Wedding Photography TutorialPoses, Tips, Salaries, Prices, Workshops and More!
Have ever wanted to learn how to photograph a wedding like a pro? Or to learn the best tips & tricks from a professional wedding photographer to capture those precious moments & memories for newlyweds?
Well then, you need to read our wedding photography tutorial. It’s full of ideas on how to take stunning wedding photos & avoid common mistakes that every new photographer makes.
Over the years, the Tutors here at iPhotography have shot hundreds of weddings and engagement photoshoots between them. Now we want to share our best wedding photography techniques with our faithful and dedicated members.
Image: Emily Lowrey
Considering a Wedding Photography Job?
Are you looking at the wedding pictures you’ve taken of friends and family and thinking you could do this as a job? That’s great news. Professional wedding photographer Emily Lowrey gives us her thoughts about what it’s actually like being a full-time shooter.
“The best thing about being a wedding photographer — at least for me — is that it is a creative job. I consider myself a very creative person, and I really thrive when I’m using that part of my brain. I love that every wedding is different, and an opportunity for me to document a couple’s story in my own unique style.
Life used to be about trying to fit my creativity around a standard job, and now I get to do that as my job. It’s ideal!
It isn’t always a fairytale though. I’m sure you might have experienced days where the last thing you want to do is pick up your camera. Some days you’re just not “there” creatively. Some days you come back home to look at your images and feel entirely uninspired.
As a hobbyist, that’s no bother at all. We can just try again another day. But when you’re being paid for your photography, you have to push through those days and still deliver a high standard of work.”
Wedding Photography Tips for Preparation
Let’s break it down for a little and step through some wedding photography tips and poses for beginners.
Wedding Shot List
Making yourself a list is essential. Without a wedding photo list, you will inevitably miss something out of your shoot. This could be fatal to the start of a promising wedding photography career. This is an important wedding photography tip for beginners!
The happy couple won’t be pleased to know you forgot to take pictures of them cutting the cake or the Mother of the Bride’s decadent hat!
Take time to meet up with the happy couple who have chosen you to capture the special memories of their happy day. Visit them a few weeks before and find out as much as you can about their wedding and their expectations of you;
Put these questions on your checklist;
- Do they want lots of posed formal wedding photographs?
- Or do they prefer a natural and candid approach?
- What parts of the day do they want you to cover? Bridal preparation, Ceremony, Meal, Speeches, Cake cutting, Party/Disco etc.,
- What’s the starting time for these parts? (expect there to be delays – you’ll find no wedding runs on time!)
- Is there any special activities or surprises that will happen that guests don’t know about?
- How many guests will be present?
- Is there anyone with who they don’t want photographs? (sounds silly, but you’ll be surprised how often an unwanted Aunty or vaguely known Cousin is put to the back of the shots)
- Do they want a big group shot of everyone together?
- What time will the wedding finish?
Ask the Right Questions
These are going to be important questions to ask to help your wedding photography checklist as they’ll help you form the basis of your approach.
If you’re being asked to photograph from start to finish, you’ll know you’ll need some lights (as the daylight fades) and some extra accessories for example. But if you’re only needed for the actual ceremony, you can travel lighter.
It’s vitally important to know what the couple want to do with the final photographs too. Some newlyweds just want digital copies on a CD/USB drive to share on social media. Others may request you to make an album for them or a big canvas of their happy day.
Either way, it’ll help you decide whether you need to shoot the wedding in high-quality JPEGs or RAW files.
Wedding Photography Tutorial: Going Pro
How to become a photographer, in general, is totally different from becoming a wedding photographer. There is much more groundwork, patience, adaptability and communication needed with weddings than most jobs in photography.
Photographing weddings is one of the most popular areas of photography if you want to start turning your hobby into a career. It’s an ideal place to make money from your photography and a fantastic opportunity to get noticed in the local community.
But all too often amateurs and semi-pros overlook the essentials. When either preparing photography equipment, planning poses or composing shots, forgetting the basics can result in poor wedding photographs – and you only get one chance for each special day!
In this wedding photography tutorial, we are here to help you overcome that pressure and turn every wedding photograph you take into a magical memory for the bride and groom to cherish forever.
Now we understand that everyone has a different approach to photography, and weddings are no different. Whether you prefer formal wedding poses or the reportage side then we think this wedding photography tutorial will help you regardless.
Now we’re going to look at the best place to learn online, discover poses for brides and grooms and hidden tricks that professional photographers use.
Wedding Photography Classes
Reading a book about wedding photography will never give you a true sense of the occasion – in fact, unless you’re there in person it’ll never be the same. But iPhotography has developed the closest possible way of learning wedding photography through a complete unique masterclass.
You could spend hundreds on attending wedding photography workshops but they’ll only teach you how to take photos of the happy couple. What about the family? The wedding party? The guests? The difficulties with low light and bad weather? Yes – we cover all that (and more) in the iPhotography wedding masterclass.
Our wedding photography course is the only online virtual class where you can follow a simulated wedding from start to finish. Using our live pause technique we’ve staged an entire wedding to show you what it’s like to be a wedding photographer without leaving your home.
