Having just participate in a styled shoot, much of our time was dedicate to photographing the styled details that were a part of the shoot. Of course the details were perfect, carefully picked and paired together. As we were experimenting and talking through how we photograph details, it made me stop and think : WHY do we photograph details on a wedding day and HOW can we go about doing that in an artful and considerate fashion. I thought I'd tackle those two topics today addressing photographers and Brides on the importance of capturing the wedding day details and including them into the wedding portfolio!Why.
Why is photographing the details of the wedding important? Well for starters, the details are the elements that help tell the story of the day. From the invitations to the flowers, the centerpieces to the place cards, the details help tie together the color scheme, the feeling and the overall look of the wedding day. They are the "filling" so to speak that binds the wedding day portfolio together. This is especially true when it comes to the wedding album where the detail images are incredibly important in creating a cohesive and visually appealing album design.
Additionally couples dedicate much time and thought into choosing the elements for their details. These details often become a huge part of the planning process and therefore become very important to the couple. They might even be family heirlooms which again gives them a high value of importance. These details also represent the many vendors that are a part of the day and care should be taken to capture images of those vendors work.
Lastly, Bride and Grooms will often dedicate a large chunk of their wedding budget to the details. Whether its the plated hors d'oeuvres that are being passed at cocktail hour or the stunning bridal bouquet, each of these elements represent a choice, one that the couple has painstakingly thought about. That alone deserves our attention and care when it comes to documenting the wedding day.How.
So now that you know why the details are important, how do you go about documenting them? For each detail I multi range approach. First I start wide, then mid, then tight. For example, with the the images picked for this post, you can see the various focal lengths that I am using to document each scene. I want to make sure that I am capturing the scene in which the details are in, but also not being afraid to shoot tight and eliminate distracting elements. I want to give the couple a varied selection of their details for their own enjoyment as well as capture images that gives me flexibility when designing their wedding album.
I'm also not afraid to rearrange the details and elements in a way that is attractive and styled. I want to make sure that these details represent the wedding day in a beautiful way and that often requires that I style the details and elements. For example, if the stationary suite has hints of blue then I will work hard to find elements in the room or within other wedding details to highlight that blue. I will eliminate distracting elements in the background and work to create artfully crafted images of the details of the day!
Finally, I would encourage you to be aware of your perspective when documenting the details. Try to keep your horizon lines level, shoot straight down on items, shoot straight across tables and be aware of anything distracting in your foreground and background.
For the Bride.
Brides, you can play an important role in how your details are documented throughout the day. As your photographer, I know just how special each element is and how much thought and care went into picking your details. In order to have the details captured artfully there are a few things to consider. First, especially during the getting ready portion of the day, make sure to have all your details collected and together so that your photographer can easily and quickly style the details together. This includes your bouquet, shoes, jewelry, stationary, hairpieces, veil, dress, etc. It can also be helpful to include fabric swatches or other elements that might be used throughout the day to tie into those images.
When it comes to capturing the details at your reception, it is important to factor in time to do so. We need at least 15 minutes in the reception room/venue, before guests enter so that we can photograph the details before they are disturbed. You can help by communicating this to your venue coordinator and/or planner to ensure that this time is factored into your timeline. If you have any questions about how I capture the wedding day details or how to best approach this part of the wedding day, leave a comment below!