For those of you who are new to the world of wedding photography or are still learning the ropes, you’ve probably heard about the importance of consistency in delivering top-notch creative service. Achieving that level of consistency, from editing to delivering an amazing gallery every single time, is no small feat. It took me years to perfect this craft. So, if you’ve ever struggled with creating consistent work for every client, fret not. I’m going to share what helps me capture those emotional moments at every wedding, regardless of the details, weather, or location.
LEARNING TO PREDICT MOMENTS
In wedding photography, every moment is unique, and it’s our job to make each one shine. It’s not about the most breathtaking venues or extravagant details; it’s about understanding and predicting the emotional stories that unfold on this special day.
Let’s look at the moments that I anticipate and capture on every wedding day, helping me deliver a consistent, heartfelt gallery to my clients.
A FEW TOP MOMENTS
1. The Reveal in Wedding Attire
As the couple gets dressed and ready, you can bet they’ll take a moment to admire themselves in the mirror. Be there, camera ready, to capture this intimate and self-reflective moment. People reveal themselves when they’re looking at their image and it’s a tender moment of reflection before they walk down the aisle.
2. Moments After the First Look
While the initial first look is a magical moment, it’s what happens immediately afterward that often yields the most authentic and heartwarming interactions. Anticipation turns into genuine smiles, tears, and laughter. This goes for most of these categories, but being able to see and capture the in-between posed moments of the day is what your clients will cherish.
3. Candid Portraits
During portrait sessions, if the couple seems a bit stiff or reserved, I often create a moment by pretending to be preoccupied with my gear, switching lenses, or reviewing photos. This relaxed atmosphere often leads to natural interactions, genuine smiles, and sometimes even laughter. A little tip if they’re still not relaxing, you can say aloud “just a second, go ahead and relax while I get my lighting” and sure enough, people think you’re not taking images of them and will be more genuine.
4. Hugs at the End of the Aisle
The end of the aisle is often unscripted, and this is where raw emotions surface. Particularly, keep an eye on fathers, as the weight of the moment can trigger unexpected emotional reactions. More often than not, parents feel the weight of the wedding day in this moment. Hugging and letting go of their child as they go to someone else can have a huge emotional response!
5. The Couple Walking Away from the Ceremony
While others might focus on the wedding party exiting down the aisle, I stick with the newlyweds. This is when they are overflowing with happiness and giddiness about their newlywed status – a perfect moment to capture their genuine joy. Plus, if guests or the bridal party approaches them right away, it is usually fun and celebratory and will help you get some of the best candids of the day.
6. Emotional Toasts
Toasts provide an excellent opportunity for capturing emotional moments. While it’s essential to photograph the speakers, pay close attention to the reactions of the couple and their guests. Often, the guests’ reactions to heartwarming or funny anecdotes create memorable shots.
7. The Couple Approaching Guests
During cocktail hour, it can be tricky to photograph the couple in a group. Focus on the moments as they approach or leave a group of guests. This is your chance to capture hugs, laughter, and emotional connections with flexibility.
8. Empathy and Perspective
To predict these moments, you need to step into the shoes of not just the couple but also their family and friends. Understand what’s meaningful to each person involved and be there to document the moments that truly touch their hearts.
This is the hardest one because some of it just takes time and experience. But starting to practice at every wedding will help get you there. Don’t just observe. Truly listen to people, watch relationships, train your eye to see what others don’t. I like to think about what my second shooter might be seeing because they’re focused on relationships and creativity. The same can be said of you.
Achieving consistency in wedding photography is all about mastering the art of anticipation and knowing how to capture these unique, heartwarming moments. Regardless of the wedding’s specifics, the emotional story that unfolds is what truly matters. So, as you embark on your journey in wedding photography, remember to anticipate, empathize, and be ready to capture the moments that will forever etch a beautiful love story in photographs.
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