It’s the closest way to actually being there, without being there. You’ll learn so much as you shadow Emily Lowrey, our course instructor. She’ll show you everything you need to have in your kit bag, all the essentials lighting right through to arranging business contracts and editing your wedding photos.
With over 60 wedding photography tutorials in this course, you’ll get extensive information and training on everything it takes to become a strong wedding photographer.
Wedding Photography Tutorial: Poses
Do you want some more wedding photography ideas? OK, let’s talk about what poses you can do with your clients.
Once you get your beautiful newlyweds away from the crowds, like Hollywood starlets at a premiere, then you’ll have a bit of peace and quiet to take those all-important shots. Remember to take a moment to breathe and relax for a moment. This is the only calm moment of the day, so enjoy it.
There’s no harm in having your mood board and inspiring shots printed out in your back pocket to reference, and it helps the couple understand how you want to pose them.
They’ll still be quite giggly and intimate so make use of those natural reactions and ask them to gaze into each other’s eyes lovingly – it shouldn’t be too hard to do!
Here’s a list of some wedding photography poses to try;
- Front Facing- Front-facing shots deliver intimacy and show a unified pairing
- Full Length – Full-length compositions give a sense of scale and location to the frame, which can be useful if you want to incorporate the venue into the background.
- Close Up – Close up portraits are extremely romantic and personal, cutting out everything around and only focusing upon the loving emotions.
- Walking Away – Walking away shots allow a more voyeuristic perspective, creating the connotation of the newlyweds walking off into the sunset to start their new life together.
- Silhouettes – Silhouette portraits demonstrate the shape of the wedding dress as a nice alternative twist.
- Flash – Using daylight or a flash to backlight your shots can add to that romantic dreamy haze your couple are in. But whip out your reflector to make sure you still see the detail in their faces.
- Stylised – Stylised shots are more creations from the photographer’s mind. They can look dramatic like a film poster, funny or totally off the wall. Either way, it’s going to say something about the photographer when other people look at them. So make sure you’re happy with it.
Tip – Wide apertures and low f-numbers (i.e. f/4) are perfect for eliminating background distractions and keeping your newlyweds sharp amongst a delicious haze of bokeh.
Look for Detail Shots
Another great wedding photography trick is to not overlook those detail shots; get really close up to photograph the wedding rings in unison and the beautiful Bride’s floral bouquet.
Remember to talk to your clients. Keep it light-hearted and fun, encourage the Groom or Bride to shower their new wife/husband in kisses. Suggest a cheeky grab of their bottom (make sure you capture their reaction!). Or even sweep them off their feet in a graceful gesture. All of these little tips will keep the smiles flowing the laughter natural.
Once you’ve got the majority of your wedding photos in the bag and you’ve still got time then consider using any props you’ve brought. Look to add a unique touch to your pictures. Smoke bombs and fairy lights are cute little additions. Don’t forget to rope in an extra pair of hands if you need them.
Wedding Salary & Pricing
Being a wedding photographer means your routine is often varied. You might shoot on weekends, edit during the week, take a day to work on your social media, take an evening to run a stall at a wedding fayre, or take a month off in winter.
A wedding photographer salary is all dependent upon your overheads as well as how often you get bookings. Our iPhotography wedding masterclass gives you a full breakdown of how to price your time so that you make money from your camera.
On average wedding photographers cost between £700-£2000 for a full day’s cover. There are options to offer half-day hire too. Join our wedding course to unlock the full training and discover how much to charge and how to make money from wedding photography.
You can make more money from your clients by staggering your services into packages. These wedding photography packages could include photo albums, video covers, digital and printed versions of photos as well as an online wedding photo gallery.
10 Wedding Photography Tips
- Visit the Bride and Groom before the wedding to find out what they want from their photographer. Make a list of important questions that you may want to ask them.
- Make a shot list of all the groupings you want to capture on the day. Keep it handy.
- Pack extra batteries and memory cards and keep them in a pocket for quick access.
- Research some different poses and compositions from wedding magazines and online to give you some inspiration.
- Pack lightly and don’t take equipment like extra lights if you are shooting outdoors during the height of summer.
- In small spaces, look for quirky angles to make dramatic and interesting compositions.
- Use burst mode in instances where you know you’ll only get one opportunity, like throwing the Bridal bouquet.
- Raise your ISO setting if you are shooting in dimly lit venues, but try not to exceed 800 ISO.
- Edit only what you need – don’t spend time retouching all your photographs to then narrow them down to a handful of favourites. Pick your favourites first.
- Be loud and clear with your directions when shooting large groups of people. They’re there for the celebrations, so you need to work quickly and efficiently. If you speak with confidence, people will listen to you.
Finally, we hope you’ve gained lots of professional advice about how to get started or improve your wedding photography. Becoming a wedding photographer is a really exciting prospect, it can open the door to a budding career who knows?!
Either way, it’s important to remember to enjoy the day, it’s not just the newlyweds who are celebrating their love, but if you capture those perfect shots, you’ll be head over heels with your photography.
What Others Are Reading
iPhotography Course not only teaches you all the standard technical expertise, settings, skills, and special effects with your camera – but we also show you how to use these skills to develop your own individual style as a photographer.