Bride and groom in the church

Wedding Photography – 7 Ideas and Tips

Weddings to me are wondrous because they are so filled with tomorrows. – Mary Forsell

I’m not an expert when it comes to wedding photography. In fact last weekend was the first time I brought my camera and my photo equipment to a wedding. I was not the main photographer and I wasn’t under any pressure, but one thing I can say for sure:  it’s a lot of work. I’ve heard this from wedding photographers but I didn’t really believe it. Now I do. I did some reading before the wedding and I also learned so much from my own mistakes. I would like to share with you what I learned and also give you some basic wedding photography ideas and tips you can use next time you photograph a wedding.

1. Use flash, but don’t point it at people

I highly recommend using a flash. I used a Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash with an L Extension Bracket and a Bounce Card to avoid shining the flash directly in people’s eyes. You can also bounce the light off a wall or ceiling whenever possible to produce a softer, more flattering light.

2. Be unobtrusive, especially in church

This is an emotional ceremony and you don’t want to interfere with it, but it is also a great opportunity to take some great candid shots. Using a longer zoom lens would be a great idea.

3. Use a fast lens – at least f/2.8

I had high hopes for my f/4 lenses but I was disappointed. They are not fast enough for the low light conditions in the church and restaurant. Even though I had a couple of high quality L lenses, I took some of my better shots using my cheaper lens Canon EF 50mm f/1.8. An aperture of 1.8 makes a huge difference, especially in low light. If you read one of my older blogs, you already know how much I appreciate this lens.

4. Avoid wide angle shots of people

I am sure you already know this, but it’s tempting to use a wide angle lens, especially when photographing groups of people. Step back and zoom in a little, so the people at the extremities don’t look like Sponge Bob.

5. Take lots of pictures

Make sure you have enough memory cards with you and snap away. There are many factors out of your control that can ruin your pictures, including people with eyes closed or unattractive expressions on their faces. You don’t have time to do much planning before pressing the shutter button. You will be surprised how many shots you’ll have to delete either because they are out of focus or the composition is not the best.

6. Check the background

Try to avoid busy backgrounds and keep an eye out for flowers, light fixtures or anything that looks like it comes out of your subjects’ heads.

7. Photograph other things, not just people

Yes, you do want to capture the bride, the groom, and the wedding party, but try to also capture the colorful flower arrangements and the delicious food.

I don’t know if I would like to become a wedding photographer, but I had a great time taking pictures at my sister’s wedding. I learned a lot from my own mistakes, even more than I did from books and articles. I hope you liked my wedding photography ideas and tips. I highly encourage you to take some pictures at the next wedding you will be attending and share some photos and tips with the Balcony.


For more photography tips and ideas, check out my latest photography book, Picture (Im)perfect Photographynow available at Amazon.


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