If the ceremony is being done ‘on location’ – like at a home, a park, a beach, etc. this simplifies things a lot.
If you can’t shoot during the actual ceremony you may be able to shoot some posed shots after the ceremony in the church.
Talk to the priest or minister before hand and ask if you can come back after the bouquet is thrown and do a few shots. You’ll never know unless you ask.
This usually includes arriving at the church in the limo – but if you have to choose between the ceremony and someone in white getting out of a car go for the ceremony.
Remember the bride will like the shots where she looks beautiful, serene, committed, loving.
The groom will like the shots where he looks masculine, handsome, strong and loving – but he probably won’t really like many shots at all!
So let’s get to the ceremony. You may or may not be able to shoot this or you may only be able to shoot from the back of the church. You should know in advance what’s possible.
These posed shots will probably have to be done without the congregation so they will be medium – close-ups of the bride and groom and maybe the celebrant: you can still re-shoot the ring, the hands on the bible, the kiss.
Getting a stained glass window in the background is very cool and says ‘church’.
If you cannot do any shots at all inside the church, you can fudge them elsewhere by doing tight close-ups.
If you can take shots of the ceremony ALWAYS plan to shoot for the bride – yes, the groom is important but men don’t usually buy or appreciate photos of themselves.
Work out where you should be able to get a clean shot of the bride’s face either in profile or from an angle. Then find a good angle for the groom. If they conflict, stay with the bride. If you can get both that’s perfect.
During the ceremony, there are several ‘still moments’ where the subjects are transfixed by the magic, or the paralyzing terror, of the moment.
These still moments make for good shots using available light.
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