For some brides, everything is in the details. From the flowers to the special forks for the cake. Whatever it may be, it is our job as the photographer to photograph them. However, we have run into a few things these past seven years that I feel could make the detail shots even better. Two words : Communication and natural light.
To photographers :
*No matter what, photograph EVERYTHING.
Every detail is important to the bride and groom on their wedding day. Even if it doesn't look like much, it probably is to the bride and groom. Take a photo and keep it!
*Communicate to both the wedding planner and bride about when you will have time to take all the wedding details.
It's super important to schedule in time during the day to take detail photos when the guests are not around. I can count numerous times when we were not able to make it to the name card table before it was destroyed by guests. Sometimes this is something we cannot control. If you are looking to submit the wedding somewhere, getting these details can make the biggest difference. Be sure the wedding planner has planned time in the schedule for you to take these photos without guests around.
*Be prepared with small lights to photograph details that may not be near a natural lit window.
If I could, I would take a rope and wrangle the sun inside every ballroom in America just so I could shoot every detail in natural light. But unfortunately, thats is just not going to happen :) So be prepared to have a light set up to take the details in areas that are not well lit. We use a small handheld Canon light that we found at a local camera store.
*Talk to the wedding planner about how you shoot details.
Some venues WILL NOT allow you to raise the shades inside a ballroom to take detail photos because they don't want the guests to see the room. Well, I get it. I get that it is supposed to be a big surprise, but unfortunately all you will have left after the wedding are the photos of the amazing room that you spent so much time and money on. If you want to submit this wedding to a magazine or blog, it's SO important you get the best lighting situation you can find if at all possible. Talk to the planner as well as the bride about this so it can also be communicated with the venue.
*Take salt and pepper shakers OFF the table when photographing the floral arrangements. This also goes for all butter or roll dishes. It takes extra time, but it definitely looks better! You can also ask the venue to have two tables already set up this way without anything on them for this purpose.
*Be prepared to work fast.
We are not always given much time to take details.
These details are from Jessica + Ryan's wedding
. The images below were taken BEFORE the ceremony. The planner and I had talked before the wedding day and had to do a little planning on photographing all the details. We had to make a quick dash to the reception venue 30 minutes before the ceremony took place. This was our only chance to take some detail shots before the guests arrived.
There is no way I could have gotten an overall shot of the cocktail hour with no-one there after the ceremony. The only thing I had to wait on was the cake!
This is a wide shot of part of the room. I raised the shades for only a few minutes and took photos as quickly as possible. The venue scolded us for raising the shades, but I had to do it! I would have preferred to photograph the tables without food on them, but we didn't have the option as they were already set up.
This detail shot was from Liz + Danny's wedding
wedding. Unfortunately, we were only given five minutes to sneak in to take table photos before the guests started trickling in. Once we arrived in the room, the venue was still setting up the tables so I did not have enough time to take off the butter and salt shakers. I just had to snap away as fast as possible!
This is Whitney + Cory's wedding
The details were strategically planned out by the planners months before. We talked about details and timeline for weeks and it all paid off. Everything was set up perfectly! Always be sure to get an overall shot of the room.
Even the forks had details on them! Be sure to look at everything and ask for a detail list before the wedding day.
The left photo is of the name cards. Unfortunately the name card door was wrapped and saved for us to photograph, but somewhere along the way it became unwrapped and the guests took the name cards before the cocktail hour had even begun! So I had to photoshop more than 20 name card tags on the door. Communication is key!