Wedding photography techniques have evolved over the years. And one of the aspects that has gained more popularity over time is storytelling in wedding photography. Even though not every wedding photography style focuses on putting together a cohesive story, storytelling wedding photography is all about forming a visual narrative as you document your couple’s special day. And so, visual storytelling, which is one of the main components of this style, is about catching fleeting moments that may never happen again. It’s about making your viewer feel like they were in that moment, even if they weren’t. If you are interested in the art of storytelling through wedding photography, then this blog could offer some insights.
Storytelling In Wedding Photography: What You Should Know
1. Know Key Moments
As a wedding photographer, you already know most of the critical moments of the wedding. From the first look to the first kiss as husband and wife, almost every wedding has these not-to-be-missed moments that are picture-perfect on their own. And even though you know when these moments are about to happen, you still have to stay alert and be prepared to photograph them from the perfect spot. There may also be other little things that deserve to be documented, especially those of cultural significance, and to capture those perfectly, you have to be ready at all times. Storytelling in wedding photography is about capturing all the moments – planned and unplanned – that people share.
Suggested Read: The Ultimate Wedding Photography Shot List For You
2. Get Your Lighting Right
You can’t get any moment right without the right lighting conditions. Lighting is an important aspect in all types of photography styles, so when it comes to storytelling in wedding photography, knowing how to find and use light can make or break your shot. Most wedding photographers would argue that lighting is not just about where light is; it’s also about where it isn’t. Finding and using light and shadows can help you tell better stories and create more depth in your photographs.
If you are indoors and find yourself in a dimly lit spot, use off-camera light. However, one of the keys to using off-camera lighting when capturing a story as it unfolds is that you need to be quick and efficient. Imagine if you were busy fixing your lighting and missed taking a photo as a photo-worthy moment was happening right in front of you! Practice ahead with your lighting to avoid missing the moment.
3. Compose Your Shots
Every photograph you take, no matter how posed or candid, has a composition. Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor setting, as a photographer, you may automatically compose a photo in your mind before you even take it. Even though there are certain rules of composition, the art of storytelling means you get to be creative and think outside the rules, finding what works in each setting. Trust your instinct as you focus on putting the story together. One trick for clean and uncluttered storytelling is to keep your composition simple.
At ShootDotEdit, whether it’s your post-production skills or trying out new wedding photography styles, we are firm believers that practice makes perfect. And the more you practice, the more you will be able to nail your composition and better tell the wedding day story.
4. Find What Makes Your Couple Unique
When you tell a story that is unique to your couple, knowing everything you can about them – as individuals and as a couple – could help. By the time you get to their wedding day, you have likely met them for an engagement session or interacted with them over multiple emails, calls, or personal meetings about the wedding photography. We’d suggest that you go beyond a standard questionnaire and get to know all the little quirks about your couple. Spend time with them and see how they interact with each other or if they have any special traditions or other unique traits.
To put it simply, try to find things that make them who they are as a couple. They might just end up recreating those moments on the wedding day, moments that not everyone might notice but you would recognize as their wedding photographer. And that is where the beauty of storytelling wedding photography comes into play. You will be able to tell their story like nobody else, and that’s what they will thank you for!
5. Blend In
As you might have done many times already, making yourself blend in with the setting and the guests is the best way to avoid making your clients feel conscious or uncomfortable. While your bride and groom may be comfortable with you, not everyone in their guest list knows you or is comfortable in front of the camera. This means that even if there might be a perfect moment to photograph, they might go stiff or just get uncomfortable, which could potentially ruin your photograph. Storytelling in photography is most impactful when your models are naturally and entirely in the moment and not even aware of your presence. The raw, emotional moments are the ones that truly tell the story.
Stay Patient & Alert
Capturing all the special moments between your bride and groom, their family and friends, and their guests is your job as a wedding photographer. But storytelling in wedding photography is more than just portraits and group photos. Putting together a cohesive story that effortlessly narrates your couple’s romance and every detail from the wedding day is an art that takes time to perfect. Like every other skill you learn as a wedding photographer, it will take some practice to get this style right. As long as you keep in mind the critical moments of the day, get the technicalities right, and stay sharp as the day unfolds, you will be doing your part as the wedding photographer.
At ShootDotEdit, we strive to provide you with the best tips and tutorials. We also help to lessen your post-production workflow by taking editing off your plate. To learn more about how we can help elevate your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.