The wedding day shoot is often hectic (and stressful!) and requires you to shoot multiple moments at once. Most of the time your well-timed schedule does not go according to plan. And, wedding day nightmares do occur. If you are distracted by unpredictable moments during the wedding day, how can you focus on memorable and emotional moments?

In our Simple Wedding Day Strategies to Capture Every Moment Webinar with Donal Doherty, he shared ways for you to confidently capture every shot your couple desires. So you can reduce your stress and maintain focus during the shoot, here are the top 5 tips for capturing every wedding day moment.

1. Prep Clients for Success

Your clients’ experience starts when they first reach out to you. This is an opportunity to set expectations for the upcoming process and to prep your clients for success. Provide tips as you discuss each part of the process, such as how to dress for the engagement shoot and ways to make the wedding day shoot run more smoothly. These tips are meant to prepare your clients so the shoot can go as planned.


During the wedding day, if something goes wrong, and Murphy’s Law says: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong,” you want them to stress as little as possible. Things to discuss to avoid any issues are backup plans for a change in weather, how to gather everyone for family formals, and ways to make each part of the shoot quick for all of you. Specific tips to share with your clients are how to ensure the getting ready room is neat and the hair and makeup process for the bride and her bridesmaids is on schedule.

Tip: With your wedding day timeline, don’t forget to include the images you will capture during each part of the day to avoid miscommunications with your clients.

2. Encourage a Pinterest Board

Every couple you work with will have a different style for their wedding day. Just as you might create a board after your images are color corrected by a photo editing company, encourage your clients to send you a Pinterest board with their vision for certain wedding moments. Remember to inform them you might not recreate the exact images, but you will do your best to ensure their ideas come to life in the photos. This idea allows you to understand what images your clients want, which eliminates any miscommunications for what shots you are expected to take.

Related: How can you expand your reach on Pinterest like Jason and Gina Grubb?

3. Brief the Second Shooter

A second shooter can be a lifesaver during the wedding day, as long as you brief them so they are on the same page as you during the shoot. If you and your second shooter are disconnected, you risk missing out on photos and important moments. Connect with your second shooter before the wedding shoot starts to discuss necessary matters, such as the timeline. Once they understand the wedding schedule, they can help you capture different angles and candid moments, and allow you to shoot creatively.

Related: Download our 8 free Wedding Day Timeline Templates for Photographers to minimize time-crunches and create a stress-free wedding shoot!

4. Bring Gear Backups

Avoid a catastrophic moment during the wedding day by bringing gear backups (a second camera body, additional lenses, extra batteries, and spare memory cards). Think about it this way – if you are in the middle of the ceremony, and the couple is about to have their first kiss as husband and wife, and your camera fails, you will find yourself in a stressful situation. Always bring backups to avoid any problems during the day, and so you can shoot without concern.

Tip: Make sure you are comfortable with your backup gear. If you have certain custom settings on your main camera, make sure you set them on your backup (and know how to use them!). There are slight differences in each camera body, so make sure you remember them so your shoot is not interrupted if something goes wrong.

Related: Your body matters…your camera body, that is! Download The Wedding Photographer’s Guide to Camera Bodies to discover some of the best cameras on the market

5. Prepare for Various Emotions

In addition to the moving parts during the wedding day, there is also a roller coaster of emotions from the bride and groom, as well as their family and friends. It can be crucial for you to know where to be and what type of energy to bring during each part of the day. If you are shooting an emotional moment, try to anticipate it so you can switch to a telephoto lens and take yourself out of the scene a bit. This way, you allow the moment to happen, and your clients will act naturally. If it’s a fun shoot with family and friends, bring your energy and have a good time with them. Here are a few key moments to anticipate throughout the day that could be filled with emotion:

  • Bride and bridesmaids getting ready together
  • Bride and groom reading their notes from one another
  • Father seeing the bride in her dress for the first time
  • Bride arriving to the ceremony location
  • Bride standing with her dad before walking down the aisle
  • Bride and groom seeing each other for the first time
  • Bride and groom kissing after they are announced husband and wife
  • Bride and groom walking back up the aisle
  • Bride and groom greeting close family and friends
  • Bride and groom reacting during the speeches and toasts
  • Bride/Father and Groom/Mother dancing during the traditional dances

The chances something unexpected will happen during the wedding shoot is high, so it’s necessary for you to always be prepared to capture the happiest moments from such a special day. What are additional must-have images from the wedding day you should document? Our Guide, The 127 Essential Wedding Images You Must Capture is a playbook for the wedding day to help you grab every moment!


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published