Wedding Photography Tips For How to Make Posing More Fun.
8. Groom and Groomsmen Detail Photos
We suggested above that you focus on footwear, but don’t forget about the groom’s socks. Whether it’s quirky prints or a pair that complements his attire, a groom’s socks should be added to your detail photos list. The groomsmen might also have relevant (or matching) socks that you can incorporate here. If the groom has given his groomsmen special gifts, this is a great addition to your detail photos list.
Pro Tip: It’s become popular for the groom to be wearing a custom suit and often they have their name and wedding date on the tag on the inside. This is a great detail to know about ahead, so ask your couple if this is something to look for!
9. The Cake / Dessert Table
It’s always a nice touch to get detail photos of the cake before it is cut by your couple. This might mean sneaking away from the action to get access to the place where the cake is (reception room) or just making sure you beeline for it once the reception has started. Wedding cakes often have a personal touch to them, from taste to toppers, so be sure to capture as much detail as you can.
If the couple has opted out of a traditional single cake, be sure to capture the dessert or candy table or whatever is being offered as a sweet treat! Also be on the lookout for a groom’s cake if there is one!
10. Reception Detail Photos
Try to get some reception detail photos before the guests start arriving. There’s a lot of planning that goes into selecting the color scheme and different elements at the venue – the glassware and cutlery, the centerpieces, the place cards, the favors – everything matters! For a more extensive list of Reception Detail Images, check out A Wedding Photographer’s Checklist for Reception Photos.
Keep an Eye Out for Everything
We hope these suggestions help you put together your own detail photos list for the next wedding. While there are plenty of ideas here, it’s certainly not an exhaustive list. Every wedding is different, and weddings in different parts of the world might have some different elements that deserve detail photos too. Try to be on the lookout for anything that stands out, and also have a discussion with your couple about detail shots beforehand. It could really help you put together your shot list for their wedding. Check out Fast 5: Capture the Perfect Wedding Detail Shots if you are looking for more inspiration.
At ShootDotEdit, we help photographers focus on the wedding with blogs like Creating a Wedding Day Shot List. We encourage you to give more time to your art and leave the editing to us. To learn more about how we can help your business, check out our price plans.