How to Take Wedding Photos

5 Creative Ways To Work With Dappled Light In Wedding Photography

Have you ever been entranced by the ethereal light streaming through trees on a quiet walk or while sipping your favorite drink during the cold winter months? That’s the enchantment of dappled light, and it’s more than just a beautiful natural phenomenon. It’s a secret ingredient that could take your wedding photography business to new heights! If your couple seeks those dreamy, romantic vibes, this technique can transform their wedding pictures into love-filled masterpieces. In this blog, we’ll explore some creative ways to use dappled light for breathtaking wedding photography. Plus, we’ve got some stellar examples from our ShootDotEdit customers who have truly mastered this technique to perfection! So, let’s dive in and let the beauty of the sunlight filtering through the trees inspire you! 

Working With Dappled Light in Wedding Photography: Photo Inspiration

1. Brandi Allyse Photo

a couple in their wedding attire standing holding hands and looking at opposite direction
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @brandiallysephoto

2.  June Lion

a couple standing in front of a wall with shadow falling on it diagonally
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @kellyiswilde

3. Lovers of Love

a couple kissing in the middle of a road with trees on either side
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @loversoflove

4. Looyenga Photography

a couple kissing in the middle of a forest with the ground and tree leaves covered in snow
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @looyengaphoto 

5. Brandi Allyse Photo

a couple standing closely on a grassland with the sun shining behind them
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @brandiallysephoto

Tips On Creatively Using Dappled Light In Wedding Photography

1. Look For Shadows To Create A Dramatic Look

Hunt for a sweet spot with open shade and soft light. But don’t stop there – keep an eye out for areas with direct sunlight casting bold, intriguing shadows. Maybe it’s a simple concrete wall at the wedding venue or perhaps an ornate metal gate. Once you spot those captivating shadows, it’s showtime! Position your couple in this hotspot, allowing the play of light and shadow to create a high contrast and rich lighting across their faces. Think of using this natural light as a GOBO (Go-Between Optics). Want to level up the drama? Bring along props like a lace umbrella. Not only does it add a touch of elegance, but it also casts a beautiful pattern of shadows, enhancing the dreamy effect.

Read More: Shadow Photography Inspiration By ShootDotEdit Customers 

2. Utilize Reflectors

infographic stating brighten shadows with the help of a reflector and preserve the dramatic effect created by dappled light

Dappled light in wedding photography creates an enchanting pattern that adds a touch of magic to the couple’s photos. However, it can also cast deep shadows, rendering them black and detail-less. The solution to this problem is rather easy – use a reflector! You’ve found that dreamy spot and the dappled light is creating a mesmerizing scene, but those harsh highlights and deep shadows are proving difficult to manage. Cue your assistant with the reflector. With some skill, you can bounce back the existing light, brightening up the shadows while preserving the dappled light’s dramatic effect and pattern. 

Bonus Tip: You can try another trick while using a reflector – create those irresistible catchlights that add an extra twinkle to the couple’s eyes! So, when you’re out capturing those unforgettable wedding moments, remember to avoid the pitfalls of dappled light with your trusty reflector.

3. Framing With Architectural Elements

As a wedding photographer, your canvas extends beyond the couple – the venue, ambiance, and architectural elements add depth and dimension to your photographs. Imagine you’re at a venue with a gothic archway or a rustic barn where dappled light softly streams through the window. Use these architectural features to frame your couple naturally. The interplay of light and shadow on stone, wood, or glass can create an enchanting backdrop that enhances the romance of the moment. It’s important to avoid positioning your couple directly under heavy spots of sunlight that can lead to challenging lighting conditions. Instead, seek out areas where the light filters through subtly, casting a gentle glow rather than stark contrasts. Incorporating architectural elements not only helps to manage the challenges of dappled light but also adds an element of grandeur and timelessness to your images.

Suggested Read: Architecture-Inspired Engagement Photos From ShootDotEdit Customers

4. Work Under Trees

infographic stating use the soft light filtering through the trees to capture your couples wedding in the most romantic way

Outdoor ceremonies are the current trend of the wedding scene, with couples increasingly choosing to tie the knot under nature’s cathedral of trees, surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful flowers. This trend has introduced a unique element to midday wedding photography – the feature of dappled light.

Of course, this natural spectacle comes with its own set of challenges. But by positioning your couple in areas where the light is softer and more diffused, you can illuminate their features, creating a balance between your couple and their surroundings. So, when you’re next shooting a wedding beneath the trees, embrace that soft light and capture a love story in a light as unique as your couple themselves.

5. Leverage Shadows To Form A Backdrop And Backlighting

One way to take advantage of dappled light is to leverage shadows and backlighting to create a beautiful and unique backdrop for your couples. For example, if you’re taking couples portraits indoors, consider positioning your couple near a window that has trees blocking the direct sunlight. By backlighting the couple and allowing the interplay of light and shadows, you can capture a stunning image that truly highlights the beauty of the couple’s special day. Don’t be afraid to let the shadows work for you rather than blowing out the window entirely. So, why settle for ordinary pictures when you can use shadows and backlighting to elevate your wedding photography skills and create something extraordinary?

Further Read: Shooting With Backlight: A Step-By-Step Photography Guide

Working With Dappled Light In Wedding Photography

infographic stating transform your couples wedding photos by leveraging dappled light

The beauty of natural light can indeed be a transformative element in wedding photography. Its unique ability to add depth, create drama, and evoke a sense of romance is unparalleled. Through techniques such as shadow utilization for a dramatic effect, using reflectors, framing with architectural elements, working under trees for a natural interplay of light and shadow, and leveraging shadows to form a stunning backdrop and backlighting, you can capture the dreamy, love-filled moments that your couple desires. 

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you grow your wedding photography business. A part of how we do that is by lessening your post-production workload with our professional photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.

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Embracing The Rain Light Glow In Wedding Photography

Rainy weather on a wedding day can be a nightmare for some, but as a wedding photographer, it’s an open invitation to capture something truly magical. The rain light glow that follows a shower of rain can lend your wedding photography an added layer of depth and sentiment. But the question remains – how do you capture the ethereal glow around your couples? Well, with the right wedding photography tips and techniques, you can do just that! The stunning results could not only transport viewers into a timeless moment of love and intimacy but truly help set your portfolio apart. So, let’s explore ways to make the best use of the magical post-rain light in wedding photography.

How To Capture The Magical Rain Light Glow In Wedding Photography

1. Choose The Right Lens

a wedding couple standing on a small bridge in their wedding attire sharing an umbrella
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @taylorkempphotography

Rainy day wedding photography requires you to use the right lens to ensure that you capture the magical and romantic mood that sets in after it showers. Shooting in low light conditions can be challenging, so selecting a lens with a wide aperture, such as f/2.8 or wider, can help let in more light and create a shallow depth of field for creative effects.

