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The Most Important Photos for a Wedding Photographer to Take

As a wedding photographer, your job is perhaps the most special and important one of the couple’s big day. However, trying to capture each and every moment can be a challenge, as it’s easy to lose track and get lost in the shuffle. So whether the wedding is held in a casual and laid-back setting like a backyard or an extravagant and grand event in a church and party hall, make sure that you don’t miss a single moment of unforgettable memories. To help you plan ahead, here is a list of the most important photos to take.


The Preparation

Needless to say, the hours leading up to the main event are chock-full of anticipation, excitement, and sweet moments waiting to be captured on film. As a wedding photographer, you have the unique opportunity to be both an insider with an outsider’s perspective that allows you to witness and preserve the memories many might otherwise miss in the hustle and bustle of the day. As the bride and groom and their respective parties get ready, snap some of these must-have shots:

For the Bride

  • Close-ups of the dress hanging over a chair or wardrobe
  • The bride and her mother or bridesmaids getting ready
  • A full-length shot of the bride looking at her dress in the mirror
  • Detail shots of the veil, gown, or accessories

For the Groom

  • Putting on his tie, with the help of his father or alone
  • A shot of the groom joking around with his groomsmen
  • Father and the groom in conversation
  • The groom all ready to go


The Ceremony

During the most emotional and arguably the most photogenic time of the wedding, it’s important to be alert and aware as to not miss any of the most important moments (re: take more pictures than you think you should!). It’s easy to snap some really beautiful pictures, but it’s even more memorable to capture the whole timeline of the event on film. Bring the ceremony to life for the bride and groom by taking these photos:

  • Guests being escorted to their seats
  • Close up of the groom waiting for the bride
  • A photo of the flower girl and ring bearer
  • The altar from the back during the ceremony
  • The wedding parties waiting for the bride
  • Close up and long shot of the walk down the aisle
  • The exchange of rings and the kiss
  • Smiling faces of the bride and groom proceeding back down the aisle


The Reception

The trickiest part about your job as a wedding photographer during a wedding reception is not joining on in the fun—although we certainly encourage you to enjoy yourself—because it’s important not to miss some of the best action shots of the night. So get up in the middle of things, capture those smiling faces and the palpable joy that anyone can feel while being at a wedding reception. Here are some of the best shots to take:

  • A panoramic shot of the space and guests arriving
  • The bride and groom arriving
  • Shots of the bride and groom and parents at their tables
  • Bride and groom’s first dance (maybe with a slow shutter speed so the movement blurs the image a little)
  • Cutting the cake
  • Photos of kids, family members, guests, and the bride and groom dancing
  • The garter being tossed
  • The bride and groom departing the wedding

Enjoy Yourself

Even though your job requires you to be professional, no one ever said you couldn’t have any fun! Weddings are joyful, exuberant, and wonderful celebrations, so enjoy the buzz of the occasion while you can. Chances are your positivity will only add to the event and maybe even put your clients at ease knowing that everyone is celebrating their happiness with them.

This guest post is written by Katherine Oakes from Modernize.

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