How to shoot: Walking down the Aisle
We're back in the studio and basically, I wanted to walk you through some overhead plans and some images of what I usually do when we're walking down the aisle. Now, this is kind of gonna set sort of your space and your locations for the ceremony. Now, I'm breaking down the wedding that we've sort of been looking at and I'm gonna show you some overheads on my computer. So let's go ahead and dive into that. Um For starters here is I think the best hero place to be during a ceremony in general. But at the beginning of the ceremony, more than anything, right? The idea of the ceremony is that there's an aisle and there are two blocks of generally, right? There are two blocks of guests, right? There's one on the left, there's one on the right and that's what this is donating. Um uh signifying. I like to put myself at the very back on the left side. If you're looking down the aisle, the reason being is because typically the groom when you're facing down the aisle will be on the right side or...
the person that's waiting at the end of the aisle is usually gonna be on the right side. Why? That is, I'm not sure, I'm sure there's some ceremony uh reason tradition for that. And this allows me to be able to look down in that direction. But I can also turn around and look at whomever is coming from the back. And that means at the beginning when the groom is walking down or the person's walking down with whomever they're bringing like parents um efficient comes down from the back. Um And sometimes they're already up there, but this is such a good place. I'm gonna show you why we want to be in a place where we're not in the way, right? The object is to not take away from anyone, but we also want to be able to capture everything that's going on without affecting the ceremony and or stopping it. So on my right side, I will be using a longer zoom lens, usually a 70 to 200. That's kind of my go to Versatile lens. And on my left, I would normally have a 24 to 70 like this um as my second body if I had two full bodies, but because I don't own a second full body, I have a my small fixed camera which is a 28 millimeter which is wide. The idea is to have a long zoom that you can get to things and a wide, a wider uh lens and camera on your left side so that you can do both very quickly. So let's move on. Here are the types of shots that we're gonna talk about that we're gonna be getting from this angle, right? Long le long zoom lenses and getting the emotion. So here is the groom walking down with his mom and we've been able to use our 7200 to look all the way to the back. And as they're coming up, we can also spin around and look down the aisle and see the flower man uh throwing the petals out over the aisle and we're able to get a wider shot. Um I can also come back to 70 right on my 7200 and still get somewhat of a wide if I'm not far down the aisle or use my 28 millimeter, I'm exposing to uh the shadows. But the faces again, the faces are the most important thing to expose to. Um we'd like to not clip or get our highlights. Um And typically I'm wide open as an f stop just to create more of that shallow depth of field. I don't need everything in focus, but I need faces in focus. I need faces in the right exposed light. So let's go back to what we're where we're at. Remember we're at the very back. We're looking down the aisle, we can spin to look who's coming towards the aisle. We can also step into the aisle and look in either direction and this really isn't impeding anybody in the ceremony whatsoever. Right. You're still at the back of the audience. So the only people that you might get in the way of is the people that are sitting in the back, turning around to look at the bride. But that's only gonna be for a hot second and again, photos are forever. Um You don't necessarily need to be watching out for them. Um Totally. So being in the back, I'm able to turn and look down at the altar or the head of the aisle and see our groom waiting for his bride. I can snap him right away on the 7200. Get his reaction, turn around and I can see the bride and her father coming down the aisle and shooting way down there. This one, they're pretty far away, but typically they'll still be a little bit of a distance. And as they get closer and closer, I can keep zooming out going from my 200 all the way to 70. And as they pass by, I can just keep firing. This is when I'm taking the most pictures, I am just firing constantly like trigger, trigger, trigger, trigger. And usually my um camera can keep up. I will do bursts every so often. My camera does three bursts, six bursts and like nine or 12 bursts, I think excessive at the high burst, right? I think three bursts is just fine. Good 123, next 123, next 123. Perfectly fine. I mean, I'll actually go down to one and just quick, uh, you know, click quickly. Um, but that's because I'm used to it if you're not used to it, the little three burst I think is plenty. Um And so yeah, so at that point after we, we're gonna go back after we see them coming