A wide-angle lens will allow you to capture more of the scenery and can help emphasize the dramatic effect of the rain and post-rain light. A 50mm or 85mm lens works for capturing rainy wedding portraits or close-up shots of raindrops on surfaces, while telephoto lenses are perfect for isolating specific details in the foreground or background. 

Additionally, you can use a polarizing filter to reduce reflections on wet surfaces and saturate colors, while an ND filter could help achieve long exposures for capturing the motion blur of raindrops. When capturing wedding photos when it rains, prepare your camera gear for wedding photography in the rain by investing in a rain cover for your camera to keep it dry and protected. 

2. Utilize Long-Exposure Techniques

a wedding couple standing holding umbrellas in their wedding attire by a lake in rain
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @melissafechapmanphotography

A long exposure allows the camera’s shutter to remain open for an extended period, capturing more light and creating stunning visual effects like the motion blur of raindrops. Using the long exposure techniques, you can perfectly capture moments of intimacy between the newlyweds, like a kiss under the rain or holding each other tightly in the middle of a rainstorm.

To achieve this effect, set your camera to manual mode and select the lowest ISO setting possible. Consider using a tripod to ensure that your camera remains steady during the long exposure. Keep experimenting with shutter speeds to create different moods – a slower speed for creating a delicate and dreamy effect or a faster speed for capturing motion.

Suggested Read: From Meh To Magic: Mastering Long Exposure Portraits

3. Experiment With Different Lighting Techniques

a black and white image of a couple standing in the middle of the road in rain holding an umbrella
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @jorgesantiagophoto

One of the most captivating elements of natural light wedding photography is the stunning rain light glow from natural sources, such as sunlight or light reflected from surfaces like water or walls. For romantic natural light portraits, look for areas that receive a good amount of light. Adjust your camera settings to create a slight overexposure, which will highlight the raindrops and create a soft, dreamy aesthetic. Utilize different lighting techniques to get the desired natural wedding day rain effect.

You can also experiment with artificial light sources and flash photography tips to see how they affect your subject and environment. For example, lamps or spotlights can be used creatively to add directional lighting and create dramatic shadows. If you’re placing the bride or groom indoors, near a window for natural light portraits, try using a reflector or softbox to enhance the light. Plus, backlighting during a rainy day shoot will add depth and dimension to the raindrops, creating a timeless moment of love and intimacy. 

4. Get Creative With Different Angles & Photography Moods

the reflection of a couple in wedding attire on a street puddle
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @robbmccormickphotography

Rain light can help create a range of moods, from dramatic and serene to whimsical and moody wedding photography. The mood created often depends on the technique used and the surrounding environment. For example, including dark clouds in the frame can enhance the moodiness of an image. Conversely, strong light can add depth and drama to rainy-day wedding photos, while soft light can create a gentle and quiet mood.

Creative rain photography tips to capture the different rain light glow and add an extra layer of emotion to your photos include:

  • To capture a romantic mood, use soft lighting and focus on close-up shots of the couple holding hands or sharing a kiss under an umbrella. 
  • For a dreamy mood, try using a slower shutter speed and capturing the movement of raindrops, creating a surreal and ethereal atmosphere.
  • Moody lighting can be achieved by using darker backgrounds and shadows, focusing on silhouettes, or creating a contrast between light and dark areas.
  • To capture a whimsical mood, play around with backlighting and capture the raindrops in motion to create a magical and playful effect.

Different angles add uniqueness to your rain-light glow photos. Try changing your perspective, shooting from a low angle to get a different view of the environment, or using reflections of rain puddles to create interesting compositions. 

Suggested Read: The Art Of Moody Wedding Photography

5. Highlight Details With HDR Photography

HDR (high dynamic range) photography shines its brightest when tackling scenes with tricky lighting situations, such as rainy wedding days. Here, the light is muted, and even the faintest glow can dramatically transform your photos, adding an unexpected touch of magic.

Capturing multiple exposures can highlight all the details and nuances of the rain light glow, from the soft, diffused light to the deep shadows and highlights. By using HDR, you will be able to capture the full range of tones and colors present in the rain light glow. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your HDR shots – try juxtaposing dark, rainy clouds against the bright colors of spring blossoms, or experiment with framing a rain shot from interesting angles to enhance the dramatic effect of the rain.

Further Read: Wedding Photos In The Rain: Inspiration From ShootDotEdit Customers

a wedding couple and the bridesmaids and groomsmen running towards the camera holding umbrellas
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @kellyiswilde

Whether shooting indoors or outdoors, you can take advantage of the rain light glow to create stunning rainy wedding photos that stir emotions and tell a story. Indoor settings can allow for a more controlled environment with artificial lighting, whereas outdoor settings provide natural elements like trees and reflections that can enhance the mood of your photos. Now that you are armed with the photography and wedding lighting tips discussed in this blog, remember to thoughtfully frame your shots, experiment with different angles, and capture candid moments with your couple. So, when faced with a rainy wedding day, don’t shy away from it! Instead, embrace it as a golden opportunity to create something truly unique and beautiful.

At ShootDotEdit, we love bringing you resourceful tips that help you make the most of your time by doing what you love. To free up your time, we offer professional photo editing services that match your style. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.

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Capturing Love In Motion: Pro Tips On Taking Stunning Wedding Recessional Photos

Don’t let the magical moment of the wedding recessional slip by without capturing it on camera! While the bride’s grand entry and the couple’s first kiss are undoubtedly essential moments to document, this final moment of the wedding ceremony holds its own special place. In this ever-so-brief window of time where emotions are raw, smiles are genuine, and love fills the air, the opportunity to photograph a memorable wedding recessional presents itself! It’s the culmination of months, or even years, of planning, and you don’t want to miss it! To help you out, we’re sharing some wedding recessional photography tips on how to capture perfect wedding photos of your couple walking down the aisle. So, get ready to snap some amazing shots! 

What Is A Wedding Recessional?

infographic stating the wedding recessional is the order in which the newlywed couple exits their wedding ceremony

The wedding recessional is the grand crescendo of the big day, signaling the end of the ceremony. At this moment, the couple walks hand in hand down the aisle. The traditional wedding recessional follows a rather well-choreographed order. As the officiant pronounces the couple as officially married, guests burst into applause and cheer. The newlyweds then lead the way down the aisle, with the wedding party following suit. The couple exits the ceremony, accompanied by classic wedding recessional songs like the Wedding March playing in the background.

However, these days many couples are opting for non-traditional wedding recessionals, infusing this special moment with their own unique twist. From playful and whimsical exits, such as confetti showers or a procession of colorful balloons and smoke, to fun departures where the newlyweds break out in a dance and groove to their favorite song, the possibilities are endless. Non-traditional wedding recessionals allow couples to express their individuality and create memories that reflect their love story. Whether steeped in traditional ways or brimming with originality, the wedding recessional remains a cherished scene that captures the magic of saying “I do”.

