Wedding photography tutorials
This resource page is a listing of articles on the Tangents blog which relate directly to wedding photography.
The articles encompass a wide range – lighting and posing, and advice on how to develop your own style in wedding photography. The advice is ultimately geared towards enabling you, as the photographer, to deliver the best possible images to your clients.
Tips, advice & techniques for wedding photographers
Developing a personal style is a never-ending journey as a photographer – honing your style along with your approach, technique, understanding and skill.
- wedding photography – a photo-journalistic style, or more posed?
- standing out / blending in – aiming for spontaneity and genuine expressions
- wedding photography – when style, technique & choice of gear converge
- wedding photography: controlling those found moments
- wedding photography – creating those special moments
For me, a second shooter is a fully fledged photographer working independently, but closely with, the main photographer. A second photographer is there to augment the main photographer’s coverage of the wedding. As such, there are certain things that could be (and should be) expected from a 2nd shooter at a wedding.
- tips & advice for second shooting weddings
- tips on improving your photography technique
- tips on improving your photo-shoot workflow
Choosing which lens to use while photographing a wedding, is obviously an extension of your own style. It affects how you want to portray your subject, or the scene, through choice of depth-of-field, perspective and angle of view … or even through some special effect, such as a fish-eye lens or tilt-shift lens.
Hard sunlight overhead is some of the most difficult light that you can find yourself shooting in. When you’re able to move your bride and groom (and even bridal party), and don’t have the opportunity for off-camera lighting, then you still have a few simple but effective options.
From a technical point of view, photographing a bride in her dress can be a challenge … depending on the lighting. The simplest way for me then to get accurate exposure, is to use the histogram. I place my brightest relevant tone at the edge of the histogram. All the other tones will fall into place. In this way, you simply expose correctly for your subject – the bride in her white dress.
- exposure metering: under-exposure / over-exposure vs exposing correctly
- using the histogram to check for correct exposure
I love doing engagement photo sessions because this allows me the opportunity to connect with my clients before their big day. There are many other advantages to doing the engagement photo session. Here are my top 5 tips for a successful photo session with your clients.
Some extra non-photography related goodies I keep in my camera bag to make my life easier as a wedding photographer.
as the wedding day unfolds
- bridal portrait – mimicking soft window light with on-camera bounce flash
The classic shot of a beautiful bride lit by bounce flash, and not window-light!
- bounce flash for bridal portraits
Using on-camera bounce flash effectively for great portrait lighting.
- photographing the wedding processional
The processional is technically probably the most difficult part of a wedding to shoot and get right. Light levels are low in cavernous churches while people are walking towards you. Getting enough light on them, and having that light look good, as well as getting the image sharp .. that’s a tall order.
- photographing the wedding processional with extreme bounce flash
Even in a challenging location, you might be surprised at how much power a speedlight has at the right aperture / ISO combination.
- flash photography during the wedding ceremony in church
Whether or not to use flash during a wedding ceremony in a church, is a tricky decision to make. You have to weigh the solemnity of the occasion, with the contractual and artistic requirements to create awesomely awesome images.
- wedding photography – light & lighting; posing & direction
Posing, directing and lighting a bridal party group outside – there’s a way to break it all down to simple elements which will help the photo session come together naturally, without being overwhelmed by the decisions which have to be juggled simultaneously.
romantic portraits of the bride and groom
Trying different lighting ideas, whether in posing or with lighting, to give the bride and groom a variety of images.
- romantic wedding portraits with video light (Tatiana & Brandon)
- lighting ideas for the romantic portraits (Melissa & Dennis)
- Night-time city lights & off-camera flash (Andrea & Rui)
- wedding photography: bride & groom portraits with video light (Alli & Scott)
- romantic wedding portraits – working with an idea (Lindsay & Chris)
- wedding photography – using bounce flash outside (Justine & Kyle)
- wedding photography – tips on posing – asymmetry (Justine & Kyle)
- back-lighting with flash for silhouetted wedding portraits (Justine & Kyle)
- simplifying composition with a fast telephoto zoom (Aluanda & Clarence)
- video light for the romantic portraits of the bride & groom (Julia & Louis)
- flash photography: how far can you bounce your flash? (Megan)
- Off-camera flash for wedding portraits on the beach (Sarah & Antonio)
- using video lights for outdoor night-time portrait photography (Lindsay & Chris)
wedding photography technique & style
- looking at the available light (no gazebos!)
