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Challenges you may face when shooting a Wedding and some Solutions

Guest Photographers Getting in the Way of your Shots

When I meet with a couple before the wedding, I will usually mention that they ask their guests to let me do my job and stay out of my path when I am shooting, but  there is always that one person who is always in your way.  I was shooting a wedding a couple of years ago, and the bride was coming down the stairs to make the big reveal.  I was trying to get into a position for the best shot when her Aunt stepped right in front of me to get her photo.  She did say ‘Excuse Me’ but it wasn’t a polite ‘Excuse Me’.  I missed the natural, candid shot, but luckily the bride was cooperative and we did a quick replay so I could get my shot.  If you encounter this, simply say ‘Excuse Me, but they are paying me to photograph these events so I would appreciate having space to do so’, or something along those lines.  If it is a posed shot, I will set it up, ensure that I have a few good shots and then step aside so the guests can also get a few shots with their own cameras. 

It is a Very Long Day

Shooting a Wedding can sometimes be stressful and tiring.  Make sure you keep well hydrated and eat small snacks throughout the day or you will be going home with a headache.  Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.  Bring an extra set of clothing also.  It may be the hottest day of the year, or the rainiest day of the year, but it is good to be prepared and comfortable. 

Bad Ceremony Lighting

The lighting is usually not to be desired inside a Church or any other place of worship.  It is usually very dim and the lighting is very warm.  One way to help with what settings to use is to use a light meter.  If you don’t have a light meter, there is an app for that.  Flashes during the ceremony can be distracting and draws the attention from the newlyweds to you, which you don’t want!  Some Churches and places of worship don’t like flash photography during the ceremony. The first thing you could try is using a 50mm 1.4 lens and shooting wide open. This will let the maximum amount of light in and make your photos brighter.  Try not to reduce your shutter speed to anything less than 1/100 or you will get blurry photos.  Instead, increase your ISO to the point where you know your camera can still give you quality images without a lot of noise.  I try not to turn the ISO up past 1000, but that is my camera.  Many cameras are wonderful in low light and the quality of the image is excellent at a high ISO.  You just need to know your camera (you should know your camera inside and out before shooting a wedding).

If you absolutely need to use flash, try and bounce it and use a hot shoe flash, not the flash that comes with your camera.  Try and bounce the flash off something white or neutral, otherwise you will get a color cast. 


The Dark Reception

This can be as challenging as shooting the Ceremony in a dim lit Church, but using a flash is definitely encouraged here.  Just be sure to diffuse it and/or bounce it. 

Another suggestion is setting up an off camera flash to add some extra light on your subjects.  You can back light, side light, create lens flare etc.   You can be really creative with this.  You could also use a strobe if you don’t have a slave flash. 

If you don’t have an off camera flash, just follow the suggestions for the Ceremony lighting.  Bump up your ISO to a point where you are comfortable you won’t have a lot of noise, and/or use a good lens with a wide aperture (1.4). 

Large Group Photos

Fitting everyone into large group photos can be very challenging.  Try getting up to a higher point than your subjects.  A chair or ladder will work, or even going up to the top of a building.  The top of a hill would also work if there are any around.  This will ensure you get everyone in the photo.  A good, wide angle lens will also do the trick. 

Bright Sunshine/Too Much Light

Have your subjects face into the light, or if it is too bright to do that comfortably (you don’t want everyone squinting), use a fill flash to reduce the contrast on the face as well as any shadows.  When shooting in full sunlight reduce your ISO to 100 or 200. 


You are always going to face challenges when shooting Weddings whether it be your 1st or 500th.  Every Wedding gives you new experiences and knowledge to use for next time.  The best piece of advice I would give to anyone is if you aren’t comfortable enough to shoot a wedding by yourself, ask to assist another photographer on a wedding or be a 2nd shooter.  This way you can learn the ins and outs.  Even the best Wedding Photographers face challenges, but it is always important to stay calm, cool and collected.  If you are stressed out or nervous, you can be sure the Bride and Groom will pick up on that!

Happy Shooting!


Photographer’s Spotlight | D Coleman Photography Featured Wedding

We’re excited to present once again the work of one of our esteemed featured photographers, David Coleman of  D Coleman Photography.

There are so many reasons that we love Coleman’s work.  Whether it’s the tangible connection he creates in his pictures to the couples and their weddings, or the vintage finishes that give his photos added élan, Coleman’s work is always delightful and compelling.

