Today I thought I’d talk about getting better detail photos the morning of the wedding. This includes shoes, jewelry, invitations, wedding rings or anything special the bride may have the morning of the wedding. When we first started wedding photography, this part of the day was kind of a struggle for me. A lot of times you need to find space to photograph these things in a cramped hotel room with minimal natural light, which is what we use the majority of the time. Talk about trying to keep a game face when trying to figure out how and where you’re going to do this! Here are some tips I’ve learned over the past 4 years to take better photos of the bride’s details.
- First, make sure the bride knows what you’ll need beforehand. We provide a checklist of everything we’ll be taking photos of. This is part of our wedding timeline worksheet we have them fill out. It definitely helps things stay more organized!
- Look for the best natural light in the room and turn off any artificial lights. The artificial light is going to add that yellow hue to photos…no thank you! In a hotel room, there’s usually only one window and it’s typically near the bed so that’s where I’ll bring everything. In a home, you’ll obviously have more options.
- If there is literally no good lighting in a room, scope out other places to bring the details. One of the last weddings we did, the room was almost like a cave so I took a walk around the hotel and brought the dress to another location (with the brides permission of course).
- Group the details together to tie it all in together. For instance, in this shot I grouped her shoes, hair pieces, necklace and rings on a chair in front of a window. The white in the background is her dress hanging up from a chandelier.
You can see the dress hanging in this picture. You can also see that that same window light illuminating the dress there as well.
5. Buy a good macro lens for rings and small details. The first macro lens we started with was the Canon 100mm 2.8. It was a nice lens but it didn’t have image stabilization. Since I typically set my aperture to around f/5.6 for ring shots, and therefore need a slower shutter speed, image stabilization was a must! I quickly learned (about 2 weddings into using it) that we needed to upgrade and quick. It was the best money we ever spent.
6. If you are stuck in a hotel room with an ugly comforter, use something else to put the details on. Sometimes I will use the bride’s dress itself (very carefully of course!!) and put her shoes, jewelry etc. on it. If that’s not an option, you can use flowers, clutches, veils or find a nicely colored chair or ottoman. In the picture below, I brought everything down to the reception room itself since it was lit the best. In the middle photo, I placed her shoes and flowers on top of her veil to hide the fact that it was on a halfway made up table. I didn’t put the wet stems on the veil though! The ring & earring photos were taken near the same window light.
This picture is where I used the brides dress on top of a bed. The comforter was green and had a strong pattern so the dress was my way of hiding that fact. And yes, I always ask permission before I pull that stunt.
Hopefully this post helps! I’ll have some more tips and tricks posts coming in the future.