How to shoot: Ceremony Coverage and vows / ring exchange
OK, let's talk about general coverage of the ceremony itself. Now we have them entering, we got them down the aisle, we were in the back and I wanna cover places where you can be during the ceremony. This is a very nicely set up ceremony space. The green camera denotes my hero location. This is my default location. If I don't know what's going on, I don't know where we are in the ceremony. I will rest in this spot because that's gonna be the best spot to take photos in. You can go on the left or the right, the left. We talked about right when you're setting up, when the bride arrives at the altar and on the right side is sort of the opposite of that. And if you can, if you have space and typically non religious ceremonies will allow you to be behind the altar if you're at a church or a synagogue or some um significance of religion. Um Typically you may not be able to get back there just out of respect. Um It's good to speak to a coordinator or location rep before you take that uh into ...
uh account because you don't wanna be overstepping something and ruin our cause the efficient, any stress beforehand. I think it's a really great idea to get in there if you can beforehand just to see what it looks like too. Also, there are other places where like maybe on a cliff or like a gazebo where you cannot get back there at all. So all your options are our hero stance and that's down at the end of the aisle and then on left and right and then basically anywhere behind the crowd, you're gonna have to fight over cell phones, other cameras, people holding stuff up, videographers. Um There's gonna be a lot for you to go through and that's again, why having a 70 to 200 that'll look through those things and pass. It is very important. Um If you're outdoors, it's super helpful because the f stop doesn't necessarily matter if you're indoors, it's gonna start to get a little hairy if you don't have a 2. aperture 7200 or uh or a high iso camera. But these are the spots you can go during the ceremony. And that means while people are talking, uh there might be some guest speakers up there. Um There might be some other ceremonial things. These are generally the spots that you can go to get all those things and remember to step back and take a, take a wide, right? This is the time when things start to calm down and there's not a lot that you actually need to cover for the story where there's just sort of talking the efficient is welcoming people. We've had people come in internationally from across the country, all these things. This is the time for you to step back and get a nice, beautiful wide of the entire thing. Um It's a very good and easy way to tell the story, right? I only needed two. I didn't take any other photos of the wide part of this without people because we just wanna be able to show the bride and the groom what it looked like during their wedding as a wide, it doesn't have to be um you know, super crucial to, to us. So this is also the time when we can go at the very back of all the audience or uh you know, in that semi circle and we can take our 70 to 200 make sure that we get a nice shot of the wedding party. I usually do one side and the other. I'll take a bunch of different ones. I just grab these because I just think uh they're really nice. It was tough for the women on the side because they're getting hit by all the sunlight and so their eyes are squinty, it's a little windy, their hair is all over the place. The men you can see the sun is actually behind them and they're not squinting at all. They're just like comfortable and they're all uniform. Which great. These are really nice shots to share with your uh bride and groom. Remember my default place, right? I don't know what's going on. So I will default to the center aisle and I'll go in and out if I need to get stuff, getting them holding hands is one of my favorite moments to have and I never show these in my portfolio. But my clients always seem to love this and this is kind of just showing the connection of, of them physically before they put the rings on before they kiss before everything. It's a really cute and nice way to show their interaction and their closeness and it's a really easy shot, right? All you have to do is walk down the aisle, quietly, lean down and uh vertically, change your camera and with the 200 just snap that really quick, which leads me to think about the ceremony itself. How are you moving around? Well, quietly, we don't want to disrupt the ceremony, but we still wanna capture the story of the day. So you don't need to run, but you also don't need to walk super slow. And this is a really great time with the advent of mirrorless cameras where you can set your camera to be dead quiet depending on the wedding, right? If it's in a church or a place of uh worship, having a very dead quiet camera is helpful because it's not really loud and they won't hear the like Ku Clack having a Ds LR on the other hand, and in a quiet place you hear this, which is fine, but um sometimes it takes away from the actual ceremony and it's part of the reason I do love the mirrorless cameras is how quiet they are in smaller areas, a place like this outside, it didn't matter as much. So again, moving around getting images of their faces on both sides. These are the outside parts but in front of the audience. Um the one of the men here I am actually behind the altar a little bit and I found a little space between the women and uh our bride to get a really nice smiling photo at 200 right? I'm pretty far back at 200 to get that image, um you're not in the way you're not in their face, you're not disrupting the ceremony, but you're still getting a really wonderful shot of the groom. Same on the bride in the upper left corner here, we've gone on the other side and we've just snagged a quick shot of her uh smiling at him. I do feel bad for her because the sun was hitting her face directly. Um a little rough I imagine also a great time to get guests right? That will be reacting or not, but it is a perfect time to come back and sit with this 200 try and snag guest photos. A lot of times parents will be in tears or crying or smiling or laughing. Um And this is also a good time to get that. Keep in mind during the ceremony that there will be these little intricacy things for every wedding that may be different. In this case, this wedding had a very different uh uh vibe as far as like there was no religion, there was no um real, you know, dedicated theme, but they're in Napa, which is a wine place and they had a box there that we shot a detail shot of earlier and it basically has letters to each other and a bottle of wine for them to open. I believe it was on their first year anniversary or maybe their fifth year anniversary. I'm not sure. Um And so to get the story of it, we shot it right. We took photos of him reading the wine, um them putting it in the box. So they have a record of it. So just keep in mind that you may need to do that. But again, the 70 to 200 is the hero here. I'm getting in close. I'm able to snag that shot without getting too close to the rest of the ceremony and affecting it. Here is where we start to talk about the vows and exchanging of rings that is usually gonna happen in most weddings I'd say generally that's always gonna happen. I try to take one or two shot of the person reading the vows. But really the reactions are gonna come from the person who's listening to the vows. So in this case, I took a picture of him, but then I ran around the other side to make sure to take pictures of her reacting to his words. And I did the reverse on uh when she was reading to him. And I think that to me is a little bit more impactful and important on the 200. Again, I'm not getting close. This is not the time for you to be interfering in this ceremony, but you still wanna get that image. So the 7200 worked out great here now. Default, right? They're gonna start exchanging rings and so the default is back to the center of the aisle so that we can make sure to get those rings. You can get close if you can get in front of the audience a little bit if you feel comfortable. But I like being in the center. I like being able to go up and down the aisle, up and down the aisle. No one's gonna give you a hard time about it because you are the photographer, you're allowed to be there. And this is also where I can really get in close for the rings. This is a wonderful shot. He's making that face. She's trying to get it on there and then a very tight shot of their hands actually putting it on the ring. Such a really good, good way to get that exchange. And it's important. Um And again, because it's down the center of the aisle, you can get up close and you can get that. The rings have happened. They've walked down the aisle, they've done all their things. Sometimes there might be a song playing or another ceremony. Just make sure to move around snag it with what you can. If you need to switch to your wide camera, you always can, you're gonna be heavy on your a camera with a 70 to 200. I can guarantee it. Um I'm always using the 70 to 200 on the longer lens um in most ceremonies. So once you've gotten through all this, make sure you're paying attention. This is also um what I'm talking about when earlier, if you know the run of show or you talk to the officiate early at what order things are gonna be because once they have their rings on, it's gonna start to move very quick. And that means the first kiss and that is of course the hero shot of a wedding. So in the next lesson, let's talk about how to shoot the first kiss and uh exiting the ceremony.