Today, I am sharing my process of how I photograph a wedding ceremony! Your wedding ceremony is one of the most important parts of your wedding day. As a wedding photographer, from the moment I join your wedding vendor team, I am here to accompany you through the process every step of the way.
My number one priority as a photographer capturing a wedding ceremony is to make sure that I am not distracting in any way. I strive to ensure that both my couples and their guests are able to be in the moment and focus on enjoying the ceremony.
My equipment when I photograph a wedding ceremony
For the photographers reading this, I always use a 70-200 mm lens to photograph ceremonies – no matter where I am. Whether I’m in a church, outside, or courthouse – the 70-200mm is the best way to get up-close shots of the couple, family member reactions, and all the small details while still having the effect of being more like a fly on the wall and not being too distracting.
Mapping out the angles and capturing everything
I never want to spend the entire ceremony standing in front of one person, making it so they can’t see any of the ceremony. I am always extremely cautious and aware of where I’m standing because the ceremony is a very important and sentimental part of a wedding day, and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.
My tactic when I capture ceremonies is to not just capture photos by standing in the center aisle. I love to capture photos of the family members (if I’m able due to the ceremony/church setup and accessibility) as well as photos of the bridal party and over-the-shoulder shots of the bride and groom looking at each other.
I create a game plan
When I arrive at the ceremony location, depending on if it is inside a church or outside, I first make a game plan with my second shooter as well as the videographers (if there are videographers present). This way we are all on the same page for those “big moments,” like a bride walking down the aisle, the first kiss, etc. I also want to make sure to talk to the pastor/priest/officiant because they might have certain rules that their church appreciates me abiding by.
Sometimes in churches, I am unable to go in the side aisles. In others, I’m unable to use flash unless the couple is in the middle aisle for those certain moments like walking down the aisle, walking back up the aisle after being pronounced Mr. and Mrs., and the first kiss.
Sometimes I can’t use flash, and that is okay!
If I’m not able to use flash, do not panic! I will still work to the best of my ability to capture all the moments – some images just might have more grain to the photo. This isn’t the best if you were to blow up the photo on a large canvas, but you will still absolutely have the moments captured.
Ceremonies have a lot of moments that only happen once
This is why I’m always on high alert listening to cues that the priest/pastor/officiant might say. This is also why it’s really important that I ask the pastor/ priest /officiant beforehand if he is going to publically announce that the bride and groom share a kiss or if he will whisper it to the bride and groom.
One small tip I always share with my couples is to hold their kiss for about 5-7 seconds instead of sharing a quick peck. This way I am able to capture the moment and get a few great shots for couples to choose from!
Overall capturing ceremonies is one of the sweetest parts of the day! Because we’ve spent months thoroughly planning your photography coverage, you can celebrate your special day stress-free. I’ll be there to transform every laugh and tear at your beautiful ceremony into photos you’ll treasure for a lifetime. If you are planning a wedding and need someone to capture your special day, get in touch!