As with many forms of photography wedding photographs can be subjective. At the very least, the wedding reportage should capture the emotions of the day. You should certainly avoid making it look artificial or too official. I’ve illustrated this with my recent photographs from the wedding of the beautiful couple – Clare and Tom Alderwinkle. So, here are my 6 tips for a better wedding reportage.
1. Pay attention to details
Let’s start with some details. You’ll benefit from photo’s of; flower bouquets, tableware, wedding stationary, the Bride’s wedding dress or anything you can see that will add those final touches to a great reportage. Even if you don’t use all of them, have them handy, there’s always someone who made the effort to prepare those bits and pieces of art look beautiful so it’s worth immortalizing it with photographs.
2. Capturing meaningful facial expressions and body language
It’s well known that we read human emotions by looking at the face and interpreting body language. As weddings are usually full of different feelings: happiness, excitement, sometimes a sudden surprise; capturing these will make the pictures look engaging and interesting. Photograph the people’s faces as much as possible especially when they’re talking, giving speeches, cutting cake or teaching someone how to dance flamenco. Odds are you’ll get lucky.
3. Make your subject stand out
My preference is having the subject stand out in my photographs. I recommend experimenting with the depth of field; make the subject look sharp but leave the rest of the scene blurred. To achieve this, use a prime lens with a low aperture. My must-have in those situations is a 35mm lens with 1.8 aperture (not everyone’s choice but one which works for me). Incidentally, this lens will give you good performance in low light.
4. Document a subplot
Yes, the wedding is all about the Bride and the Groom but documenting a subplot will make your story more absorbing. What is going on outside of the mainstream events? At Clare and Tom’s wedding I photographed the kids playing and them jumping in between the skipping rope as-well-as conversations among the adults. Capturing these kinds of moments will help with the reportage.