On the wedding day, photographing the wedding day details is one of my favorite parts! This is the chance for me to warm up for the day. I get to be alone usually and get my creative juices flowing.
This starts before the wedding day even begins for us! When we first arrive on a wedding day, we take time to collect everything we need in advance while we have the bride’s attention. After we enter the room, we say hello, usually give her a hug and then ask for the details she wants photographed. However, prior to this, we’ve emailed and asked her or her wedding coordinator to bring a copy of the wedding invitation suite.
We like to try to keep the images of the day cohesive, so for us that means finding the most natural flattering light there is. This nearly always brings us to a window for photographing details. A lot of times the window has the sheer fabric that actually acts as a really nice diffuser as well as throwing nice light on the items.
The key to any good detail shot is composition! Keep in mind The Rule of Thirds when positioning items within the frame to create a more visually dynamic photograph. Keep your eye peeled for reflective surfaces, mirrors, and textures that allow you to craft a more creative interpretation of the scene. Whenever we have multiple pieces to consider in a single frame, especially in invitation shots, we like to make sure that the overall frame feels balanced. If we place the earrings to the right side, we want to make sure there is something countering that ‘weight’ on the lefthand side of the frame.
Using a shallow depth of field keeps the eye focused on a small detail of the photograph. This gives us control on what exactly we want the viewer to see! We always photograph wedding day details with a prime lens and generally keep our aperture, when possible, between f/2 and f/2.5 with the exception of photographing the entire invitation suite. Everyone has their sweet spot with photographing details and we have fallen in love with the gorgeous bokeh that we can achieve when shooting nearly wide open!
With the invitation suite, we usually try to find wedding day details to curate and add to the photograph. This gives depth and dimension to the composition. Adding things like flowers, sentimental items from the bride and her family, ribbon, etc. can add some interest as well! Try to set your aperture at 4.0 to keep all of the words and details in focus. You want to be able to read all of the writing on the suite.
By using manual focus, we are able to be in control of what is and what is not in focus. This makes it so much easier for us to move quickly and precisely while getting these wedding day detail shots done. As much as we love detail time, we know that there are important things happening during the getting ready time with the bridal party and they are the top priority!
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