How to Shoot: Dress/ Rings/ Bride details
Let's talk about detail shots. Now let's go back into a wedding that I have already shot. I think this is gonna be a little bit easier to explain to give you an example, um, of detail shots in the bride, the rings, the dress and specifically the bride, right? Most of these detail shots are gonna be coming from the bride other than the ring. So let's start with the dress. So the best thing to do is to put the dress up somewhere where you can photograph it. Well, it's tough because there are a lot of times you'll get into like a hotel room or a small bridal room and there's really nowhere to hang the dress. I've taken the dress outside, I've hung it in doorways, I've hung it in bathrooms. There's a million places and you kind of have to learn how to get creative. But the idea for me is that you wanna get the dress up somewhere that's not flat, right? You wanna get the dress up somewhere where it's not against just a wall because then there will be no depth in the photo. And the goal here...
is to do a wide shot, a medium shot and a very close up detailed shot. Again, these aren't the photos that are gonna end up on your portfolio, but they are photos that are gonna end up being keepsakes for your clients. So let's look at this photo in this uh in this sense, I found a, a good hallway that to, to hang the dress and it was looking down, it was well lit in that room, So it's lit by the windows and the background is a nice background. Luckily this couple had a hanger with a date on it. That's not always the case. And I know some photographers and I should probably get better with this will have a nice hangar with them because sometimes some weddings they'll just have kind of a junkie hanger. Um, it won't look very good if it's just like one of those wire ones or a plastic one, maybe carry a wood hanger with you. Um, if they don't already have one made this, uh, this couple, this bride knew that she wanted a nice hanger like that for the dress specifically. If you do see that if they have a custom hanger, that means that they probably really care about the photos of the dress. Just a tip. So let's look at that. And at that point, we're gonna take pictures of the hangar too, but I, I hung it here. I did a nice wide shot and we'll get into the editing of this later. But um full shot of the dress, I cut off the bottom because it wasn't as important. But the idea is to get the essence of the dress just hanging, not on the bride yet, just details, right, just hanging. And this is something you can do while they're getting ready. It's a really good thing to get started with. Um, you can see here, I did a very uh tight shot with 58 millimeters with my 24 to 70 which I have right here. Um At 2.8 I let the background fall off and the date just popped there. And again, she had this custom made. So that means we should probably take a photo of it to document it. Um I did a couple of different angles right now. You can see the dress on it and the date and then I did like sort of a medium shot of the details with the fall off in the background. Remember your photography, right? The further away the background is from the subject, the more will be out of focus, especially if you're shooting at a 28 and a longer lens, right? That shallow depth of field is what's gonna create that professional aesthetic that we want, right? If you took a mobile phone and took this picture, you'd have to go into portrait mode and even then it looks a little choppy. This is why they're paying you, they're paying you to make it look professional, make it pop very little in focus, very, uh, very much a lot out of focus in the background. It has that like nice pop to it. So once you're done with that, we are, we did a wide shot, the close ups of the hanger, we went and started to get closer and closer to the actual dress. This is when it comes in handy having a macro lens. Now you can see up in the left corner of my light room, I shot this on my 28 millimeter which actually has a macro setting. So I got really close to it and turned on the macro so we can get those finer details of the dress. Some dresses have more details like this one. Some dresses are, are fairly plain, like a very just fabric. So you have to find the detail in the dress that may not have the detail um very exposed like this one. There's tons of little details and all the little flowers and stuff and you can see I turned and actually put it on another hallway where the windows were blasting it more, but the hallway was darker just so it would stand out a little bit more. I don't know if I would really want any of these photos personally if I ever uh you know, had a wedding, but some people do like they spend a lot of money and a lot of time picking out these dresses. So it's very good to document even the smallest details. So this is the reason why we get a macro lens at weddings. You're not gonna be using it for anything other than the details. So this may only end up being like shots. But having that little macro ability is wonderful. If you don't have a macro lens, just stepping back and zooming in as much as you can. So your focus can be on the smaller details that can you, you can usually get away with that. But I'm telling you having the macro is definitely helpful. Same with the rings. So let's move on to the rings. If we go and get the rings from generally, it's the guys, the best man will have them take them, get close, use your macro lens, see what you can do to get them. I like having them both in their cases together. Um To start with, I think that