A wedding ceremony is an iconic celebration that is often just as important to the guests as it is the bride and groom themselves. Whether it be immediate family members, groomsmen, bridesmaids, or friends, everyone has a role in celebrating these newlyweds on their wedding day. As one of these esteemed guests, you will certainly want to capture the memory of your loved ones special day on camera. You will receive official wedding photos from the professional wedding photographer, but you will also need your own great photos to take home and share with everyone.
Before we get started, remember that you’re celebrating as a guest and are supposed to have fun. You are not in the photography business. With that being said, let’s look at some great tips for photographing weddings as a guest, so you walk away with loving, funny, and beautiful stills and video without being left out of the fun.
These top two wedding photography tips will get you prepared for the big day.
Use a compact, yet capable DSLR or mirrorless camera that won’t be a burden to carry around and work with. A camera small enough to fit in a small camera bag or keep on your person, but that also produces high quality pictures that are worth keeping. (More on best camera recommendations shortly)
Awareness - Setting the right mindset with an emphasis on “awareness” is vital to achieving awesome wedding shots without getting too caught up with photography. You’re there to have fun and enhance the celebration. Awareness will be your key to identifying when to start shooting, and when to start celebrating!
Most likely this is not the first wedding you’ve ever attended and should have a good idea of what to expect and when to expect it. Especially if part of the wedding party itself (which you probably are), then you probably have an inside scoop of any planned surprises. Think about this in advance and use this information so you’re aware of potential photoshoot opportunities.
Make a shot list of events and types of photos to capture
From the wedding reception to the first dance on the dance floor, you should be able to come up with a few ideas. Consider all the special moments that weddings are filled with like, walking down the isle, the first kiss, and cake cutting. Many ideas should be simple like classic family photos, or group shots with friends.
Being prepared with the right camera while being aware of what to expect and when to expect it will easily help you capture the best images worthy of a wedding album.
As mentioned, the right camera should be compact, light, easy to use, and takes great pictures. When it comes to cameras, size does not always equal to power. Here are 3 amazing cameras, perfect for bringing with you on your wedding journey. All 3 are very capable to produce great images and video, while being compact and lightweight, and packed with features that will make your photography easy, even if you’re a beginner.
A good wide angle zoom lens is the right choice and should handle all of your intended frames. It is doubtful that you will need any other types of lenses like telephoto, prime, or portrait, unless you have specific shots in mind that call for it. You don’t want to be lugging camera gear around and one good lend should take care of all your needs. It is best practice to give yourself a tutorial for any camera type or lens type you choose to use. Have some practice photoshoots for fun! There will be plenty of opportunities leading up to the wedding. Lastly, double check that you have a fresh memory card in the cameras slot.
Dubbed “the worlds smallest and lightest full frame camera”, the Sony a7c has everything you will need from a 24.2MP backside illuminated 35mm full frame image sensor for stunning images to the 4K HDR immersive video. The AutoFocus and AutoExposure features are spectacular with AF and real time eye tracking, 693 phase detection, 425 contrast autofocus points, and 93% image coverage, your shots will come out clean and professional every time. The 5 axis in body stabilization will help keep the shake out of your shots, especially if you’re shooting while dancing! It’s dust and moisture resistant monocoque magnesium alloy build is strong enough to withstand the rugged outdoors so it’s perfectly capable of handling a wedding. The 3” flip out vari-angle LCD will help you get the perfect shot from awkward angles and an excellent for vlogging and videographers. The long lasting Z battery will get you up to 740 images or 220 minutes for movies which should be more than enough time to shoot what you want. This bundle comes with a very capable Sony FE 28-60mm f/4-5.6 full frame zoom lens which will support all of your photoshoot ideas. You can also use your smartphone for camera control and file sharing which keeps you in the photo and party.
For those photographers who like a little bit more weight on their cameras, the Sony a7III shares almost all the qualities of the Sony a7c with the exception in design. The a7III has slightly larger dimensions with a little bit more weight but still quite compact. This body only version is perfect for those who want a bit more substance to the build and who may already own a few different types of lenses.
The most fitting choice to support your wedding photo needs is the Canon PowerShot. This amazing device is so unique that at first look, you may not know what this is. It was made famous for it’s vlogging and video recording abilities, but it is just as resilient with its high quality stills. Its shape and size (which is similar to a smartphone) and wrist strap make this ideal for enjoying the celebration while having a capable camera ready and at your disposal. It’s 1” CMOS imaging sensor gets you high quality images with 4K video via its fixed 19mm (35mm equivalent) wide angle lens. There is vertical mode for the social media people, awesome autofocus, face detection, filters, and skin tone features. The Canon PowerShot was designed to be used one handed with an easy to use all in one user interface that let’s you snap, record, or livestream wherever, and whenever you want. There is a little kickstand and mobile operability using your smartphone too so you’re never left out of the picture. Not only is this camera perfect to take with you to a wedding, this camera is great to take with you everywhere and you will probably have many other uses and opportunities that it would be perfect for.
Pertaining your cameras settings, feel free to go auto and let the camera do the dirty work. You’re there to have fun and celebrate and the camera is certainly capable with all it’s bells and whistles to get the job done. If you’re determined to manually adjust your settings you can and shouldn’t be too difficult to find the sweet spot between the cameras ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, assuming there will be a lot of natural light or proper indoor lighting since it is a wedding. There will probably be no need for any camera flash.
It’s a wedding with tons of amazing things to shoot from the people and flowers to the décor and food. Let the shots come to you. Keeping an eye on and being aware of the official wedding photographer while piggybacking off their moves will nab you easy group photos and other types of shots. Don’t be shy from taking shots of the same scene from different angles. Most importantly, have fun and celebrate in the glory of the newlyweds marriage and love.