Brooks Pro Tip: How to Capture Amazing Wedding Photography in a Short Time

February 6, 2013 Tim Meyer General, Brooks Pro Tips, Photography 1 Comments

Everyone takes pictures at weddings. Being a wedding photographer, however, brings added levels of responsibility, skill and artistry. There are ever-increasing elements of photojournalism and storytelling involved in modern wedding photography. What seems to have remained constant, even with the newer styles in photography, is the ability to capture the love and emotions of the couple in a way that seems uniquely theirs.

Ironically, all the requirements to produce these unique wedding photography images usually becomes compressed into very limited time frames due to the nature of the wedding day celebration. It is not uncommon for a professional wedding photographer to be asked to produce all of the requested "family and friends with the bride and groom" photographs, but the romantic and love story imagery as well, all within the space of 1 to 2 hours. All the while, these images that are taken in such a limited time frame are expected to compare favorably to images that the brides and grooms see in commercials, print ads and movies - all of which, of course, commonly are produced in hours or sometimes days of preparation with huge budgets and support staffs.

Translated, professional wedding photographers need to be very efficient and skilled in working with people and producing  images of quality and impact in compressed amounts of time. The solution for most is to think in mini sequences of images.

Here is an example:

The first image is of the bride and groom seated and interacting on the steps of the courthouse. This is a nicely lighted scene and is typical of a relaxed storytelling part of the wedding day. Efficient photographers would end up taking just a few versions of this.

wedding photography

Next, without moving the bride and groom, the photographer can move in closer for a more traditional head and shoulders crop. This can be the traditional look or more of the interactive style as well. It is only necessary to take a few variations of this look.

wedding photography

Again without moving the bride and groom, the photographer can move 90 degrees to the right (in this situation) to take advantage of a more directional and dramatic style of light. Here, a variety of strongly visual and romantic looks can be achieve just by asking, or directing, the bride and groom. Again, only a few variations of these looks are necessary before moving on to another location.

wedding photography

All three of these looks combined were achieved in under five minutes at this location. No supplemental lighting was used in any of these images, which is also a great time saver. Building all of your looks with the bride and groom into short sequences of distinctly different views maximizes time and keeps the couple fresh for the most important part of their day, the celebration with family and friends.

Tim Meyer is a faculty member in the Professional Photography program at Brooks Institute. See more of his work at


Ed February 06, 2013 at 03:05 PM

Great quick tips!

What do you think?