We often get asked what our game plan is for ceremonies and how we shoot them together, so today we will dive into our mentality when shooting the ceremony and where we position ourselves to capture the important images from this all important portion of the day!
When it comes to shooting the ceremony, our overall goal is to stay out of the way, not distract from the events, and of course, get great images.
The Game Plan:
When the processional begins, I (Jody) am staked out in the aisle way, about halfway down, depending on how long the isle is. Usually I have the 24-70mm on, (or a longer lens depending on how far away the bride is going to be) which allows me to shoot the story and the faces of those in the audience as well as zoom in a bit, if I want a tighter shot.I am always looking to get a great expression on the brides face, because we know that our clients are looking for content in their images first and foremost.
Zach is usually out in the atrium (wherever the bride is coming into the ceremony from) area capturing the final moments before the bride walks in and will also stand at the back of the church once the processional begins. Usually he has the 70-200L 2.8 or the 85L 1.2 on his camera. Zach’s focus is to shoot the shot of the groom’s face as the bride walks in. He will also capture images of the bride from behind as she and her dad walk down the aisle and will try and nail a shot with the groom’s face in the background and the bride and her father in the foreground, which can be a tricky shot to get.
If there is a balcony, then he may grab some shots from that vantage point when nothing too important is happening during the ceremony.
Once the bride passes me (Jody) in the aisle way, I will shoot her from behind as well usually getting a really wide image and also capturing those moments as she is being given away.
Once we have that part done and the bride and groom begin to give their vows, Zach will head to stage right to get images of the brides face and I (Jody) will head to stage left to get the grooms face as they both say their vows. Sometimes, if it is an outdoor wedding, one of us will try and get behind the couple and get some shots from that vantage point.
We try to not overshoot the ceremony and run all over the place drawing attention to ourselves, but instead just grab the important images during the ceremony while always being ready just in case something impromptu happens. Other key shots that we are tying to nail are:
Small details of the wedding that are all around us
Shots of the parents in the front rows
Exchange of the rings
Unity candle and the like
As the recessional happens, Zach shoots from the aisle way about half way down using the longer lens for close up shots. I (Jody) do the same thing, just using the wider 24-70L lens to get more of the room or venue so we have two different looks for the album. We shoot lots of images really fast during the recessional just to be sure we nailed a great shot of them with great expressions making sure that the content, not the quality of the image is our main focus. If you get great content, then the quality always follows!
So that is our mentality when it comes to shooting the ceremony! We realize that this is a part of the wedding day that only happens once, so having a good game plan when going in, scoping it out a few minutes in advance and knowing where the good shots will be, then making sure that we get those shots is critical when shooting the ceremony. The more prepared that we can be the better and we hope that this aids you in getting those shots that you need for the ceremony!
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