Being a wedding photographer is an intense and quite stressful job with long hours (and benefits of dinner and wedding cake at the end of the day). But besides all that, wedding photographers have to be very versatile when shooting. Wedding photographers are basically three types of photographers all combined into one.
1. Documentary Photojournalist: Those candids of the bride and her mom after she puts her dress on. The photo of that laugh that the bride and groom share at the reception. All the dance floor fun caught on camera. These are the product of a photojournalist, someone who captures all of the important moments, and the small details too. Try to always be on the lookout for special moments to photograph. The key to this type of photography is to place yourself in the background, so no one feels like they are being photographed, and so natural moments can happen. Best lens for the job: 70-200mm f/2.8
2. Portrait Photographer: The well-lit, natural-light headshot of the bride after she gets ready. All of the perfectly-posed portraiture of the wedding party at the church. The gorgeous sunset length photo of the bride and groom that looks like it could be on the cover of Vogue. These are the photos from the portrait photographer, someone who knows how to pose people and use lighting and angles to their advantage. To shoot successful wedding portraits and group photos, know your light source(s) and become an expert at posing groups of two to twenty. Best lens for the job: 50mm f/1.4
3. Fine Art Photographer: The macro shots of the wedding rings. The perfectly composed still life images of the groom’s shoes, with his tie delicately draped over the side. The long exposure shot of the bride and groom’s nighttime exit with sparklers. All of these are the product of a fine art photographer, who lets their creative side out and turns the most simple shot into a work of art. For the best creative and fine art wedding photos, try stepping outside your comfort zone with new angles, dramatic lighting, or an interesting background. Best lens for the job: Macro 105mm f/2.8
So, the next time you see a wedding photographer frantically running around at the reception or artfully posing a group of eighty people after the ceremony, thank them for their hard work. Or just hand them some cake.