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How To Photograph An Outdoor Wedding Ceremony
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In this article we address how to photograph an outdoor wedding ceremony. Outdoor ceremonies are typically much easier to photograph than an indoor ceremony. You have plenty of light to work with, more room to move around and very few restrictions. That being said there are several factors to keep in mind.

How to Photograph an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony - Tip #1 - Movement - One of the best parts of an outdoor wedding is that you're able to move around more. However, before the ceremony, I like to clear this with the bride - make sure it's o.k if I photograph from the side or behind the alter. Most of the time, she's completely fine with this but by bringing it to her attention before the wedding, she's less likely to notice it during. No matter where I move around to, it is a priority to be as unobtrusive as possible. This is a courtesy not only to the bride and groom but to the guests as well. Be professional at all times.

I like to stand to either side of the ceremony and photograph a close up of the bride looking at her groom and vise verse. Look for wonderful lines in this spot - the row of tuxedo jackets with hands crossed, the brides maids bouquets or shoes, a little flower girl looking back at you! If you're able, work your way around to the back of the alter and to the side. Keep an eye out for intimate looks from the bride and groom, the expression on the parents' faces in the front row or a close up of the couple holding hands.

How to Photograph an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony - Tip #2 - Lighting - When the wedding party and couple are coming down the aisle and then back up, add some fill flash. This helps to fill in any shadows on the face and adds a little separation from the background. If possible, I like to keep my aperture low thereby reducing the depth of field. If you are working with a bright sunny day, this may not be an option but it's something to keep in mind.

Lighting the actual ceremony comes down to personal preference. Don't assume that since you're outdoors, you don't need to add some fill flash. Even in a bright sun situation, popping in a little light can make for a more pleasing photo. However, I typically don't bother unless I'm up in the aisle a little. If you're too far away, it won't even look like you've added flash.

How to Photograph an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony - Tip #3 - Variety - Make sure to get a variety of photos from the ceremony. For the bride and groom, the ceremony will go by in a blink. It's up to you to catch the things that they are missing or not able to see. Typically, I like to start wide and then work my way in. One of the reason's for this is that not much happens at the beginning of the ceremony. The priest or minister talks to the couple about what marriage is, etc. So it's a safe time to be able to step back for an overview or work your way around the alter as discussed above. Then, when they begin the vows, rings, unity candle, etc., you're back in the center aisle with your long lens ready to go.

When considering how to photograph an outdoor wedding ceremony, keep in mind these simple tips listed above. Photographing an outdoor wedding can be easier than an indoor wedding but you still need be prepared and ready to capture those important moments.


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