How to Take Wedding Portraits

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When taking wedding portraits, visit the ceremony and reception site before the wedding, take both formal and candid portraits and create interesting compositions when taking group portraits. Take memorable wedding portraits with information from a certified professional photographer in this free video on photography.

Part of the Video Series: Portrait Photography
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There's a lot of different portraits that are taken on a wedding day. So when you're doing wedding portraits, where everything from capturing the bride in the dressing room. And the groom you know, after, before and after they've got their act together. So to speak. One of the things I found is, I've learned to go to whatever site that I'm going to be working at. I try and get to the rooms. And if I'm not, If I haven't already worked in a place. I try and go there and check it out. See what the lighting is going to be like on the day. Around the same time of year. One of the things, you want to be careful of is, if you go to visit a site. And you do it six months in advance. You'll find that things are very, very different. The sun moves, it's incredible. So you want to be visiting a site close to the time, you're going to be doing, doing portraits. This is just as quick touch on wedding albums. Which is where a lot of the wedding portraits go. Always do a portrait of the shoes and details and things that anybody would. I always say, that if somebody spent money on something at a wedding. I want to have a photo of it. So that they can have a memory of it. So here, when we look. This is a little bit before the wedding. Getting together. These are more, what we call candid portraits. This one's a little bit more formal because we stopped and asked her to say, hi. As you go through, there's various portraits. Of course, you know, the bride with her father. The bridesmaids, the bride herself in some sort of you know, kind of cool way. You know, you're constantly taking all kinds of portraits. And again, you don't want the eyes to be on the same level. So you see how they jump up and down there. This is just an inset, kind of, more of a showy page. But here we go. You know, really close ups. You'll always try and capture some emotion with your images. Then we move on to the church. And your portraits are taken before with you know, other family members and groups. You know, before the wedding starts. And whenever you have time to take any kind of portrait, you go ahead and take it. Because it could be a potential sale. Once the wedding is over. Then once you're working inside the church. And here's again a really good reason why you want visit a site before you make any images. This is a very dark chapel. There is no light in there, whatsoever. So that made me know that I needed to be on it, at the very least a mono pod. If not a tripod, while making photos in there. And that there would be very shallow depth to feel. You need to aware of that. And then, back to candid portraits. As they, as they work their way out. And of course, you'll do you know, closer ups of you know, the bride and groom. Saying hi. Again, your family group portraits. Again, look at the shapes that we're creating. We've got the triangle shape. We've got a nice little movement here. With the eyes, all on different levels. Same thing here, kind of, colors working together with the guys on one side. The girls on the other. And again, we're looking for shapes there, shapes there, shapes there. And you can see, how everything moves throughout the image. So when you're doing these portraits, you want to be very creative and look for different things. This is an area, this is same photograph shot in the same place as that. So you can always, always tell that you know, in a very small space. You can do all different kinds of portraits. In a very short period of time. Which is really important when you're creating those photographs on the wedding day. Because everybody wants to get to the bar. Or is it to the reception, let's say. Utilizing the various areas, if you look there's three couples here. There's three arches there. We've put a couple in each arch. Just to kind of, kind of, work it out. that's the you know, the portrait of the bride and her new husband. The bride's parents and the groom's parents. And of course, you keep them on their respective sides to tie them together. So it kind of, gives you an idea. Of course, you've got the you know, the full group portrait of everybody at the wedding. You always want to make sure, you get one of those. Usually there's not a lot of time to pose that. It's like kind of, pile them into a big pile. And make sure you can see everybody's face. And there's your portrait of the family for the whole thing. And then, then usually we try and take a little bit of time at the very least. And take just the bride and groom. And go, go hang out and play just with them. So there's no interruptions and no, no. Things were taken to a pretty place. In this case, we're still at the Tlaquepaque here in Sedona. Then we went out to the Red Rocks. Then again, you're creating these portraits on the fly. Very quickly, very cleanly. Here we've taken you know, just a simple trick. If the bride has a big veil. You can lift the veil up and have you know. Have somebody off camera holding it. or dropping it. So that it's kind of, flying. Like it looks like it's in the wind. Draping the veil over the two heads. Kind of, a cool little portrait. And then of course, you move on to the reception. And most of those are you know, more of your candid type photos. And there's a little tip to get this kind of amount of color and light in your image. You want to do what's called dragging the shutter. So when you're making a portrait in a dark place. Where they're you know, where they're dancing. They don't want the lights up real bright. What you do is, you make an exposure that's very slow. And then, at the tail end or the last, before the shutter closes. Boom! The flash goes off. And that will freeze the people in place. But allow the light from the room to render in the background. So that you don't have just that flash with the black background. Very important technique, if you're going to be doing any kind of wedding work. And this kind of, gives you an idea. Where you get all the, all the depth and all the color in the back of the room. And then, pretty much just work your way through. Until it's the end of the day. And then, once you're done, you're done.

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