It’s really important to capture everything that you can during a wedding, and to do so at the highest possible quality. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and it’s up to you to create a stunning collection of images that tell the story of the day. One of the best ways to do this is to include detail photography. Here’s how you can make that happen.
Planning in Detail Shots
The first thing that you need is a plan of when and where you need to take your detail shots. It’s a lot easier to do this if you have a second photographer with you. When there is so much going on at a wedding, you don’t want to miss a single thing. It’s hard to fit in things like the wide group shots after the ceremony as well as getting those details. That’s why it’s best to have a second shooter grabbing those details from the side-lines while you take on the main shots.
The best idea is to have an actual list of things that are great to capture in detail. Of course, it’s good to capture anything that you spot during the wedding, even if it isn’t on the list. But there are some things that you don’t want to miss, especially if a lot of work and effort has been put into them. Maybe the guests won’t care that there aren’t any photographs of the sashes on the back of their chairs. But the bride, who spent three weeks discussing the colour and shape of those sashes, will absolutely want to see them recorded!
It’s also very important that you have a full idea of what will happen during the ceremony and reception. Even if one of the newlyweds has planned a surprise for the other, they should be asked to get in touch with you about it discreetly! This is to ensure that you always know where to go and what to capture. It would be a shame to miss the most special moment of the day because you didn’t know that it was going to happen.
Capturing the Bride
Let’s think about what you might want to cover when it comes to the bride. You can capture a close-up of her engagement ring, as well as the wedding ring after the ceremony. The good news is that you can double photographs of the rings with photographs of the bouquet while she is holding it! If you can see anything of her special items – her old, new, borrowed, and blue “somethings” – then capture these in detail as well. You can use close-ups while she gets her hair and make-up done in the morning, as well as her bridal shoes. Get side-on images of the fabric of her dress and any lacy or beaded details. The same goes for any jewellery that she is wearing.
Details of the Groom
Now onto the groom – what can you capture for his details? The moment that his tie is tied for him can be a special moment, and you can focus on his boutonniere as well as his special shiny shoes. The wedding ring is a good one to do for him as well, and you can have the happy couple holding hands to get both together. If he has a pocket handkerchief, this can be an interesting detail shot. Look out for moments during the ceremony such as his written vows clutched nervously in his hands!
Including the Wedding Party
Next it’s on to the wider party – the groomsmen, bridesmaids, and family of the couple. The bouquets and buttonholes are a must, and it’s always great to get a shot across bouquets when everyone is lined up together for a group photograph. Think about matching hairpieces, details such as the mother of the bride’s hat, and quick emotional moments. It’s always a good idea to get shots of younger members of the wedding party as soon as possible. They might have a tendency to run around and mess up parts of their clothing or their accessories before the ceremony is over! You can also capture mementoes of the gifts given to the wedding party as thanks for their help.
Saving the Stationary
A lot of time and thought goes into wedding stationary – and money too! Make sure to capture the save-the-dates, the invitations, and even the envelopes if they have been designed specifically. Place cards and seating charts also fall under this category as they will have been put together with care. Capture the blank guest book and include some shots of guests signing it if possible. Look out for customized signs, even on the door of the venue or directing guests where to go. They may not seem like much in the moment, but these added shots can really lend a narrative to the wedding album when they are put in place.
Checking the Décor
Think about anything that has been used to set the scene, too. Welcome bags or gifts laid out on tables should be captured before they are disturbed by the guests, and floral arrangements should be covered carefully. Get a close-up of wedding confetti both before and after it is used, as well as the signed wedding register and any text that the celebrant may be reading from. Cutlery and decorations on the tables should be captured as well. Food and drinks, particularly the wedding cake, can make for very interesting and beautiful shots. Think about the glasses of champagne lined up for toasts too, and any dressing that has been done on the wedding car. When you get to the reception, think about capturing details of the entertainment. For example, if there is a live band, you can cover their instruments.
The most important thing about getting those detail shots is knowing how to shoot them. Use a shallow depth of field to get that soft focus in the background, and focus in on key elements. Treat them almost like portrait shots, and get that beautiful image every time with your subject centered and in fully sharp detail.