Secrets of Mastering Wedding Photography


If we have to learn about only one type of photography, we’d want to learn about wedding photography. And it’s quite obvious that we do because we all go to weddings, we want to capture the best moments from our angle.

And if you are a beginning photographer, than you would know that wedding photography is the highest paying niche of photography there is. No wonder you want to be good at it.

But the question is, can you become a great wedding photographer by reading this article? Sadly, no!
One cannot become great in anything by studying just one article… so why am I bothering to write it? Because, even if you won’t become great at it, you would become pretty good at it. How? Because you would know the science behind wedding photography, you know the professionals’ secrets and you will have the confidence to pull it off. It’s true that you will not have experience, but you will have everything else that professional photographers have. And that makes a big difference.

Father of photojournalism and news photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson said “your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.

He was right but only for his age. Today, we have internet, we have the guidance of pros for free. So let’s just skip the ten thousand photos part and skip to the professionals’ tips for taking memorable wedding pictures.

Wedding Photography Tips for Beginners

Before I go any further, there’s one basic thing that I’d like to clarify.

A great wedding photographer is not the one who takes pictures of people but who takes pictures of their feelings.

Can we capture happiness? Let me steal a quote from Obama here… Yes we can!

Emotional Wedding Photography

Photographer: Raymond Phang, Singapore.

We will see many examples for taking great wedding pictures, but I’m starting the article with wedding photography tips. Let’s begin.

Create a list of shots

Homework is pivotal, especially in photography because photographers don’t many second chances. That’s why it is important to make a list of wedding photography poses that you’d like to capture.

You can think of point of different point of views, angles, settings and anything and everything you can think of.

Do more than portraits

We can take close-ups of: accessories, rings, flowers, cake etc.
Product photography techniques are applied here.

You can take inspiration from wedding magazines, websites etc.

Set exposure for the dress

One of the biggest mistakes newbies make is they underexpose the images. In result, the dress becomes dull, a bit grayish. The image loses all its glamor.

The dress is the most important factor in any photo containing the bride. So your job is to make sure that the dress looks shiny white (or whatever color it is). If the dress is looking good in the picture, the whole will come out great, that’s a fact.

Coordinating with the families

Unless you are a family member, you could have difficulties communicating with them. That’s because you are an outsider, you don’t know their family dynamics so you can sound a bit intrusive.

To resolve this issue, you can choose one coordinator from each family. This person should help you direct the shots. Those two persons will bridge the gaps and enable to you to create quality shots.

Preparing for the Event

Ryan Oakley has made a six-page guide on preparing for wedding photography, but I’m describing only the major points here.


Reconnaissance, or recy, refers to “military observation of a region to locate an enemy or ascertain strategic features.

So your job is to scout the location, figure out how you will move, where the lights will be placed, which side will the bride enter from etc. etc. etc.

Bring at least two cameras

Set both cameras. One for long distance shots and one for close-ups.

The ideal set of lens would be one wide-angle lens and one lens above 150mm.

Bring an assistant

This is not an absolute must but if you have another person taking pictures, you are likely to get loads of good shots.

The assistant can be taking pictures of children, relatives etc. and you can be shooting the bride – wait, that didn’t sound right – taking pictures of the bride.

Background and Lighting

One thing I didn’t talk about much was the importance of background and lighting. Background usually takes the most part of your photo so pay good attention to it.

Wedding Photography with Impressive Background

Photographer: Gerhard Nel, The Netherlands

Secondly, light. Now you would know that light plays a huge, huge role in determining the emotion, the feeling. So make sure you know how to play with lights. Here’s an example of what difference light makes.

Light1 Light2 Light3

Pro Tip: If you want to become a professional photographer, you should learn to use diffused light.

Wedding Photography Ideas

There are so many wedding photos on the internet but I decided to collect mine from International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers. All these pictures have won awards by ISPWP. These are the pictures that impressed the masters.

This is the ideal dose of inspiration for you.

Black and White Wedding Photography

Black and white photography is ideal for showing intense emotions. The contrast, the tones, the colors make everything more emotional, more intense.

Family love

Photographer: Daniele Vertelli, Italy

Wedding ceremony

Photographer: Raman El Atiaoui, Germany

Parents of the bride

Photographer: Emma Rose, Canada

first dance

Photographer: Dennis Berti, Mexico


Photographer: Eunice Montenegro, USA


Photographer: Nacho Mora, Spain

Framing at its best

Photographer: Vinny Labella, Spain

Humor in wedding photography

Photographer: Tito Rikardo, Indonesia

Catching the bouquet

Photographer: Marcel Siegle, USA

Cat and the bride

Photographer: Susana Barbera, Spain

Kids will be kids

Photographer: Julian Kanz, Italy


Photographer: Erika Mann, Canada

Wedding dress is an example of pre wedding photography

Photographer: Valentin Gamiz, Spain

The Dance

Photographer: Peter van der Lingen, The Netherlands

double exposure wedding photography

Photographer: Galina Nabatnikova, Russia


Photographer: Ana Correa, Brazil

Creative Wedding Photography

You can do wonders when it comes to creative photography. You can set up in any way you like. You have the freedom. You can do silhouettes, you can go for a concept based photo with props… the choice is yours and sky is the limit.

All about light

Photographer: Matous Duchek, Czech Republic

South Asian Bride

Photographer: Melia Sorenson, Canada

Asian wedding photography of a bride

Photographer: Apresh Chavda, United Kingdom


Photographer: Cliff Brunk, USA

Engagement Portrait

Photographer: Juan Jose Euan, Mexico

Framing the subject

Photgrapher: Ruslan Myts, Russia


Photographer: Pedro Cabrera, Spain


Photographer: Alessandro Baglioni, Italy

Main Hall

Photographer: Dennis Jagusiak, Germany

Glamorous bride

Photographer: Sigit Prasetio, Indonesia


Photographer: Carey Nash, Canada

Wedding details

Photographer: Chris Shum, USA

Best Men

Photographer: Zhang Ainiu, China


Photographer: Zhang Ainiu, China

Bridal party framing

Photographer: Citlalli Rico, Mexico


Photographer: Fer Juaristi, Mexico

Standing Down

Photographer: Aaron Willcox, USA

The Bride

Photographer: Gerhard Nel, The Netherlands

The engagement

Photographer: Pedro Cabrera, Spain

Wedding Photography in silhouette

Photographer: Nathan Welton, USA

Center stage

Photographer: Liliya Gorlanova, Russia

Just married

Photographer: Freddy Ku, Mexico


Photographer: Rafa Ibanez, Mexico

Fine art wedding photography

Photographer: Emin Kuliyev, USA


Photographer: Sol Tamargo, Mexico

Ending Notes

Now you are geared up with the basic level wedding photography tips and you have also taken inspiration from some of award-winning wedding pictures. So let me just sum up today’s discussion.

What you need for your first wedding photography project are two things:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Confidence

Knowledge is power” -Inspector Gadget

If you know the tricks, you have scouted the venue before, you have help in the shape of coordinators and you also know that you have backups for an unfortunate equipment failure, then you will have confidence in yourself. That confidence makes a great difference. So make sure you tick these things in your wedding photography checklist and I guarantee you that your first assignment will be a big win.

I leave you with this wedding photography cheatsheet that should be a valuable resource for any beginning wedding photographer.

Wedding Photography Cheat Sheet.

Until tomorrow, sayonara.

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  1. Blue September 9, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    thank you so much.. very helpful 🙂

    1. Ayaz Malik September 9, 2016 at 6:10 pm

      i am glad to hear that! keep in touch

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