Weddings are a wondrous occasion.
For the bride and groom, their special day is a whirlwind of emotions, heartfelt messages, and forever “I Do’s.” In the midst of this celebration and union between two people genuinely in love, it’s easy to miss certain loving moments throughout the day. Particularly the tiniest of things.
This is where a professional photographer comes in. You only get one opportunity to capture a moment before it’s gone. And with so many significant moments happening, coupled with the flurry of activity, it can become a very daunting task.
But good wedding photography goes beyond knowing what to click and when. It’s about romanticizing the dream and creating a unique narrative that tells the story of the bride and groom. A wedding is a significant lifetime experience. One that needs to be captured properly.
If a photograph speaks a thousand words, here are four storytelling techniques to narrate a story that will endure the test of time as much as the couple’s love does.
- Start with a plan
With any good narrative, crafting a story begins with a plan.
This is especially true for wedding photography. After all, capturing the magical day means not missing a single moment. Undeniably, when trying to capture heartfelt wedding photos, your series of photos should be used to tell a story.
Every good story has five strong elements:
Each is supportive of each other to create monumental moments that ebb and flow with the tonality of the big day. Before the start of the big day, you should have a framework of what message you want your photographs to convey.
There are emotional stories to be told from all angles of the wedding. There’s the bridal party, the extended family, the invited guests, the respective parents of the couple, and of course, the bride and groom. Your photography should capture each individual story while maintaining the overall arching theme of the day.
A storyteller is only as good as their ability to research their subjects. In the case of wedding photography, the message is not to capture the hourly event, but rather, to tell a love story. Compelling storytelling requires you to be able to tell every facet of their love story through a series of photographs.
- It’s important to meet the bride and groom before the big day. For most wedding photographers, this is usually done during the initial consultation and engagement shoot. The ability to sit and talk with the couple will give you the unique perspective necessary to craft their story in a heartfelt way.
This will also give you the basic framework to know what’s going to be happening when
- It is also equally important to research the location. It’s advisable that wedding photographers arrive a few minutes early to prepare for the big day. This serves as the ideal opportunity to find where light is best, discover unique angles, and learn why the location is so special to the bride and groom.
- Contextualise your subjects
A good wedding photographer has strong observation skills. The ability to read people’s behavior is a crucial skill for wedding photography. Being able to anticipate when a moment will happen ensures your photography doesn’t miss a single moment. You can prepare to place yourself in the right space to capture the yet-to-happen interaction.
Technicality is equally important. The ability to judge what angles create the most stunning images will dictate the flow of your story. Knowing when to crop tight and to shoot wide is crucial to creating memorable images. Being able to dictate what energy needs to be captured in every image takes experience and practice.
Be sure that each photograph is framed with intention.
- Think big picture, capture small details
There are certainly going to be archetypal events that every wedding photographer must capture. The bride walking down the aisle, the first kiss, the first dance, and so on. But from time to time during the day, certain nuances will creep up.
Wedding photography is about the little moments. The stolen glances. The furtive intimate exchanges. And everything that happens behind-the-scenes. These moments are often overlooked. Yet they make the big day unforgettable. Don’t disregard these moments. Wedding photography is a best movement in life
The saying goes that a picture is worth a thousand words. A robust photo story will be framed with all the important archetypal events and varying little details for added effect. Every photo tells part of the story. Most importantly, let the people and their story guide your photography.
Linda Pasfield is best known for her skill to capture emotion on film and expression in an art form. Linda has had 20 years of experience photographing weddings, portraiture and documentary. She is an award winning photographer and Linda’s career has taken her worldwide, photographing for Olim Aid International, Worship Centre and Cross Rds, and numerous other organisations. Photography is Linda’s passion and “capturing the true feelings on the day, blending creativity and lighting in the right way is a joy”.