I’ve mentioned this before that I think wedding photography might be the most demanding photography job there is. Not the long days and all of that, but needing to have a complete grasp of what you are doing across several disciplines. It’s a blend of photojournalism, portrait photography, event photography and even product photography.
Take the wedding dress as an example. It is one of the most important shots there is. Sometimes you get lucky and have great window light and it can fall together quickly. Most of the time it’s hard work to make it looks just right. Bob knocked it out of the park last weekend at Laura and Anthony’s wedding and provides a good template of the shots you need and the shots that will make it memorable. First and foremost, get the color right. I know, “Chad, what the hell are you talking about, it’s white!” Well yeah, fair point but remember cameras don’t do a great job of recognizing white. They tend to turn it to gray, so you usually need to overexpose a little but maintain the details. It’s a delicate balance so be sure you are paying extra close attention to that as you shoot.
Also, make sure you shoot some details. It’s best to pull out a macro lens to capture the flourishes of the dress. They are often what sells a bride on a dress so don’t forget them. A good place to look is on the back as well. Often the buttons will make for great detail shots.
Rather than simply shoot it straight on, look for a unique angle or other ways to highlight the dress. In one of the photos below, Bob shot it through a mirror and was able to capture the perfect sidelight on the dress. It might be my favorite dress shot we have taken. Notice the little shadow that gives it separation from the door. Perfect! We’re showing these in black and white because it offers a classic look.
The dress shots are important so try to give yourself the time to do them right and knock them out of the park. Your bride will be awfully glad you did. By the way, it doesn’t hurt when the dress is as beautiful as Laura’s!