Suggested Read: Ceremony Photos Inspiration By ShootDotEdit Customers

5 Pro Tips On Taking Stunning Wedding Recessional Photos

1. Be Prepared For The Wedding Recessional

a wedding couple exiting the wedding venue after the ceremony
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @infiniteloopphoto

Before the ceremony begins, establish clear communication with the couple, wedding planner, wedding videographer, and the wedding officiant and understand the wedding recessional order or any other crucial details that will shape your approach to photographing the moment. Additionally, take note of the ceremony’s duration, the events leading up to the recessional, the videographer’s position, and the couple’s plans during this pivotal moment. Be prepared with all the information you need, such as whether there will be a shower of rose petals or a burst of confetti as the couple makes their grand exit. With this vital information at your fingertips, you’ll be able to capture the wedding recessional in all its glory. 

2. Choose The Right Gear And Camera Settings

a wedding couple kissing during their grand exit from the wedding
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @taylorkempphotography

Having the right wedding photography gear and camera settings is extremely crucial when it comes to capturing perfect wedding recessional photos. Your equipment becomes an extension of your artistic vision, enabling you to freeze this wonderful moment with precision and beauty. Here’s what you might want to consider:

  1. Lens choice: Opting for a versatile zoom lens, such as a 24–70mm or 70–200mm, allows you to capture a range of perspectives without interrupting the natural flow of the recessional. This flexibility enables you to seamlessly transition from wider shots that encompass the couple and their surroundings to intimate close-ups that capture their raw emotions.
  1. Shutter speed: During the recessional, moments unfold in a heartbeat, and you don’t want to miss it. Selecting a faster shutter speed, such as 1/250th of a second or higher, along with burst mode, helps freeze any movement and ensures your subjects are tack-sharp. This is particularly important as the couple walks down the aisle, ensuring every step is captured with clarity and dynamism.
  1. Focus mode: To capture the perfect shot, switch to continuous autofocus (AI-Servo or AF-C) mode. This mode tracks your subjects’ movement, adjusting focus continuously to maintain sharpness, even as they walk or share a spontaneous sweet glance.
  1. ISO: Be mindful of your surroundings and adapt your camera settings accordingly. Assess the available lighting conditions. Whether it’s the natural glow of golden hour or the romantic ambiance of indoor lighting, understanding the lighting will help you to capture the perfect shot. Adjust your ISO setting to ensure optimal exposure while minimizing noise. Experiment with different aperture settings to achieve the desired depth of field

Related Read: From Meh To Magic: Mastering Long Exposure Portraits

3. Encourage The Couple To Walk Slowly

a wedding couple holding hands and leaving their wedding ceremony
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @brandiallysephoto

As a wedding photographer, you have the incredible privilege of guiding the newlyweds through every step of their special day. It’s not uncommon for couples, especially those who may feel a bit overwhelmed by the spotlight, to rush through the exit, heads down and hearts racing. This is where your expertise in wedding photography comes in! Encourage the newlyweds to slow down and savor each step as they walk hand in hand. Remind them that this is their moment to shine. By taking it slow, they allow themselves to fully experience the beauty of the moment and exchange smiles and heartfelt glances with those who have come to witness and celebrate their love. Plus, it presents you with an incredible opportunity to capture their genuine emotions that make this day uniquely theirs. 

4. Experiment With Different Perspectives

a wedding recessional following the wedding couple with a bubbles exit
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @looyengaphoto

Let your creativity soar, and experiment with different compositions and camera angles that will elevate your images. Consider taking a birds-eye-view approach, capturing the recessional from an elevated position. This angle provides a stunning panoramic view, allowing you to showcase the couple, their guests, and the entire scene in a single frame. The birds-eye-view perspective adds a sense of grandeur and magnitude to the moment, emphasizing the significance of this joyous occasion. Alternatively, you can get up close and personal by crouching down for a low-angle shot. This perspective not only adds a touch of drama and intimacy but also emphasizes the emotions on the couple’s faces and the intricate details of their attire. 

Suggested Read: Wide-Angle Wedding Photo Inspiration From ShootDotEdit Customers

5. Capture Genuine Reactions And Emotions

a wedding couple followed by the wedding party exiting the wedding ceremony
Image Courtesy: ShootDotEdit Customer @infiniteloopphoto

As the couple walks down the aisle, stay focused, attentive, and agile. Be ready to document their genuine reactions. Embrace the candid interactions that occur as the couple is greeted by their exuberant guests. Capture the laughter, hugs, and joyful tears that spontaneously erupt. Don’t be afraid to take multiple shots of the same moment, as you’ll have a wealth of options during the post-processing stage. Every photo you capture will have a slight variation in expression or a subtle shift in emotion. This allows you to curate a collection of images that captures the essence of the recessional in its entirety. 

Further Read: Tips On How To Build Wedding Photography Portfolio

As a photographer, your goal is to document genuine emotions, authentic reactions, and the pure magic of this unforgettable scene. By being well-prepared, choosing the right gear and settings, guiding your couple, experimenting with perspectives, and capturing raw emotions, you can create a breathtaking visual story that will last a lifetime. We hope these wedding recessional ideas and tips help you in crafting wedding photos that truly capture the essence of a ‘happily ever after’.

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you grow as a wedding photographer. However, if you find that endless editing tasks are blocking your way and sapping your energy, let us help! To learn more about how our professional photo editing services could give you your time back, check out our pricing plans.

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From Meh to Magic: Mastering Long Exposure Portraits

Do you want to add a dash of magic to your wedding photography portfolio? Long exposure portraits are the perfect way to show off your skills and capture memorable wedding day moments in an ethereal, dreamlike style. Mastering the technique will take plenty of practice, but with the right tips, tricks, and know-how, anyone can learn to use this style to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind images. From setting your aperture to finding the perfect location, in this blog post, we offer you some essential tips that could help you level up your long exposure photography game. So, let’s dive right in!

5 Tips & Techniques To Master Long Exposure Photography

1. Capture The Moment With The Right Gear

a wedding couple kissing while the groomsmen and the bridesmaids are dancing surrounding them
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @olsondesignphotography

Creating portraits with long exposure techniques is an art that requires you to capture the essence of the moment. Following are the right tools that can help you create unique long exposure portraits:

  • Sturdy tripods or other stable platforms ensure image stabilization by eliminating camera shake, a necessity for long exposure portrait photography.
  • Timer remote is a great toolkit addition that allows you to take the shot without touching your camera and potentially causing motion blur.
  • Reflectors can help add depth and interest to your exposure shots, while proper lighting creates a flattering and realistic image. 
  • Neutral Density filters (ND) help reduce the amount of light entering your lens, allowing you to use different shutter speeds, even in daylight, for creative long exposure images.

