The Art of Storytelling in Wedding Photography

The Art of Storytelling in Wedding Photography

It’s no secret that weddings are a prime opportunity for photographers to showcase their work. Not only do they have before and after photos from the same location, but they also have willing subjects who are styled and waiting for their camera at every opportunity. So how do you make your wedding photography stand out?
An artful eye for composition, an ability to put your subjects at ease, and a deep understanding of light and its effects on photos are all important traits of any skilled photographer. However, there is perhaps no single element that sets one photographer apart from another more than their ability to tell a story with images.
The best wedding photographers understand that the images they capture need not solely document the details of this one day but rather present a story of love between two individuals.
Here are some tips on how to bring storytelling into your own wedding photography:

Be a Voyeur, Not a Participant

Have you ever seen a photographer so intent on getting a good shot that they block everyone else’s view? That’s not the way to go. Weddings are full of life and excitement, and the best images come from being a voyeur to the action rather than being a participant in it.
Sure, there will be times when you’re expected to join in on the festivities, but there will be others when your subjects will be most themselves if you’re just there to observe them. Whether you’re waiting outside a dressing room while bridesmaids are getting ready, or you’re on the sidelines while guests mingle at a cocktail party, you’ll have plenty of candid moments to capture.

 

It’s About The Emotion, Not The Action

 

It’s About The Emotion, Not The Action

You’ll likely see many different types of images from a wedding, including the usual bridal party shots, formal portraits, and plenty of food and venue photos. There may even be a few creative images that push the boundaries of traditional wedding photography, but what your guests and everyone else who views your photos will remember most are the emotions behind the images.
These are the photos that tell a story of love and commitment between two people. There are so many moments throughout a wedding day where the emotion between two people is palpable. You don’t need to be part of the action; you just need to be ready to capture those moments. While there are many formal poses that couples choose to have you photograph, the real stories happen in between those moments.

 

Tell The Story of Your Subjects

 

Tell The Story of Your Subjects

Your wedding photography should be a visual story about your subjects. You want your viewers to feel as if they know your subjects as people and as a couple. They should understand their likes and dislikes, their personalities, their history together, and their hopes and dreams for the future.
What do they like to do in their free time? What are their hobbies? What are their dreams? How do they like to spend their time together? These are all questions you can ask your subjects to help you tell their story through your photography.

Before The Wedding

If wedding photography is an art, then the pre-wedding shoot is the artist’s palette. This is your chance to test out various ideas and see what works best for you and the happy couple. Remember, a pre-wedding shoot is a great way for the bride and groom to get comfortable in front of the camera and get to know you as the photographer.
A pre-wedding shoot is also a great opportunity to try out different locations, and if the wedding happens to be in the same place, then you can always use these photos to test out different lighting and compositions. This way, you’ll be able to tell the right story when the big day arrives.

 

During the Ceremony

 

During the Ceremony

The ceremony is one of the most important parts of the wedding day because it’s here that the two lovebirds exchange their vows and become husband and wife. It’s also the only part of the wedding that you can actually plan. In the midst of all the excitement, it can be easy to forget that you are also working. Take a moment to remind yourself that the whole point of being there is to create images.
During your shoot, try to focus on the couple and what’s happening before you. By watching the ceremony, you can anticipate lighting and make sure you’re in the right place at the right time. You can also take advantage of the ceremony to try out different compositions. If it’s indoors, look for ways to break up the lines of the architecture. If it’s outside, try to find patterns in the landscaping.

During the Reception

The reception is where things really get interesting. It’s the time for dancing, celebrating, and eating. As a photographer, you need to make sure that you’re ready for anything. You will have more opportunities to capture great photos, but you need to be ready for anything that might happen. Fortunately, if you prepare in advance, you'll never be caught off guard.
Ready yourself for crowds by bringing extra batteries and memory cards. Make sure you have an extra battery charger on you so that you don’t spend too much time tethered to an outlet. Be sure to drink lots of water, it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated when you’re busy taking photos, and Keep your equipment close by so that you don’t waste time walking around to find it.

 

Be Consistent When Editing The Photos

 

Be Consistent When Editing The Photos

Whether you’re shooting JPEG or RAW files, it’s important to remember that every photo you take doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, if you spend too much time tweaking each image, you may lose track of the overall story you're trying to tell. Instead of trying to perfect each photo, keep in mind the overarching themes that you want to convey through your images.
Once you have an idea in mind for the album, it’s time to start editing. Consistency in editing makes it easier to create a cohesive story and will show the newlyweds that you have a signature style. There are many different programs you can use to edit your photos, but no matter which one you choose, make sure you stay consistent.

Conclusion

There are so many opportunities for you to bring storytelling into wedding photography. At every turn, you have a chance to let your audience see the story behind your subjects. You don’t need to be intrusive or distracting; you just need to be present and ready to tell the story of this one day through a series of images.
Even more than portraiture, wedding photography is an art form that can be enjoyed and appreciated by all. If you employ the tips we’ve outlined here, you can ensure that your images are meaningful, interesting, and worth remembering.
Pro Prints is an industry leader specializing in professional photo printing and custom canvas prints. Whether you want to display your best shots to clients, family, or friends, Pro Prints can help you show off your work the way it was meant to be seen.

 

Featured Pro