The Best Camera Settings for Indoor Weddings

Use proper camera settings to get that perfect photo.
Use proper camera settings to get that perfect photo. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Indoor weddings can be difficult to photograph because of low-light conditions. But even amateur photographers with relatively inexpensive digital cameras can take great photographs at an indoor wedding. All that is needed is some patience and the digital camera manual. There are several settings that can be tweaked to improve the quality of photos taken in low light. Because each camera’s settings are slightly different, it may be necessary to consult the camera’s manual to determine how to locate the settings.

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Manual Mode

The first setting that should be changed is the camera’s mode. Most users set the mode to auto, which automatically adjusts the aperture and shutter speed. Changing the mode to manual allows the user to specify the exposure settings, which can lead to better photos.


Aperture is the size of the lens opening when a photo is taken. Increasing the aperture of a camera allows more light into the camera as the photo is taken. For dark indoor wedding venues, increasing the aperture will help brighten dim photography. Conversely, if an indoor venue is brightly lit, decrease the aperture for best results. For dim settings, try increasing the aperture to the largest setting, take a few sample shots and see how they turn out.

Shutter Speed

Measured in seconds, shutter speed is the length of time that the shutter remains open. Decreasing shutter speed allows more light into the photos just like increased aperture does. To take the best photos in dim light, decrease the shutter speed to allow the most light into the photographs. In addition to improving lighting in low-light conditions, changing the shutter speed can be used to create special effects or capture a lot of movement in a photo. Using it for the latter will result in a blurred effect. Snap a few test shots to see the effects of the shutter speed before taking wedding photos.

External Flash

There are several advantages to using an external flash in low-light conditions. Because the built-in flash is located just above the lens, it tends to create harsh shadows when used as the main source of light. An external flash that tilts or swivels allows the user to adjust the position of the flash for each shot. External flashes are typically able to recycle more quickly after each shot, which allows the photographer to snap photos in quick succession and capture important wedding moments as they occur.


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