that's like a really calming nice sense. This photo I'm gonna tell you right now is definitely on the 28 and macro. I kinda wish I shot it at a higher f stop. So both of them were in focus subjective, right? It's kind of nice that the, the female band is a in focus and the male bands out of focus. It's like shooting two people, but I do feel like I'd rather have them both in focus. So it's funny when you look back at your photos and you critique them, that's always gonna be the case. Um In this one, I sort of stepped out and added the flowers, the bouquet to sort of add some foreground, stepping back a little bit, adding some environment is always nice. This is really great because these boxes are bright red and everything else around, it was dark. So it kind of gave some more emotion. It gave a little bit more pop to it here, I took them out and put them on the flowers and the bouquet. This is like a very popular way to do things. And if you think about it, we wanna talk about objects with the rings, right? You can put the rings on their actual flowers, you can put the rings tied in a shoe uh in a heel. Um Maybe there's something specific to the couple that you can with the rings on. Um Sometimes I've shot them in the hands of the best man. Um That always looks kind of nice and very cool. So it's kind of good to get creative. So with the rings, do a shot in the box and do a creative shot, that's all you really need. And within both those shots do very close up. Mac, if you can and do a little bit wider as a medium shot again, you're just trying to tell a story and that's we're doing this entire day, we're telling the story of all the little details and the people. And um if you, if you think about the rings, like you think about a couple, um a couple of people, you can really adjust your thinking and, and photograph them as if they're people, like, think about that, like, right, put them in different situations, add foreground, get them both in focus, get one in focus, change their position. Um And again, this is something you can really practice at home very easily. Um With a couple of cheap rings, if you wanted to, let's talk about shoes, I mean, we can talk about all the like paraphernalia that a bride and groom may wear. But in this case, she was really stoked about her shoes, right? She really wanted to, to view them and I had a hard time photographing them because there wasn't really a good background for them. So go and find a nice background and focus on one turn the other one to the side or you know, get really close and have one out of focus like this. These are again on my 28 millimeter macro. So I'm getting very close in getting that really sharp, sharp detail in them. In the, in the last section we're gonna go over how to edit these, which I think is really the core to detail shots, right? We're gonna edit them and make them pop um which is like super nice uh for that. So I went back to the dress. I remember thinking, uh, I didn't get a precise wide that I wanted and this is kind of exactly what I told you not to do. Right. Don't put it on a flat background. But if you do put it on a flat background like this, add some depth to it, add some, maybe like, I kind of like the shoes in the corner. Like it adds a little documentary, feel like it's on the side and people are running around and getting ready and stuff like that. And there's a big contrast right? There's a big, nice bright room and then there's a dark room in the background. The bouquet is also something great to shoot. I actually prefer shooting it in the bride's hands, but I will do a couple of shots with it just alone. If it's around, sometimes the florist isn't always there or on time. So keep, keep that in mind that you definitely wanna get a shot of bouquet because the bouquet if they don't, um, dry it out and keep it, it's gonna be the first thing to disappear, right? We'll keep the rings. Obviously, we'll keep the dress, potentially, we'll keep the shoes, we'll keep the stuff borrowed the stuff blue, but the flowers are probably gonna go away. So any chance you get, if you can get detailed shots of flowers whenever they're around, get them, um, they may not want them, but it takes a really quick second to just run over and take a nice little snap and lastly the fun stuff. Right. This wedding they had champagne bongs, champ bongs. And um they had the names of the roles that they were playing in the wedding and I just thought it was like a really fun photo to take. I think I followed it up with a photo of them all, um drinking them. So the details are great in what is normally in a wedding, right? The rings, the dress, the shoes, all that stuff, but keep an eye out and pay attention. I'm gonna say that a lot. Your head on a swivel. What are the other things in the wedding that are important to your client? Go take a photo of them even if you don't think they want them, you never know when they might come back and be like, hey, did you get a picture of those sham bongs that we used? Um Those are made by my friend and I just really love them and they like tell a story. So um you never know when you might wanna grab uh something to give to them or when they might ask for it. So detail shots don't just focus on, on the important stuff. Make sure you get it right? Rings dress clothing, ask your bride at the top of the day when she's not stressed out. Is there anything specific that you'd like me to photograph um ask that, remember to do it, get a macro lens if you can and um use available light and you're gonna be just fine. Let's go on to the next lesson.