towards us, we can shoot in either direction, right? We can get reactions. We can get people coming down the aisle, um the bridal party, whomever, as soon as the bride and the uh bride's father or whomever is walking her down, passes me and I've gotten this shot on the far right here. I will then step into the aisle and look down uh the aisle so I can see the very end. And at that point, I'll switch to my wide and get like a nice shot kind of a back shot. I really like this shot um in the bottom left here because you can really see the uh audience, you can see the groom at the end and then you can see the bride and her father kind of moving down. You can then punch in on your 7200 and get the backs of heads or if they look at each other or if they are holding hands below. Um There's just so many options and it's really versatile for you at this point to get these images. And at this point, it's pretty easy to walk down the aisle and move and get the image that you need to get. But you can see where we started, which was in the corner stepping and moving. At this point is like a really great thing to do. You can also on the 7200 get these reactions once they have passed you and you no longer see their faces, who's the next most important face to see while the groom he's waiting up there and he's reacting and she's getting closer and it's anticipation. So his reactions are gonna be really, really good. Um And this is why having a 200 millimeter at this point from that position is so good. It's so important and they've walked by and you can really just nail that look. Um Here's the wider shot as I'm walking down with the 28 everyone has sort of turned. So no one's really paying attention. You can get a good ambiance photo to tell the story a nice wide and the groom is in the photo at the very end, her maid of honor is on the other end. Um And you're really emphasizing the dress, a lot of wedding dresses will have these trains that they wanna see and this is the time for you to shoot it in action. And again, the closer the closeness of maybe a detailed chart of them looking at each other. Um I know this bride uh wanted to emphasize this, the reason she had a backless dress like this was she really um has a lot of meaning to life and her family behind this tattoo. And so we wanted to make sure to capture that. Um as well. This also sets us up for what is going to be our hero shot for the majority of the rest of the wedding. We are now in position in the center of the aisle with our 70 to 200 looking right down the barrel of the aisle and we can nail this shot. So you can see how these pos this positioning kind of moves us into a place to shoot the rest of the ceremony, especially with the backdrop. And this is pretty uniform. I would say that I've used this method of stepping and turning and pushing down the aisle with a 70 to 200 a wide lens at almost every single wedding that I've shot. There's only been a couple times where there's been maybe a uh a ceremony set up where it's like a circle or it's more of a half circle, but usually no matter what, there is one aisle that people are walking down and you can use that from your base point to move around the rest of the ceremony. So once I'm done in that aisle, once we've, we've established that that's a great shot, things will start to slow down. They'll start to talk. They'll do a welcome or if you're speedy about it, you can run or move quickly, walk speedily or have your second shooter in the second location. And that is actually opposite of the groom who was waiting on the left side. And I move around this way because at that point when uh, the bride and whomever is walking her down, arrive at the top of the altar, we'll be able to see and set up for this exchange. And this is really wonderful because typically the bride will, will be on your side, will be on the left side. The groom is there listening to if there's any other um talking there from the efficient and you're able to kind of nail these shots. Now, these are all done with the 70 to 200 going from 200 to 70 getting tights of uh our efficient with our groom out of focus. I could have racked to the groom as well, getting the bride standing proud with her father. And then of course, everyone in one shot from this angle. And this is really nice because all you have to do is just slip around from behind where you were at the end of the aisle, you can slip all the way around and get to the left side to take this really nice uh shot. And these are more storytelling, right? It you wanna be telling the story of the day, same thing, right? You know how to take photos, expose for their faces, check your focus on them if you can quickly tap and make sure you're getting the faces that you want, look quickly. And then um always of course, do a couple of burst shots here because things are gonna move. And this is the time when you can't really have people reset what they're doing and the point is to capture what is going on. So let's move on to the next part in covering the rest of the ceremony itself.