2. Find The Right Composition

The long exposure effect tends to blur the background, so it is necessary to balance the foreground and background elements. Look for interesting, eye-catching locations to pose your clients, such as beautiful landscapes, striking architectural elements, or a simple street scene. 

Finding the right composition for long exposure photos can elevate your portraits to a whole new level. To achieve those jaw-dropping shots, it’s essential to find the right wedding photography composition that balances creativity and exposure techniques. Identify the perfect angle and composition, and pay attention to the horizon alignment that will make your shots stand out. Play around with different compositions; experiment with leading lines, symmetry, and negative space to create a balanced and harmonious image. 

3. Work With Your Lights

infographic stating try using lamps, strobes, and flashlights to create different effects in long exposure portraits

Achieving striking long exposure portraits requires a little know-how when it comes to working with light. From using flashlights to carefully placed lamps and even playing with natural light sources, the possibilities are endless when it comes to capturing the beauty and romance of a wedding day through long exposure photography. 

You can use lighting tools like a flashlight, sparkler, or even lanterns to create a magical effect. You can enhance the aesthetic of your photos and create different effects with lighting tools. Lamps can offer a warm and intimate feel to the portraits, while strobes can add movement and drama to your composition. Using flashes, softboxes, or reflectors will help highlight key areas of the long exposure shot.

Suggested Read: Exploring Different Wedding Ceremony Lighting Scenarios

4. Get The Correct Camera Settings

The right camera settings enable longer exposure time for trailing lights and a still subject. You will find the ideal camera settings for long exposure photos below: 

Shutter speed is key to capturing movement, and a slow shutter speed will create that dazzling motion blur. The exact shutter speed you need to use for your shot depends on the amount of motion you’d like to capture. The more prolonged the shutter speed, the more the exposure will capture light and motion blur. It’s recommended that you start around 1–2 seconds for sharp images with slight motion blur and then adjust from there based on the desired effect.

Aperture helps control the amount of light that enters the lens and controls the depth of field, so choose a wider aperture value (like f/2.8 or wider) to blur out the background and make your couple stand out. You can also choose a small aperture with a high f-stop range (f/8-f/16) to let less light into the camera and to keep the whole scene in focus. 

ISO determines how sensitive your camera is to light. Keep it low (around 100–400) to avoid digital noise and grain in your images. 

Additionally, using a shutter release instead of the shutter button can prevent any camera shake. It’s also good practice to take a test shot to ensure the correct settings and then switch to manual mode. Even in cases of too much light, you can experiment with bulb mode and shoot long exposure photos.

Suggested Read: Guide To Understanding Exposure In Photography

5. Art Of Creating Movement

infographic stating add movement by asking your clients to sway, twirl, or simply take a walk together

Creating movement while capturing a long exposure photograph will have stunning and dynamic results that are sure to impress your clients. Listed below are different ways to create movement: 

  • Have the couple subtly sway or twirl, or make them walk along a path or staircase for an extended exposure time. The movement can also come from objects in the background, like swaying branches or flowing water. Use techniques like panning and zooming, or experiment with light painting and sparklers to add an extra dynamic to your portraits.
  • Make your couple walk towards the camera while the shutter remains open, creating a blur effect that adds depth and dimension to the photo. Use tools like flashes, gels, or torches to create dramatic light streaks with the movement. 
  • Move your camera during long exposures; either tilt it slightly up or down or move it in a circle while capturing the photo. This photography technique gives a unique, dreamy effect creating unique light trails that can be especially effective when photographing a couple dancing or walking down the aisle.

Further Read: Double Exposure Wedding Photography Tips

From waves to the wind – you can use the above tips and photography techniques to play with different elements around you when creating a long exposure photo of your couple. Use a tripod and choose the right settings in shutter priority mode to create breathtaking shots with star trails or fireworks, and elevate your couple’s wedding photos. And with post-processing, you can bring out the best in your image by adjusting the contrast, saturation, and highlights. Just remember to keep it natural!

At ShootDotEdit, we offer tips to improve your photography skills and assist you by reducing your post-production workload through custom photo editing services. Check our pricing plans to see how we can help your wedding photography business.

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Tips To Level Up Your Wedding Ceremony Photography

Every wedding ceremony is unique, and the wedding ceremony photos should also be a reflection of that. Taking on the role of a wedding photographer is an honor but also a huge responsibility! From considering the couple’s desired shots and styles to setting up creative backdrops and poses, there is much to consider when taking on this artistic challenge. Capturing those special moments in a way that will make couples look back on them fondly is no easy task! This comprehensive wedding ceremony photography guide will help you explore what it takes to capture all the must-have shots during the ceremony seamlessly. So, let’s get started!

Types Of Wedding Ceremonies

a wedding couple holding hands in a beautifully lit wedding ceremony
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @taylorkempphotography

Here are the different types of wedding ceremonies you may be asked to capture, each with their own unique set of challenges:

  1. Traditional religious ceremony: Longer wedding ceremonies and strict religious customs can make it challenging to get the perfect shot. So, remember to be respectful and discreet while capturing these important moments.
  2. Civil ceremony: This usually takes place in an indoor setting, and creativity is key in making the most of the wedding venue’s limitations.
  3. Modern ceremony: They are a mix of traditional and contemporary elements and often held in a relaxed atmosphere, allowing photographers to be more creative.

Moreover, an important part of learning how to photograph a wedding ceremony is to remember to research and prepare thoroughly for any religious or cultural traditions that need to be considered when photographing a wedding ceremony.

Suggested Read: Ceremony Photos Inspiration By ShootDotEdit Customers

Wedding Ceremony Photography Tips

a wedding ceremony in a majestic cathedral
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @taylorkempphotography

From communicating with your couple to making sure you have all the right equipment, here are some basic tips and tricks to get you started!

  1. Communicate with the couple: Ensure that you and the couple are on the same page about expectations, locations, and any special moments the couple wants captured.
  2. Arrive early: Scout the venue and set up your equipment without distractions. Be there ahead of time to ensure that you have everything prepped and ready.
  3. Check with the officiant: Talk to the officiant before the ceremony starts to understand where you can and cannot take photos.
  4. Take advantage of natural lighting: Look for natural light sources streaming into the venue to capture beautiful shots.
  5. Anticipate the next moment: Pay attention to the sequence of events during the wedding ceremony so that you’re prepared for the perfect shot each time.
  6. Use a long lens: Using a long lens camera can help you capture close-up shots without being too intrusive or distracting.
  7. Backup memory and battery: Never forget to carry backup equipment like a memory card and a battery in case something goes wrong.
  8. Dress appropriately: Remember to dress professionally. Additionally, don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll be on your feet throughout the day.
  9. Capture emotions: Always keep an eye on the couple and guests to capture candid moments that will be cherished forever.
  10. Be creative: Make use of different angles to add variety to the photographs. Consider using different lenses to shoot different parts of the ceremony.

