Wedding Day Walkthrough with a NYC Wedding Photographer

Ever wondered what all goes on behind the scenes on a typical wedding photography session? If you’ve ever considered working in the field of wedding photography, then getting to know how the pros do it is a good starting point. Getting to know how others work is also a great way of learning new ideas to improve your skill. Wedding photographer John Branch takes you behind the scenes of a wedding he shot in New York City to share a glimpse of all the effort that goes into a successful wedding session:

Besides the usual wedding ceremony, the bridal party, the reception, and the speeches, there’s just so many other things that happen during a wedding. There are quite a number of other ceremonies that take place where you can take some great photographs.

On the day of the wedding, start by reaching the venue early and introducing yourself to the main people involved. This includes the bride, groom, their parents, bridesmaids, and the groomsmen. You’ll be spending quite a good portion of the day working with them. So, it is important that you get to know them.

Begin by photographing the details. For the bride, include the invitation, paperwork, shoes, and jewelry. As for the groom, use accessories like shoes, a watch, socks, a tie, and a belt. Take an overall image and then take individual shots of the details.

When you photograph the bride and the groom getting ready, don’t just photograph them getting dressed. Add some emotional value to the image by asking someone dear to them to help them out.

When photographing the bridesmaids and the groomsmen, opt for a neutral background. This draws in more attention to the subjects. And don’t forget to ask them to talk to each other, smile, and joke around when taking such photos. Emotions add value to the image. Weddings are, after all, all about emotions.

Speaking of emotions, the first looks during the ceremony can get quite emotional. During the father-daughter first look, while you have the main photographer photographing the pair, have the second shooter photograph the people around them. This is again yet another emotional moment that everyone will truly treasure.

Similarly, the bride-groom first look is yet another moment to treasure. If you have a second photographer, make their best use by photographing the moment from multiple angles. Let the bride and the groom cherish the moment; do not direct them on what to do or not to do during this moment. Once done with the first look, you can head on to taking portraits of the bride and the groom together.  Have the portrait taken somewhere near the ceremony venue. This will save time. If you’re new to the venue, look around.

For the latter part of the ceremony, like speeches that happen during low light conditions, be prepared accordingly. You may need to work with flash, and having a wide aperture lens helps. During the speech, you again have ample opportunities to capture the emotional roller coaster ride that the couples go through.

“Typically they (bride and the groom) are going to hug the speech giver. Always wait for the hug. “

As for the dancing during reception, a wide angle works best. It allows you to be a part of the crowd, enjoy the music, and photograph. Look out for the groups enjoying themselves the most as they make for some fun-filled photos. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for the bride and the groom dancing. They are, after all, the focal point of the wedding.

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