Essential Wedding Photography Elements
Wedding Photography Elements – Why It Matters To Brides And Grooms
There are a lot of different ways to photograph a wedding. Especially in these days of automated digital cameras that can be as easy to use as a point-and-shoot camera. But does “easy” equal great results, especially in the demanding and no-second-chances position of being someone’s wedding photographer?
When photography is done correctly, it has many essential elements as it is part art, part science, and part technique. A good wedding photographer will also have an eye for composition and creating content. It’s also fair to expect that anyone claiming to be a professional photographer who is offering their services to prospective brides and grooms to have a broad and well-developed wedding photography style.
The Element Of Lighting
It is critical to hire a wedding photographer who knows how to work with different types of light. This includes natural light and controlled natural light, strobes and flash both on and off the camera, and blended light.
I know, everybody loves great natural light. Myself included. When I am in a scene where we are bathed in warm and radiant natural light, the light falls in such a way that the couple’s skin tones can glow – it gives me a total sense of freedom, and I am perfectly exhilarated.
Yet the reality is, natural light is not always that great. It can be too harsh, too flat, or too directional. Natural light can appear to be outstanding but it may be falling in the wrong direction which may prevent including a beautiful background or a meaningful scene.
When a photographer chooses to use only natural light, it means they are limiting themselves to making use of only one aspect of lighting, an aspect that is restrained by and dependent upon the ambient lighting conditions on-hand.
It is essential that a photographer knows how to use, modify, bend and blend strobe lights, flashes, and natural light.
By using the technique of blended light, which is combining natural light with off-the-camera strobes or flash or bounced natural light, is how we turn inadequate natural light into awesome light. The key to success lies in mastering the balance between the differing light sources.
The Element Of Combining Different Styles To Create A Comprehensive Wedding Photography Style
In wedding photography, the essential styles are candid, photojournalism, portraiture, and editorial, which is oftentimes also called “documentary”.
If you think about all that you are going to ask of your photographer on the day of your wedding, it stands to reason that the photographer has a well-rounded repertoire of techniques. To briefly touch on the list…
Top of the list is usually portraits of the bride and groom, sometimes with the wedding party and families. While the amount of “how many portraits” can vary greatly, these are almost always considered essential to brides and grooms.
My approach to portraits is they can be interactive and fun and I often times work in an inter-active portrait mode.
Candid images share the top of the list, and they are also usually considered essential.
A major factor in getting great candid shots is being able to anticipate the moments before they happen. You develop this by paying attention. Watching. Actively observing. When candid images tell a story, it’s called photojournalism.
In the world of weddings, a lot can be said for experience. Like you know there is always going to be a great guest reaction shot when that cute and shy little flower girl comes down the aisle. Or reactions from the groom and family as the bride enters and makes her way down the aisle.
An additional aspect of candid photography are the “controlled candid” images.
Then there are pictures of inanimate but meaningful things like the gown, the back of the gown, the rings, the shoes, the bride’s bouquet, the cake, the room before the guests get in, and the list goes on. This is where the editorial style comes in.
When a photography incorporates all of these different styles into their wedding style, it becomes an intrinsic wedding photography element.
The Element And Significance Of Etiquette
A wedding photographer’s proficiency is not just based on their art, science and technique. It is additionally determined by how they handle themselves on the day of their client’s wedding. It is possible for someone to have good or even great technique, but if they are inconsiderate or overbearing, you can end up with images that look forced or the people photographed looking uncomfortable.
A typical wedding day event can have dozens of must-have photographs. This doesn’t mean a photographer has to be pushy or rude to get them, even if faced with limited space and time.
Some of you may have heard or even seen examples of inappropriate protocol or bad etiquette displayed by a wedding photographer at someone’s wedding.
An example I’ve seen recently was at a family wedding. During the ceremony, the photographer not only crossed in front of the parents of the couple repeatedly, but during the exchange of the rings and a segment of the reciting of the wedding vows, the photographer actually stood in front of the groom’s mother, blocking her view. I could not believe what I was seeing.
Soon after the wedding the mother of the groom took me aside to ask if that was customary and reasonable conduct. She was upset that her view had been blocked and rightfully so.
In the discipline of professional wedding photography, this type of behavior is considered inappropriate. More importantly, it is not required to capture even this type of high-priority image. What it is, is the easy way of doing things – a bad habit of the inexperienced or the habitually unaware. Without a doubt this signifies that a fundamental wedding photography element is the ability of the photographer to work smarter, and at times a little harder, which is a small price to pay to avoid being disrespectful and rude.
Personally, I have invested effort and time into establishing and maintaining a positive and proactive workflow. It is a better way of doing things. It helps to keep the energy of these very special days productive with creative momentum. It helps to keep celebratory moods elevated.
A Comprehensive Style And A Positive Workflow Enhances Your Wedding Day
It is clearly advantageous to hire a photographer who has developed a comprehensive style which embodies the essential wedding photography elements.
I personally use techniques that blend into an efficient and effective wedding photography strategy. I will tell your wedding day’s story using photographic images in an in-depth and enthusiastic fashion. I am a photographer who will arrive with an awareness of the appropriate protocol and etiquette to give your wedding day the respect that it deserves.
For a complete and illustrated rundown and to see how I use different styles and techniques of photography to blend a comprehensive, detail oriented, and balanced style of wedding photography, check out My Wedding Photographer Style.