- anticipation and timing
- using the available light is not random thing
- wedding photography – tips for detail shots of the wedding rings
- Romantic wedding portraits – more than just the kiss
- use light & lighting to add impact to your photos (Grace & Joseph)
- finding (and using) interesting available light
- wedding photography – those key moments
- wedding day portraits – bride and bridesmaids – finding a background
- wedding day portraits – simplifying composition for effect
- bridal couple portraits on the beach – a spontaneous moment. (post-processing explained.)
- groomsmen shot – reservoir dogs style
- the moment after the kiss
- portraits of the bride – looking for the less obvious image
- a rainy-day wedding
- bridal portrait – working with the available light
- portraits of the bride and bridesmaids
- a wedding in Central Park, New York w/ Alvin & Lucia
- available light photography: posing into the light w/ Julie
- flash & low ambient light – adapting during outdoor wedding ceremony (Caisey & John)
- how do you meter for TTL flash & ambient light
- adapting the use of light & flash photography (Alesha & Patrick)
- detail shots, bounce flash & macro lenses
- using video light for macro detail photos
- bounce flash indoors … in the limo (Justine & Kyle)
- using off-camera lighting – shooting in partial sunlight & shade (Beata & George)
- using the Profoto B1 flash at a wedding (Karissa & Rory)
- wedding photography – macro photography: options and alternatives
- podcast – wedding photography tips
- flash photography: how far can you bounce your flash? (Megan & Mike)
lighting the wedding formals
When photographing the family portraits, you can really help yourself by nailing your lighting. Get it down. Then you can concentrate on getting the groups together, and concentrate on posing the groups. But your lighting works! Much less stress.
- part 1 – using off-camera flash for clean predictable results
- Bridal portraits with on-camera bounce flash
- part 3 – the benefits of using off-camera manual flash
- a simple lighting setup for photographing the wedding formals
- wedding photography: positioning your flash for the formals
- wedding photography – lighting large groups with a large light
- wedding photography: how do you light large groups? … evenly!
- wedding photography – big bounce flash (Grace & Joseph)
- shooting wedding formals in the mid-day sun
- flash photography: dealing with reflective surfaces
- formal portait of couple – finding somewhere to bounce flash off
working with tungsten / incandescent light
Since much of wedding photography is done indoors, we constantly have to deal with Incandescent / Tungsten light. The best advice … embrace it! Some of this applies during the romantic portrait session with the couple, as well as the reception.
- using video light for photography
- working with tungsten light during wedding photography
- wedding photography – dealing with the videographer’s light
- video light as fill-light for wedding portraits
- shooting in low light – flash and incandescent light
photographing the wedding reception
Wedding receptions, for me, are the easiest part of the day. People are having fun, and the activity is generally contained to one area only. And for the photographer, the pressure is generally off by now. Now you can have fun as well with the party photos, and still nail the images and give the bride and groom the best you can. There are a few techniques I use to give consistency to what I deliver.
- wedding photography: dealing with the DJ’s lights
- bounce flash photography at wedding receptions (Juana)
- bouncing on-camera flash in manual mode (Julie)
- wedding photography: using high ISO and flash at the reception w/ Ashley & Michael
- shooting from the hip – a simple technique using your flash’s AF assist beam
- flagging your bounce flash for directional light – vs – simple bounce flash
- high-ISO bounce flash photography (Gaby & Mike)
- wedding reception lighting with one flash (Geeta & Andy)
A few years back, I would regularly use additional lighting to add extra light to the reception room, in order to avoid the dreaded black background which everything faded into. But I rarely do so these days, relying on higher ISO settings and wide apertures … and bounce flash.
A common technique used in photographing wedding receptions, is to use additional lighting to lift the general light levels in large reception rooms. The additional lights can be wirelessly controlled TTL flash .. but more often would be manual flashes. Then an on-camera flash can be used, either in manual, or in TTL
I’m a wedding photographer, based in NJ, and also photograph weddings in Manhattan, New York; Connecticut. I work further afield too, including destination weddings.
My approach to wedding photography is a flexible one – borrowing from the best elements of classic wedding photography, liberally mixed with modern photo-journalistic story-telling. I love working with my bridal couples in getting the best possible images of their wedding day. It really becomes a collaboration in that way, as we have fun on the wedding day and get wonderful images that will evoke memories for a life-time.