Weddings are typically beautiful events, and the one of the best way to remember them is to take a lot of pictures. There are many simple ways to take better wedding pictures, creating memories that can last forever. These tips are great for both the wedding photography professional and wedding guests who want to take great pictures.
Great wedding pictures begin with preparation. Before arriving at the wedding, have an idea of which shots you would like to get. Obvious ones are the first kiss, first dance, and the cake cutting, but there are several other parts of the day that should be photographed. Try to plan for a mixture of both portrait (planned and posed) pictures and photojournalistic (not posed) pictures. While the formal pictures look great in a frame, the more spontaneous shots usually do a better job of capturing the feel of the wedding.
Know how to use your camera, and how different settings can affect the outcome. Practice experimenting with flash, aperture, ISO (film speed) and shutter speed before the day of the wedding. Pay attention to the natural lighting already available. One of the nicest wedding pictures you can get of the bride is a photograph of her near a window, using natural light to highlight her features.
Before taking a photograph, take a moment to check for straightened ties, flowers held at the wrong angle, and other small details that can ruin a shot. Have everyone facing away from the sun or bright lights to prevent squinting, but not in a way that their faces are shadowed. Also consider what is in the background of the shot. Weddings are very busy events, but unless you are going for a shot highlighting the hecticness of the day, try to find a quieter area to take pictures.
Experiment with the pictures. This is especially effective if you are using a digital camera. Take some pictures in sepia, to give pictures an older look. Black and white pictures are an easy way to make even simple shots look professional. Play around with different angles and perspectives. Take pictures down low, up high, with a wide angle lens, and in other ways that may not be immediately obvious.
A great shot is often a matter of paying attention to the details, and getting in close. Get a picture of the rings, the details of the cake and meal, and even a couple of the table decorations. When taking more candid, photojournalistic-type wedding pictures, try to capture the feeling of the day, not just the event itself. Most importantly, keep in mind that the bride and groom are often too caught up in their newly married state to notice many of these smaller details. These wedding pictures become an invaluable way to later look back and remember their special day.