Capturing The Moment in Wedding Photography

Capturing The Moment in Wedding Photography

A new year and a clean state; last year’s resolution was to take wedding photography "back to basics" and capture images that truly matter to couples and their families. At the end of this year, I had the opportunity to look back on the moments of 2014; a new emotional set of images that are imperfect perfection.

The wedding industry glamorizes perfect details, designer dresses, and diamond rings. While all of these are beautiful, what really matters is the people and the moments they experience on one of the most important days of their lives. The images in this post are not technically correct, posed, nor will they win any awards. They were shot on the spur of the moment in situations where lighting was not controlled, the background was not ideal, and I couldn’t ask them to “do that again”. You may not fully understand the emotions in these photos, but to these people they mean the world. To be in the moment and capture those once in a lifetime photos you have to be connected to your subjects and have excellent timing.

Connection. Creating a friendship with your client is key to allowing them to feel comfortable. Meeting and working with your couples prior to the wedding will make you seem more like an old friend on the wedding day instead of the paid help. Your couples will be more relaxed and genuine. If you won't be able to meet before the wedding, Skyping or emailing back and forth will allow you to get to get to know each other. It is key to ask what is important to them on their wedding day. Make a list of people or things you know they will want to see in their final photos. If you are working with members of the family you haven't met before, be friendly and make them feel as comfortable as possible with how you will be shooting that day.

Timing. This is the hard part, be ready for anything at anytime during a wedding day. Instead of snapping one picture of a particular moment wait to see how it all plays out. You never know when a portrait session will turn into an informal story telling moment or when a bride will fist bump her dad on the way back down the isle. Many of these moments will happen when we aren't ready or when our camera settings aren't ideal. Do the best you can and always shoot in RAW. Your clients probably won't be paying attention to the technical aspect of these images anyways. Hiring a second shooter will also elevate some of the pressures to be everywhere at once. Have your second shooter focus on basic shots, which will allow you to focus on capturing real life. At all times during the day take a 360 degree look around the room or area. There are more things happening during the ceremony to capture than just the bride and groom saying their vows.

The purpose of this article is to inspire you to live in the moment this upcoming year; a challenge to connect with your subjects and be in the right place at the right time. Forget about the shots that will look good in your portfolio, or what publications will want to see when you send off to a blog or a magazine. Think about creating imperfect images that will mean the world to your client. At the end of the day all that really matters is love, family, and relationships. 

Happy New Year! 

Log in or register to post comments


Jason Ruggiero's picture

These are great photos!

Dave Camara's picture

Nice Article! I learned long ago that capturing the moment is more important than a technically sound photo. If you get both, that's huge. Bump that ISO up, and be ready!

Roman Kazmierczak's picture

These are perfect imperfect photos.

Anonymous's picture

Great thoughts and work Lindsey.I once marvelled when a bride ordered an enlargement from me that photographically was far from perfect,out of focus slightly,crooked when it wasn't trendy to do that,although she was winking. It was as she and her husband were walking into the reception house.I asked her why she like it and she said because as we walked in and everyone stood up and clapped,all my family and friends,I felt like a million dollars. Here is another favourite spontaneous shot I like on my blog.

J. Malonson's picture

It's all about moments as they happen. You get it!

Martin Moore's picture

Great thoughts to always be aware of.

Denis Girard's picture

What a great article!...thanks to remind us what matters the most! THANK YOU! xox

Mark Evers's picture

Great article. It's always those more meaningful candid shots I prefer vs the posed shots.

flexible fotography's picture

Now, THAT'S wedding photojournalism! I've been doing the same since before that name was coined.
If I may make a small distinction, what you are calling timing I refer to as awareness -- being alert and ready at all times. It's exhausting, but worth it!

Kristi Woody's picture

I love this! I always try to capture moments. My favorite photo on my wedding day is of my mom and matron of honor zipping me into my dress. Let's just say it was a tight fit, and all of our faces showed it ;) Those things help tell the story for me, and I love them.

What I really need to do is start sharing those moments on my website and social media more. Thanks for the inspiration!

Conor A. McGlone's picture

Amazing and lovely photographs. Wedding photos can be a more important souvenir for all couples, so everyone wishes most special, beautiful and creative wedding photo ideas. Capture every unnoticed event of the most memorable day of your life with Siobhan Hegarty Photographer.