The Essential Wedding Photographs You Must Take

cutting wedding cake

While it is vital that the wedding photographer and bride (client) get together to discuss the photos she wants, there are some shots that are essential to every wedding album. You can make suggestions and she will likely have some firm ideas about what photos she must have. Failing to take any of those listed below may result in a disappointed client and even worse, a bad reputation that could affect your future as a well-respected wedding photographer.

The Bridal Gown – While the bride is the center of attention it is often the dress that is the star of the show. Naturally you will want to take photographs of the bride in her dress but it is also essential to take several shots of the dress itself before she puts it on.

Getting Ready – Photographs of the girls getting ready and assisting the bride with her final preparations are important. These can be fun shots as the nervous bride shares special moments with her bridesmaids. Similar shots should be taken of the groom and his groomsmen.

The Bouquet – A photograph that does the bridal bouquet justice will last much longer than the bouquet possibly ever can.

Wedding Stationery – Get the bride to provide you with one of each of her wedding stationery pieces, and arrange them in an attractive way that shows each one to its best advantage.

The Bridal Shoes – Too often the bride will choose to wear a gorgeous pair of wedding shoes but they are hidden under the skirt of the bridal gown, unseen except in rare glimpses.

Bride Pose A magazine-worthy shot of the bride alone is a wedding album must-have, as is one of the groom alone.

Father’s First Look – A candid shot that captures the expression on the father-of-the-bride’s face as he sees his daughter in her gown for the first time.

The Bride’s Entrance – Capture that special moment when the bride first steps into the aisle on the arm of her father, and catches her first glimpse of her soon-to-be husband waiting for her at the altar.

Exchanging of the Rings – A close up shot of the groom putting the wedding ring on his bride’s finger should be captured, as should one of the bride putting the wedding ring on her groom’s finger.

The Kiss – That moment when the bride and groom have their first kiss as husband and wife is arguably the most important photograph of all.

Tossing the Bouquet – This should be a photograph that captures the fun moment when the bride tosses the bouquet, with all the single girls hoping to catch it.

The Ladies – A group photo of the bride with just her bridesmaids and maid/matron of honor.

The Men – As with the ladies, a group photo of the groom with his best man and other groomsmen.

Bride and Parents – Photograph the bride with her mother and father. Take a similar shot of the groom with his parents.

The Rings – This is one shot that you can pull all your creative stops out on. Capture the rings against a complimentary background, such as the bride’s dress, her bouquet or the wedding invitation.

wedding rings

Flower Girl and Ring Bearer – Children look so cute and are often thrilled to be part of a wedding ceremony. Take some fun shots of both the flower girl and the ring bearer as the walk up the aisle preceding the bride’s grand entrance.

Signing of the Documents – Take photographs of both the bride and the groom, as they sign the marriage documents.

Throwing of Confetti – Though some locations do not allow the throwing of confetti, if it is allowed be sure to get shots of the newlyweds being showered in it as the exit the ceremony.

Immediate Family Group – The newlyweds with both sets of parents. Bride’s parents should be placed beside her and likewise the groom’s parents should be placed beside him, with the newlyweds in the center.

Bridal Party Group – Newlyweds should be placed in the center with the groomsmen standing to the side of the groom and the bridesmaids standing to the side of the bride.

Best Man’s Toast – As the best man raises his glass and asks the guests to join him in toasting the married couple.

First Dance – When the father-of-the-bride leads his daughter onto the dance floor and begins the first dance.

Tables – Get photos of the tables before anyone enters the dining room/reception venue, with all the table settings in place, along with centerpieces and other accessories.

Cutting the Cake – Next to the first kiss as husband and wife tradition calls for a picture of the newlyweds cutting the wedding cake, with them both having a hand on the knife.

There are so many special moments that can be captured before, during and after the wedding ceremony takes place. To provide the newlyweds with a lifetime of memories, capture every one of them you possibly can.

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