Remember to stay calm and organized amid the mayhem of a wedding day. These tips will help you capture heartfelt wedding ceremony photos that your clients will cherish. 

Related Read: How To Take Wedding Photos: A Guide For Beginners And Pros

Wedding Ceremony Shot List

a newlywed couple exiting the wedding ceremony through a flower arrangement
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer

As a wedding photographer, it’s crucial to document all the important moments of the big day. So, here’s a wedding ceremony photography checklist to help you remember all the important shots.

  1. Before the ceremony: Take photos of the venue, decorations, and guests arriving. Don’t forget to get some shots of the bride and groom getting ready!
  2. Walking down the aisle: It is one of the most iconic shots of a wedding ceremony. Make sure you capture both sides of the aisle as well as close-ups of the couple walking down the aisle.
  3. Vows: Capture close-up shots of the couple exchanging vows. Candid photos of them giggling, laughing out loud, or getting emotional during the vows are a few must-haves from this moment.
  4. Rings: The ring exchange is a key moment in a wedding ceremony! So, make sure you get plenty of photos when your bride and groom are sliding the rings into each other’s fingers.
  5. First kiss: The first kiss is one of the most memorable and most awaited shots to get during the ceremony! If you’ve a second shooter with you, consider shooting the first kiss from different angles.
  6. Confetti/rice/petals: If confetti or petals are part of the ceremony exit, make sure you get them in the ceremony photos as well!
  7. Post-ceremony photos: Don’t forget to take photos with the couple’s family members and friends before heading off for more formal portraits.

Suggested Read: 30 Must-Have Wedding Ceremony Shots To Add To Your Shot List

Wedding Ceremony Photography: Challenges To Prepare For

Wedding ceremonies can be unpredictable and often include time constraints. Not only do you have to capture the moment perfectly, but you also need to consider where to stand as a photographer during the ceremony, what kind of lighting to use, and how to take photos before or after the ceremony. You may also face lighting issues, noisy guests, and unexpected delays. 

As a wedding photographer, it is essential that you’re completely familiar with your camera and its settings. Before the ceremony starts, be fully prepared to tackle anything that might come up. 

1. Where To Stand

an aerial shot of the father of the bride walking the bride down the aisle
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @jorgesantiagophoto

One of the biggest challenges photographers face is finding the perfect spot to capture photos during a wedding ceremony. Our suggestion is to find a spot that allows you to document all the action without getting in the way of guests or interrupting the ceremony. 


There’s an easy solution to the “where to stand” dilemma – attend the wedding rehearsal! You will be able to grasp the layout of the venue and locate the perfect spot to capture photos. Don’t forget to relay this information to the couple or the wedding planner ahead of time. In addition, you can consider these 5 spots when taking pictures during the ceremony.

Related Read: Must-Have Angles To Capture During The Wedding Ceremony

2. Limited Lighting

Wedding ceremonies can take place in a variety of different lighting conditions, and photographers must be prepared to adjust their settings and equipment accordingly. This can be particularly challenging when dealing with low wedding ceremony photography lighting conditions, which can make it difficult to capture clear, well-lit photos.


  1. Be prepared with the right equipment: Always carry a high-quality camera with a fast lens and various types of lighting equipment like diffusers, reflectors, and off-camera flashes.
  2. Scout the venue ahead of time: Consider visiting the ceremony venue ahead of time to see the lighting conditions and decide which equipment to bring to the shoot.
  3. Test your lighting configuration: Take some test shots during the rehearsal to ensure that your settings are optimal when the ceremony takes place.
  4. Work with natural light: Find the best spot in the venue that has ample natural light to capture the perfect shot. It may involve positioning yourself in different areas throughout the venue or using reflectors and other tools to manipulate light sources.
  5. Control the ambient light: To prevent color casts on your subject(s), you may need to control the ambient light in your surroundings. Adding a gel over your light source will aid in balancing the light temperature.
  6. Use reflective surfaces: Reflective surfaces like windows, mirrors, or white walls can help bounce light around the venue, resulting in interesting effects and better lighting overall.
  7. Have an assistant help with lighting: Hiring an assistant will allow you to shoot more freely as they can carry a reflector or off-camera flash, which can help light the shot effectively.

3. Timing

a wedding couple in their wedding attire having a laugh during the ceremony
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @infiniteloopphoto

Wedding photographers not only need to determine when and how to capture key moments like the exchange of vows or the first kiss but also need to be aware of the timeline and maintain a smooth flow throughout the ceremony. Another challenge is meeting the expectations and unique preferences of the couple and their families.


Plan ahead, anticipate key moments, and be prepared to change and adjust settings on the go. Keep the wedding schedule handy to anticipate key moments like exchanging rings or the first kiss, and keep your lens ready for the moment. Consider the timeline of the event and adjust as needed, typically by using additional lighting or changing lenses to get the best results. Further, if the couple has specific preferences, ensure that those are fulfilled. Ultimately, the goal is to capture beautiful memories that will last a lifetime for the couple and their families.

Do you take pictures before or after the ceremony? When it comes to civil ceremony photography, taking photos is generally allowed throughout, sometimes even with the use of flash. If it’s a religious ceremony, you might need to wait until the ceremony is finished due to restrictions inside the church. Checking ahead with your couple or the venue coordinators is a good practice in this case.

Suggested Read: Top 5 Church Wedding Ceremony Photography Tips

Best Camera Settings For Wedding Ceremony

a newlywed couple exiting the wedding venue after their ceremony
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @brandiallysephoto

As a wedding photographer, you know that the perfect shot comes down to timing, lighting, and, of course, camera settings. Listed below are the recommended camera settings to photograph wedding ceremonies:

  1. Shutter speed: Choose a fast shutter speed to freeze any movement and capture clear images.
  2. Aperture: Select an aperture that gives you enough depth of field so focus is maintained in your entire photo – from the foreground to the background.
  3. ISO: Consider how much light is available and adjust your ISO accordingly. If it’s too low, your photos will appear dark or grainy. If it’s too high, you may face noise problems when you try to enlarge them later.
  4. White balance: Adjust white balance for different lighting conditions; it helps ensure colors appear natural (no more sickly yellow hues).
  5. Bracketing: Shoot multiple pictures with different exposure settings in quick succession. This way, you can create one single image that contains elements of both over- and underexposed shots!

