Wide Views of the Ceremony
One thing I like to do at every church wedding is grab a wide shot of the sanctuary. An ultra wide angle lens (14mm – 17mm in full frame camera or 10mm on crop factor camera) is needed.
The key to those shots is timing. Wait until there’s a slow moment in the proceedings, then sneak to the back of the room and grab your shot. I tend to shoot during the homily (after and before reading the vows) because I know that the priest or minister will likely be speaking for a few minutes. However, I also make sure I’m ready to switch lenses in case they go into their vows sooner than I expect (otherwise, you have to bring 2 bodies with different lenses). If you are working with an assistant, make sure that they remain positioned up front and covering the couple so you don’t risk missing any emotional moments while you head to the back of the church.
Closer Views of The Ceremony
Lens Selection and ISO
Other than when shooting the wide angle shot of the church, my lens of choice during the ceremony is Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L or Canon 135mm f/2 L which I currently use on Canon full frame camera. 70-200mm allow me to zoom in on the action from a respectable distance, but it’s also wide enough if something happens close to me. Set the ISO automatic because sometimes we have no time to scroll the ISO roll.
I don’t like to use flash at all during the ceremony. I prefer using all ambient light to show what it really felt like on the day of the couple’s wedding. If the church was dark and intimate, then I want the clients to feel the same mood when they look at their wedding images years down the road.
Be considerate when shooting, guests and church officials will remember you for all the wrong reason if you are a distraction. There are lot of ways to minimise your impact on the event. For example, I try to time my movements to when people are standing or sitting (when they move, I move). When photographing the bride coming down the aisle, I stay behind the mom on the bride’s side of the church, giving the groom a clear line of sight. I also stay low so I don’t obstruct the brides maids view of the bride’s appearance.
As noted in the previous section, I also shoot with ambient light during the ceremony. This is another way to avoid distracting the couple or their guests.
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