Images like the above are an excellent example of the ideal wedding photo. It shows the happiness between the bride and groom, the scenery, the dress and some of the details like the flowers. However, the entire album cannot be made up of just these photos. Close-up photos are critical in order to thoroughly capture the day. Imagine you are showing the wedding album to your grandchildren. Your dress was ivory and your shoes — blue! Without a good picture, your grandchildren will never truly grasp this fun element that you added to your wedding day.
Most weddings take months to plan. Every little detail from the sexy (yet comfortable) underwear, to the size and color of the corsages are considered. These are meticulously planned by the bride and wedding planners. The details matter to the wedding party so they should matter to the wedding photographer and must be captured for longevity. Every wedding has the same basic elements. It’s the smaller details that make the wedding uniquely you. Use these examples to determine what you want from your wedding photographer and which elements are important to capture from your wedding.
Some close-up wedding photos are so traditional they are almost cliché, but we still treasure them! Photos of the wedding rings, flowers and wedding shoes are found in most albums. Many of these photos are time-honored but sometimes the photographer goes above and beyond to display each couple’s distinctive taste and personality.
Take this example of a wedding bouquet. Soft. Timeless. Beautiful. But it doesn’t say a lot about the couple’s individual taste. This could be almost any wedding with a couple that chose classic flowers.
In comparison, another photographer took advantage of a couple’s bold gerberas. The wide base of these flowers made cozy cups for the rings while showcasing the couple’s bold, original style.
Another photographer steered away from the flowers altogether and captured the following image using a stem from the bouquet instead. This resulted in a clean image that really showed off the rings.
Rings don’t have to be propped in flowers. You’ll find them displayed in many parts of the wedding ensemble. The heel of a bride’s shoe is often used to hold the rings in position. This particular photo shows not just the rings, but also the bride’s addition of sparkle and color to her wedding.
Brides often use their shoes as a way to bring home their style and add color to their ensemble. This is a great opportunity for photographers to zoom in and capture their look.
Some photographer’s gather pieces of the wedding together in a photo composition. When done well, this gives the couple a single photo that pulls together the colors, style and feel of the wedding. This photo shows the ring, flowers, bridal colors, details of the dress and accessories.
While the photo below shows the flowers, invitations and rings.
Another traditional close-up wedding photo is the bride’s bodice. This is usually taken while the bodice is being laced, or after it is finished, and shows the delicate, even look of the ribbon. The bodice, or corset, photo can have many elements that are sentimental to the bride. It can capture the hands of her mother as she ties the dress and may even show a family ring if she is wearing one. This is a classic example of this image.
However, consider this photo in comparison. It shows a different part of the preparation process and really gives some insight into the bride. The photo is soft and sensual but the practical, functional clothes give it a realistic touch.
Photo by Lidia Camacho
While we’re on the topic of undergarments, we should look at garters. These are a traditional element in many weddings. They are an often-overlooked piece that many photographers miss. However, when they are included in the album, they can add a sensual or humorous component. Check out these images.
A wedding is sometimes referred to as the ‘bride’s day.’ But let’s not forget about the men. This is their day too and their clothes and accessories were also planned carefully. These details should not be forgotten.
Like the bodice lacing, the tying of the groom’s tie, is an opportunity to capture a moment between the groom and his father, brother or special friend. As the father works on the tie, a photo is captured. The photo shows the father’s hands, wedding ring and possibly his profile. All of these are sentimental elements that make the picture that much more meaningful.
The groom is often a picture of neutral colors next to the bride. He often sports dark blue, black, brown, tan or white clothes. This gives the bride a chance to stand out against her groom. However, even the groom has a spot of color in his boutonniere. Sometimes the boutonniere is small and subtle, other times it reflects the groom or brides style.
Composites can also be made just for the groom. This can include the ring, boutonniere and wardrobe details, such as a vest or bowtie. Some groom’s choose to add more color through their vest or tie, which should be captured in color. More neutral or traditional looks work well in sepia or black and white.
Whether you are planning a wedding or studying photography, keep in mind the fine points for close-up shots that make a statement.