Dos and Don’ts Of Photographing A Wedding Ceremony

Be discreet
Respectfully capture the moments without getting in the way. Try not to block views or disrupt any elements of the ceremony.
Don’t forget important details
Capture photos of items like rings, center aisle flowers, and table settings. These are as much part of the story as the couple themselves!
Be preparedWith so little time between different wedding events, double-check your equipment ahead of time and pre-set appropriate camera settings.Don’t overexpose people’s faces
When shooting in bright sunshine, try balancing out harsh shadows by getting closer to your subjects and using reflectors if needed.
Think on your feet
You never know when a special or funny moment might occur. So, think on your feet and be ready to capture photos that might not be featured on the shot list!
Don’t ignore rules
Respecting the wishes of the couple or the restrictions imposed by the venue or location should always take precedence over capturing a shot.
Get creative
Experiment with different poses, props, and backdrops. You never know what unique shots you can create when you think outside the box!
Don’t underestimate the background
Pay attention to your backdrops and avoid distractions like signs and bins, as they can easily ruin a good shot!

Wedding ceremony photography can be a daunting yet rewarding experience for photographers. 

With thoughtful preparation, attention to detail, and the ability to think on your feet, you can bring out the best in each moment of a ceremony. Whether it’s understanding the couple’s desired aesthetic or utilizing creative backdrops and camera angles, there is a lot that goes into capturing all the magical details that create timeless memories. Remember that wedding photography is an art form that demands both careful planning and artistic flair. So, let your inspiration guide you, and you may just end up with timeless photos that capture all the joy and love shared on that unique day!

Further Read: The Ultimate Wedding Photography Shot List For You

Are you feeling overwhelmed by your post-production workload? Let ShootDotEdit lighten the load with professional photo editing services that will help you reach your wedding photography goals. Discover how we can accelerate the growth of your business with our pricing plans!

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Photographing Love Through The Lenses Of ShootDotEdit Customers

How do you photograph love? A feeling so intense yet equally simple. Something that can coexist at the break of laughter and heartfelt tears, a rush of moment and silence. And more importantly, how do you mold something like that into images that radiate the same warmth? Hard as it may be to answer this question, wedding photographers have been experimenting and weaving love stories into frames forever. So today, we bring the spotlight on some wedding photographers and ShootDotEdit customers to learn about their take on – photographing love!

Photographing Love: The Weddings Edition

1. Keeping It Real

a black and white image of the wedding couple
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @olsondesignphotography

Wild, crazy, and untamed – ShootDotEdit customer Whitney Olson of Olson Design Photography shares that these three words best reflect her life, something she strives to bring to her craft as well! Her heart feels at home in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but having traveled to six different countries, her soul is a traveler. And when it comes to photographing couples in love, she wants to capture their wild, crazy love stories EXACTLY the way it is. All hail the queen of candids!

Related Read: A Guide To Photographing Emotional Wedding Moments

2. Being A Master Storyteller

a wedding couple kissing in front of the wedding venue
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @erickelley

In addition to unconditional love, weddings shed light on the relationship of the couple and their journey. ShootDotEdit customer and wedding photographer Eric Kelley of Eric Kelley Photography believes in telling stories through his images and capturing the true essence of a moment. His approach is all about creating imagery that remains meaningful to the couple, even years after celebrating their beautiful day. And he tries to follow through with it in every shot taken, every scene photographed.

Related Read: Storytelling In Wedding Photography: 5 Ways To Get It Right

3. Chasing The Light

a wedding couple on a dusty road holding their wedding bouquet
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofields

ShootDotEdit customer and wedding photography duo, Heather and Terrence from Apollo Fields, shines the light (quite literally) to make the best of every setting. A natural light chaser with an artistic eye, Heather, the team’s in-house photographer, has a knack for finding locations that make ordinary landscapes look like professional sets, placing her subjects in an ethereal glow that’s usually reserved for storybook endings.

Terrence, on the other hand, uses his writing expertise to mirror the client’s wedding celebration in the form of heartfelt poetry. A photographer and a writer – now that’s a beautiful way to document love! Together as a team, Heather and Terrence work towards providing clients a wholesome and incomparable experience. 

From weddings in Central Park and atop skyscrapers to intimate weddings in small farms between aspen trees and lavish resort weddings surrounded by ski slopes, Heather has photographed it all! But some settings that remain close to her heart are often the ones that include dramatic landscapes, personalized details, and, ideally, a few four-legged friends.

4. Falling In Love With Love

a wedding couple having a fun loving moment under the wedding veil
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @loversoflove

“For us, it’s all about love,” highlight Nate and Dana, the husband and wife photography team behind ShootDotEdit customer Lovers Of Love. They LOVE love, and they seem to be able to find it wherever they point their lens. The couple shares that they genuinely believe in collecting moments rather than belongings and hence invest their lives into making memories and preserving them. With their hearts full and cameras ready, they approach each shoot with meaning and purpose. And the same stands true for their journey of photographing love and the story behind their cool business name.

Here’s how they came up with it:

“Love is what makes us do some crazy awesome things! It’s what makes this life worth living; it’s what makes a wedding worth having; it’s what makes it all worth remembering. It takes a strong person to do brave things in the name of love, like ask a dad to marry his baby, save up to buy a ring, and get down on one knee and ask the love of your life to be your forever partner in crime. It’s actually a sign of strength and bravery to admit that you, too, are a lover of love.”

Suggested Read: 3 Couples’ Secrets To Working As A Husband & Wife Photography Team

5. It’s All About Authenticity

a wedding couple sharing an intimate moment under the wedding veil
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @klenoxphotography

Honesty, forgiveness, and being able to laugh at oneself, Kris and Mike from ShootDotEdit customer K. Lenox Photography are believers of many things. And one such thing that especially struck a chord with us is that perfection is boring (we say, without authenticity). Every photo you take represents your signature photography style, but what makes it unique to your client? This photography duo shares that the answer lies in getting to know the happy couple and curating the album, the images, and the story as uniquely theirs. 

6. Love For All

a wedding couple sharing a close moment
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @flavio_d_photography

ShootDotEdit customer Flavio DeBarros of Flavio D Photography, a Boston-based wedding photographer, is a sucker for love and a big-time couple’s photographer! He believes that love itself is classic and resolute, flourishing in unexpected places, regardless of religion, racial makeup, or sexual orientation. Moreover, it is the reason he developed such a deep passion for wedding photography. 

Further Read: Love Is In The Air: How To Take Romantic Couple Photos

infographic photography quote by Bell Hooks

As we learn from these wedding photographers, no two definitions of love are the same. Photographing love is about understanding that and capturing it in its most raw, unaltered form – be it wild, sweet, or goofy. With their artistry, camera, and lens, these wedding photographers show that there’s more to love than just the words used to express it. Photographing couples in love with each other is about capturing the emotion and energy that comes with it – something we can all learn from as we celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Here at ShootDotEdit, we love sharing wonderful stories from the vault of our creative and passionate photographers’ community. In addition to that, we also strive to help manage your photo editing workload. Visit our pricing page to learn more about how we make that happen.