Today, Coleman shares with us the wedding of Zeb and Abby at Springhouse Gardens in Joplin, MO.

Take first the couple, Zeb and Abby. As Coleman characterizes them, “This couple was real. Real with their love for each other, real with their desire to share their day with me and my wife as if we were long-time friends.” Take note of the playful L-O-V-E shot that has Coleman’s artful texturing.

Next, notice the breathtaking Springhouse Gardens location and add silver-lining weather. Coleman relays that the day was stormy until just before the wedding was about to begin and then, “the clouds broke and blue skies lit up the tree side ceremony. The final touch for the photos was when the rainbow appeared over the tree line.”

And don’t forget the DIY elements, like the flower bulb planting and rustic flourishes throughout, which added sweetness and character to both the day as a whole as well as the pictures. Coleman remarks that in addition to the thoughtful and decorative details, the “lighting was as perfect as it could be and that made for some fun captures.”


Between the charm of the day, and the first-rate images by David Coleman, we’d say Zeb and Abby’s event definitely gives inspiration for how picturesque and romantic a garden wedding can be.


Featured Photographer | Dayna Mae Photography

It takes a cultivated eye to highlight both the love story of a wedding as well as the details that make the day festive and memorable. Dayna Mager of Dayna Mae Photography succeeds at this balance of feeling and storytelling every time she peers through her lens.

Dayna Mae PhotographyMager allows her passion for what she does to shine through her photographs. As she explains, “I love that each of us has a unique story waiting to be told, and there's nothing better than when a couple trusts me to document that.”

Dayna Mae PhotographyIndeed, in addition to her ardent admiration and respect for the love that connects a bride and groom, she has a deep appreciation of the wedding accoutrements that make the day look and feel the way it does. What Mager conveys so well in her pictures is an anchored, grounded sense of the scene, steeped in the rich mixture of emotions that permeate the event.

Dayna Mae PhotographyIn short, Mager takes what she sees in front of her—the love, the sense of occasion, and the particulars of the day—and translates it into inviting images that perfectly encapsulate the moment.

Dayna Mae PhotographyVisit Dayna Mae Photography for more information about Dayna Mager’s photographs and services.


Featured Photographer | Photography Your Way

Gary Abramson of Photography Your Way transforms the ephemeral moments of a wedding into indelible images that will last a lifetime. His uncluttered and insightful snapshots are satisfying vignettes that tell the real story of the day.

Photography Your WayDeftly capturing the spectrum of emotions, Abramson finds it to be his favorite part of photographing these types of events. He also respects and admires the beauty of a wedding, remarking that he loves, “being part of one of the happiest days in a person’s life.”

Photography Your WayAbramson feels at home shooting all types of wedding photography, but he admits he is partial to a particular style. Indeed, he explains that while he enjoys taking formal pictures, “the more artsy and the candids are where it's at for me.”

Photography Your WayWith the wishes of the couple always at the forefront of his mind, Abramson collects both the sprawling scope of the occasion as well as the smaller but all-important details in his photographs and presents them with his own creative vision.

Photography Your WayIndeed, whether large or small, Abramson takes the distinctive elements that make a wedding true to the bride and groom and illuminates them elegantly in his images.

For more information about Gary Abramson’s photography, visit Photography Your Way.


Featured Photographer | Summerford Photography

Kelli Summerford experiences weddings through the lens of her camera, taking pictures that capture the verve and spirit of the event. Her images are saturated with the energy, atmosphere and emotion of the joyful affair.

Summerford PhotographyNot limiting herself to a single style, Summerford favors a “fusion” of traditional and photojournalistic photography that allows her to shoot in a way best suited to the instant. She states, “I photograph the events as they happen in the most attractive way.”

Summerford Photography

Summerford offers fully customizable packages making it easy for the couple to get exactly what they want. She also plans carefully with the bride and groom so that everyone is prepared on the day.

Her keen eye and artistic background give Summerford everything she needs to take absorbing, truthful pictures. In her words, she explains, “my favorite part of photographing a wedding would be the moments when I can feel the positive energy of the events.”

Whether she draws on the mood to snap an upbeat and quirky spin on a traditional photo,

Summerford Photographyor a timeless, solemn image of the bride and groom,

Summerford Photography

Summerford finds a way to compress the immense feelings of a wedding into tidy, charming visual packages.

Learn more about Kelli Summerford’s services at Summerford Photography.

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