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How To Take Good Wedding Photos

Updated on August 30, 2017

Perfectly Capture Your Wedding on Film

It's good to know how to take good wedding photos whether you've decided to forego a professional photographer at your wedding, or you just want to get some great pictures in addition to the ones already provided. After all, the more awesome photos you manage to get of your big day, the better!

The best part is, it's not hard to do. It just takes a bit of time, a little know-how, and a decent camera. Follow these tips and you'll be taking great wedding photos in no time!

Looking for more? Here's my site on wedding photography tricks, including getting proper exposure and what I think about using a flash.

Step 1: Get a Good Camera

An Essential Piece of Equipment

You don't need to spend thousands on a new camera just to shoot your wedding. However, you also shouldn't use a digital camera that you've had lying around for years, or one that you bought just because it was the cheapest one you could get. Cameras have gotten much better over the last few years, with features ranging from the number of megapixels shot in (affecting the clarity of your pictures) to low-light settings (affecting appearance of everything not shot in direct sunlight).

My Wedding Camera of Choice: the Canon Powershot s95 - No DSLR Needed!

Canon PowerShot S95 10 MP Digital Camera with 3.8x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD
Canon PowerShot S95 10 MP Digital Camera with 3.8x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD

That's right: I shot all of the pictures for my sister's wedding with what's technically considered a point-and-shoot, although it does have functions similar to a DSLR, such as a manual mode that allows you to adjust shutter speed and aperture. For more of my thoughts on this camera, check out my Canon Powershot s95 review.


Some Other Great Camera Choices - Choose Your Brand

Step 2: Get a Friend to Help

You Can't Do It Alone

As the bride (or groom), you obviously can't take all of the wedding pictures yourself. In fact, you probably won't have time to take any of the pictures. So even if you don't hire a professional, you still need to have at least one person as the designated photographer for the day.

This should be a person who ideally doesn't have to be involved in a lot of other things during the day. For example, close relatives and members of the wedding party aren't great choices. Additionally, the friend should have some photography experience.

Step 3: Practice! - Practice Makes Perfect

If you're the person who is going to be shooting a wedding for a friend or family member, make sure you get plenty of practice in beforehand. You might even want to get some of your photos critiqued. The more photos you take, the better you will learn your camera, and how to make your subjects really stand out.

Step 4: Quantity and Quality

Both Are Important

On the day of the wedding, it's important to spend time setting up some really great shots. It's also to take as many pictures as humanly possible, because you never know for sure which ones are going to turn out the best. That's one of the great benefits of using a digital camera - you can take as many pictures as you want, and only choose to keep the ones that are good!

Taking a lot of pictures doesn't mean taking pictures of the same thing over and over, though. Get creative! Stand on something to get a "bird's eye view" of the gathering. Get down low to see what the wedding looks like from a different angle. Use the macro function to take really close pictures, then move back to take everything in at once.

Don't Forget Photo Storage! - Make Sure You Have Enough!

I used an 8 GB Transcend SD card, which was enough for almost 1,000 pictures and some video. If you're taking more video, or more pictures, you might want a bigger card.

Some of My Wedding Photos - Capturing the Big Day

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Step 5: Photo Editing Software Is a Huge Plus

Really Makes a Difference

I'll admit, some of these photos have been tweaked a bit from the way they originally came out of the camera. Especially if you have special light conditions (a wedding at night, an overcast day), a bit of work after the pictures are taken can make a world of a difference. It doesn't take a lot of work, mind you, if the photos were good to start out with: but increasing the contrast and using Burn and Dodge functions to fix any too-bright or too-dark areas can really make your pictures pop.

Professional vs. Personal Wedding Photos - Which Is Best?

Anyone can share their opinions in this debate!

Should you hire a professional photographer for a wedding?

Video With Great Wedding Photography Tips - Watch to Learn More

Or just say hi :)

Suggestions for How To Take Great Wedding Photos? - Share Them Here!

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