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#TooCute: How To Take Wedding Photos With Pets

Wedding photos with pets: We’ve taken them, we’ve seen them, we can’t get enough of them, and we’ve saved ALL of them on our IG. As a wedding photographer, you might have already honed your people skills, but if your couple’s pet or pets are a part of the guest list, you might want to think about leveling up your communication and wedding photography techniques as well. It’s highly likely that if your couple plans on including pets in wedding, they won’t spring that surprise on you on the wedding day, which means you’ll have enough time to prepare a photo checklist for wedding that features super cute photos of their fur babies. But if you do get stuck somewhere, these 5 wedding photo ideas on how to photograph pets at weddings could help you get exactly what you need to get those super cute family photos with pets. 

How To Take Adorable Wedding Photos With Pets

1. Get Pet-Approved 

a wedding couple posing with their pet dog on a leash
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofields

Your couple has approved you as their wedding photographer, but in case their wedding photography plan also involves wedding photos with pets, we’d recommend getting to know their pets too. Usually, you’ll have plenty of time in-between the contract signing and the wedding day, so if you can, try to get acquainted with their pets before you photograph them. This way, you can create a game plan of how you’re going to get their fur babies to pose for you on the wedding day. Plus, this will also give the pets a chance to get to know you. You never know how a pet can react to a new person, so it’s important that both parties get to know each other for a seamless working relationship. 

If meeting the pets in-person is not an option, you could simply reach out to your couple and ask them questions about their pets. This could give you an idea about their personalities and help you prepare for any challenges that you might encounter on the wedding day. Also, a great way to get the pets to cooperate on the wedding day would be to keep their favorite treats handy. This way, it’s a win-win! Additionally, if your couple really wants to have their dog in the wedding photos but is completely clueless about how to go about it, you could go the extra mile for them and guide them to articles that talk about ‘how to include your dog in your wedding photos’. 

Read More: 10 Questions To Include In A Wedding Photography Questionnaire

2. Capture The PDA

a wedding couple kissing their pet dog while holding the bouquet
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @erickelley

Couples often include their pets in wedding photos as a sign of love and connection to an animal that has been with them through thick and thin. And as a wedding photographer, your job is to capture those heart-warming moments between the couple and their beloved pets. For example, you could take pictures of the couple giving kisses to their pets or even photograph their furry companions giving them slobbery kisses! For some candid wedding photos with pets – if your wedding day timeline allows – just ask your couple to play around with their pets. This is the best way to get some picture-perfect family portraits that reflect their sweet bond.

Our tip: Try not to confine pets indoors. One of the best places to take wedding photos with pets is outdoors in big, open fields. So if your couple’s pet-friendly venue also offers space for pets to run and play around, then take that opportunity to let pets be pets, and photograph them in their element.

3. Solo Portraits 

an adorable image of a pet dog with flowery accessories
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofields

Is there really anything more adorable than solo pet portraits on the wedding day? Okay, there could be, but your couple will 100% go “awwww” when they see their puppy’s/cat’s/*enter pet* solo portrait. If your couple’s pets are part of the wedding, there are chances that they will be wearing some kind of wedding attire or accessory. Bowties, tuxedos, dresses, floral collars and crowns, custom bandanas – if your couple’s pets are wearing anything close to a wedding attire, then your job is to ensure that you do a solo portrait session with them. For wedding photos with dogs, consider photographing them on a couch, on the bed, by a window, running around, or even taking a quick little nap before they have to report to duty as the ring bearer or flower girl or just to stand next to the couple as they say their wedding vows. Including a cat in your wedding photography might not be something you do everyday, but if your couple does ask for it, do your research on how to get the best photo possible. 

Suggested Read: 7 Must-Have Angles To Capture During The Wedding Ceremony

4. Enlist A Helper

a wedding couple petting their pet dog
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @apollofields

Holding multiple cameras and lenses, giving posing cues, taking photos, and handling pets at the same time could be a little too much for any wedding photographer. For picture-perfect wedding photos with pets, you might want to consider using a helping hand. This could be your second shooter, an assistant, or one of the guests who is familiar with your couple’s pets. This way, you can focus on taking the best wedding photos with pets. If there’s a dog in the wedding, they might often get distracted and want to run around the place, so when you have a helper with you, they can keep the dog engaged even when they’re in front of the camera. 

5. Be Patient

a wedding bride talking to her pet dog
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @olsondesignphotography

When it comes to pets, you have to be prepared for sudden mood shifts. Even if you have created a whole checklist of wedding photos with pets, don’t be disappointed if your couple’s pet decides to take a nap or socialize with guests instead. Forcing the pet to pose for the camera is certainly not the best way to go about it. You have to be willing to take a break, let the pets do their thing, and then start over. If a pet gets uncooperative or agitated, we’d highly recommend pausing and giving them some TLC (or treats) to get them in a good mood again. Plus, your couple will really appreciate you for showing kindness and being patient with their pets. They are just like another family member to them, so it’s important to remember that their well-being matters to the couple.

Further Read: Must-Have Cute Couple Poses To Include In Your Shot List

Including pets in a wedding is an increasingly growing trend, and it’s such a heart-warming way for couples to honor their furry family members. Wedding photos with pets can be incredibly cute, and not to mention super super precious to your clients. So if you want to keep up with the trend, you might want to brush up on your pet photography skills, learn how to understand pets, and get them to do what you want without having to force them. If it’s possible, meet the pet before you photograph them or get to know them through your couple. On the day of the wedding, go outside and try not to just chase them for photos. And most importantly, remember the treats and stay patient no matter what. Respect the pet, and you shall get respect in return – from the pet and your clients too. 

PS: To perfect your pet photography technique, you could try practicing with your pet if you have one!

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you grow your wedding photography business. A part of how we do that is by lessening your post-production workload with our professional photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.

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What Is A Bridal Session & Reasons To Add It To Your Services

Here comes the bride, all dressed in white or maybe in a dress with colorful floral designs? Whatever may be the bride’s choice, her wedding attire is a wedding day highlight for sure. But before you photograph the dress (and the bride) in all its glory on the wedding day, a bridal portrait session is a chance for you, as the wedding photographer, to really help shine the spotlight on the dress. Plus, it’s also an opportunity for the bride to prepare herself for the wedding day photos. But if you don’t see why you should add bridal portrait sessions on your list of services or have no idea about what is a bridal session, this blog could help you understand the concept and even motivate you to start offering them asap! Hint: A more polished portfolio, more clients, more profits, etc, etc.

