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DO'S and DONT'S of Wedding Photography

There are all sorts of wedding photographers today, especially in the Indian Wedding industry where Weddings are a major affair. Here are some points which every wedding photographer must keep in mind and I am sure, with these points in mind one can definitely improve the standards of Wedding photography, be it creative candid photography or simple plain conventional style of coverage.

Understand Your Equipment well and be self Sufficient

Please understand the equipment well beforehand and do not drastically change the settings.

Keep all your extra lenses, batteries etc. with you so that you are self-dependent and do not need another person to assist you with your immediate requirements, like changing the battery or the lens. It's more like street or travel photography where you do not have another person to help you around with. By the time someone will get you a battery or a lens, you would miss an important moment.

Follow a Dress Code

Please wear Black as much as possible. If not Black keep it dark. Deep Greys and Blues are also fine as long as they are towards the darker side of the shade. Strictly avoid bright colours because you may become the center of attraction if you happen to be in the frame of your fellow photographer. A very bright colour can be a big distraction.

All the creative team of my wedding Photography company, wear "Together we rock" deep Blue formal Jackets or T-shirts.

Watch out for others

Try not to include your fellow photographers in the frame unless its completely unavoidable. Having the flash umbrellas in the frame can look quite ugly and distracting. Avoid it as much as possible.


When working in a team it is very important and fruitful to coordinate and stay in touch with your fellow crew. You can stay connected through a wireless walky-talky or simply with basic eye contact. This help in achieving better photographs as well as video footage as a team and the client benefits at large.

Catch the moment but the right one!

Candid wedding photography is difficult because it requires a good eye more than good equipment. You need to observe and release the shutter to catch the moment which the other person would relish forever. The couple has put a lot of responsibility on you to capture their natural moments. Look at it from an artistic viewpoint and try to freeze the moments which are worth preserving and not those unwanted awkward ones.

Composition Matters the most.

There are no shortcuts as such to learning the skills of composing better photographs and this develops as you shoot more and more keeping in the subconscious mind all the right practices. Even if you are shooting a plain simple shot, you can compose it well.

Keep it simple.

If you are not very artistic, keep it simple and document everything in a technically sound manner. After all documentation is very important and the photographs should look as close as possible to reality. Make sure that the framing and focusing are correct at the least.

Bridal Portraits

Portraits are a very crucial part of any wedding. The photographer would generally help the bride and the groom to pose as they click the photographs. The communication skills of the photographer play a key role here and he or she should be able to express and convey his instructions without having to touch their subjects. Strictly do not get closer to the couple or the Bride/ Groom if you are shooting them separately. Since there are a number of photographers usually shooting together, especially in an Indian Wedding, you may actually be in the frame of another photographer as you step too close to the couple, who might be quitely trying to catch some candid moments of the couple together.

Give them a clue for posing and let them build it up on their own instead of just moving around their limbs to copy a pose you have in mind. Natural poses made by the couple certainly look better and are not forced and rigid.

Do not tilt the camera

While the tilt here is accidental, the photographer did not align the horizontals properly. One does not have to be too mechanical and with a little bit of practice one starts seeing through the viewfinder, what would appear straight and balanced to the eye of the viewer.

Not even Intensionally if you are doing so every time.

The tilt in the photographs below was intentionally done but it's not looking so nice. It's not really adding to the composition or the framing.

Focus where it should be

Use focus lock if needed. If people are on the side and not in the center, Focus on one of them and recompose the frame without lifting the finger. Most beginners in wedding photography end up using only the main central focusing point and their photographs turn out to be out of focus if the subjects are on the sides.

You need to develop a better sense of evaluating the viewfinder before you realize the shutter so that you are sure that the required subject is in focus and not just any random area.

Make the best of the wide-angle lenses and not the worst!

There is no harm in using a wide-angle lens to capture more of the surrounding ambiance or to shoot in confined spaces but use a wide-angle lens wisely.

Keep the camera parallel to the subject. This will help avoid distortion. The distortion does not happen just by using a wide angle but by using it too close or by tilting the camera / by keeping one part of your subject too close to the camera

Do not use a wide-angle lens unless there is no other option. It is perfectly fine to use a wide angle if you are not distorting the subject. In the photos below, the focal length could have been increased slightly to reduce the distortion. Most of the time, due to limited space and crowd one ends up using a wide-angle lens. with practice, you will understand the camera position which gives minimum distortion or the distortion compliments the shot, somehow

Don't abruptly cut off the frame!

Framing tight is not a bad idea as it excludes the unwanted elements but do not frame so tight and cut the frame at the wrong places. If an extra face is included, let it show completely without abruptly cutting anywhere.

Avoid unwanted shadows

Shadows are not bad but they dont look great all the time especially at parties and events as they instantly suggest an amateur approach. No Hard shadows. Use Bounced flash /off camera / soft box /reflector etc. Do not get confused with hard light and directional light. Directional light creates shadows but the light may not necessarily be hard. If the shadows are unavoidable, place the subject away from the wall behind, so that the shadows are not visible.

Keep the direction of light correct!

The off-camera flash unit should point and put the light on your subject and not someone in the foreground. Your assistant with the flash should understand your moves well and direct the flash to the right people. This washed-out area could easily be avoided. Do check out more camera Flash Problems and solutions.

If shooting a group, the flash should not be too close to one person. Bring the flash closer to the camera but still not along the same axis. so that you get the depth and directional light but do not overexpose one area compared to the other. This is a good example of Inverse Square law. As the distance is doubled, the light does not get reduced by half but by one-fourth of what it was. In simple words, the light gets reduced much more drastically reduced as the distance is increased. Those closer to the light are bright and those away are darker. Bringing the flash a bit closer to the camera would have reduced the difference between the closest and the distant points in the frame and thus reduced the difference in illumination.

It's all about Food but no eating shots, please!

Do not take photos of people eating food, at least not when they are just putting it in their mouth. Take long shots instead or take photos when they are not actually putting food in the mouth. Holding the plate/glass is fine. or posing with the plate on the table is fine but strictly not while putting food in the mouth. Though most of the people do not want photography around the eating area some people want specific food shots as well to showcase the kind of variety they had put together.

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