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A Guide To Photographing Emotional Wedding Moments

From the first looks to the first dances – weddings are filled with love, happiness, and tears of joy. These are the moments that will really capture the essence of the day and narrate the story of the bride and groom’s love for each other. As a wedding photographer, you already know that it’s absolutely crucial to photograph emotional wedding moments. In this blog post, we will highlight some of these wedding moments that you should plan for and offer tips on how you can capture them beautifully.

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The Ultimate Second Shooter Wedding Photo Checklist

infographic blog banner

Second shooters play an important role in wedding photography. Not only do they provide an extra set of hands, but they also help to capture different angles and perspectives of the big day. As the second shooter, you assist the lead wedding photographer by capturing photos that are important to your couple. Therefore, a second shooter checklist is essential to ensure that you capture all the essential moments of your couple’s big day. By being prepared and having a well-planned second shooter shot list with you, you can flawlessly capture the wedding day without any stress and even stay on track at all times. 

What Is A Second Shooter and What Are Their Responsibilities

infographic stating an efficient second shooter can ensure that not a single important wedding moment is missed

A second shooter is a photographic assistant who works with the primary photographer to capture a wedding. So the answer to “is a second shooter necessary?” depends on whether the couple or the size of the wedding requires one. Here are some reasons why having a second shooter is a good call: 

  • The second shooter is responsible for capturing all of the other important moments that take place on a wedding day, including candid shots of the guests, detail photos, wide-angle shots of the ceremony and reception spaces, etc. 
  • The second shooter also helps in setting up and breaking down photo shoots, carrying equipment, and assisting with other logistical tasks. 
  • Along with helping with carrying the gear, setting up shots, and managing guests, a second shooter also helps with crowd control and any unforeseen circumstances that may arise.

Suggested Read: Training Your Second Shooter: Making Them An Essential Member Of Your Team

An Inclusive Wedding Photography Checklist For Second Shooters

infographic stating a checklist can help make wedding photography much more organized

1. How To Be An Ace Second Shooter 

A second shooter checklist will help you be sure that nothing is forgotten and that all the bases are covered. As a second shooter, all you’ll need to excel at your job is this wedding photography checklist with second shooter tips:

  • Arrive early at the wedding venue. Look for the best shooting locations and get a feel for the lighting in each spot. Be aware of your surroundings and look for unique angles to capture the wedding day story and details.
  • Capture a mix of close-ups and wide-angle shots. Be it the first look, wedding ceremony, or reception photography, get a good understanding of the couple’s vision for their photos so that you can capture shots that will fit in with their overall aesthetic. Follow the ultimate wedding photography checklist and coordinate with the lead photographer to ensure that you’re on the right track. 
  • Take advantage of any scenic backdrop at the wedding venue for your couples portraits. If possible, try to sneak away during sunset for a few minutes to get some beautiful golden hour photos. 
  • Get to know the wedding party and guests, so you can put them at ease in front of the camera. Once the ceremony is over, stick around to capture some candid shots of guests congratulating the newlyweds.
  • Be aware of the schedule and plan ahead to capture all the little details that make the wedding day unique. During the wedding reception, be on the lookout for special moments like the first dance, cake cutting, reactions to wedding toasts, etc. At the end of the event, make sure to get a few shots of the bride and groom leaving as husband and wife. 

Suggested Read: 5 Quick Tips To Empower Your Second Shooter

2. Second Shooter Wedding Shot List

infographic stating wedding photography involves a team effort to capture all of the special moments

Just a wedding shot list helps a wedding photographer stay on track, creating a list of all the moments you need to capture can be beneficial. As a second shooter, you are entrusted with capturing wedding photos that a lead shooter might be too busy to capture. Plus, you are also expected to capture different angles and perspectives that help tell the story of that moment. With a second shooter shot list, you increase your chances of capturing everything flawlessly. Here are a few photographs your shooter’s photo checklist can include: 

1. Getting Ready Photos 

a bride getting ready strapping on her wedding shoes
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer

As the lead shooter is photographing the bride and groom getting ready, you can assist them to get more candid shots of the couple getting ready. Additionally, if the lead photographer is taking portraits of the couple once they are done getting ready, you could gather the wedding party for their group shots. 

2. First Look

Whether it is a first look between the bride and groom, or the bride and her bridal party, or a first look with the bride and her parents, make sure you and the lead wedding photographer communicate about who you have to focus on. In a bride and groom first look, the lead will most likely be focusing on the groom’s reactions, so make sure you capture the bride’s excitement as she walks up to the room and taps on his shoulder. Similarly, if there’s a first look with the parents, make sure you both are on the same page about who your primary subjects are.

3. Group Photos

a groom and his groomsmen posing with a camel
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @brandiallysephoto

While the lead is busy taking couples portraits, you can cover your second shooter checklist item by capturing family and wedding party portraits, using different photography angles and techniques. Once you’re done with capturing these essential photos, you could also find a different angle for capturing the couples portraits.

4. Shoot Details

a close up detail shot of the wedding reception food and drinks
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @erinm_photography

The couple spends a considerable amount of time planning every little detail of their wedding day. Whether it’s the rings, the flowers, the centerpieces, or the 5-tiered wedding cake, make sure you take out time to capture the unique wedding decor details. 

5. Wedding Ceremony

a beautiful dimly lit shot of a wedding ceremony
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @taylorkempphotography

Wedding ceremony photos are some of the most important photos that you will take at any wedding. While the lead photographer focuses on shooting the couple at the altar, you could move around the venue and capture candid shots of the guests, the bride and groom’s reactions from different angles, and even expansive shots of the ceremony location from the back or from a bird’s-eye view.

6. Reception Highlights

an overhead aerial shot of a wedding reception
Image Credit: ShootDotEdit Customer @loversoflove

Be it the emotional speeches, first dance, cake cutting, bouquet/garter toss – there’s a lot that goes on during a wedding reception, and while the lead photographer focuses on the couple during the different activities, make sure you get candids of their guests’ reactions. Just like we suggested for the wedding details, remember to take out some time to capture details from the reception venue. 

Further Read: Hiring A Second Shooter For Weddings: Tips & Tricks

infographic stating being a second shooter is a great opportunity to learn all about wedding photography

Being a second shooter is a great opportunity to learn, get creative, and experiment with your photography. And having a second shooter checklist is a great way to ensure that you’re ready to impress. We’d recommend that before the wedding, you communicate and coordinate with the lead shooter so that you’re both on the same page and don’t end up missing out on any important moments. You can use our suggested checklist, or you could also modify it to suit your needs better. In any case, make sure you prepare one and also prepare a shot list so you can keep track of all the photos you need to take and have a relatively stress-free workday.

At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you level up as a photographer and a business owner. And we do that by taking editing off your plate with our professional photo editing services, giving you more time to learn new skills. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.

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