Advice from an international wedding photographer
Want to capture beautiful wedding photos on your smartphone? Start by being a great guest!
Being a multilingual photographer based presently in Berlin, Germany, I have shot some weddings I never could have even dreamed of - after growing up in the prairie oasis of Winnipeg, Canada. I’m talking an estate furnished with mid-century furniture (and I mean mid-1800s!), the lush Catalonian countryside, an open chapel in the Appalachians and then back to simple and humble Lake Winnipeg, which I still wouldn’t trade for it all.
I’ve seen so many couples overjoyed with the outcome of these weddings, however, they have not always been without their challenges.
Should phones be banned at weddings?
None of these ceremonies were officially “unplugged weddings” (meaning NO PHONES or CAMERAS). At times, this has meant competing with other avid amateur photographers and smartphones. An inevitable sign of the times? Not at all.
You’ve thought about what to wear, how to arrive, what to gift, what to write in the card and guestbook, but did you think about the photos you might take on that powerful little mobile device? When the bride is walking down the aisle, do you imagine watching her through the screen on your iPhone? When the groom looks over at you, overwhelmed by the moment, are you changing exposure settings or are your eyes meeting his gaze?
Weddings are Like Concerts
I’ve also shot a lot of concerts in my life, and a wedding is actually quite similar. I think long and hard about whether I want to photographer the event, or if I actually want to enjoy the live performance of the musicians. It’s too easy for the time to slip by when you’re focusing on the image rather than the moment. This is what I would sincerely like to remind guests attending any wedding ceremony. Be conscious of when to photograph, and when NOT to.
My Golden Rules...
-DON'T take photos during the ceremony. No matter how beautiful the shot could be, you do not want to be the person blocking the groom’s view of the bride, or blocking the photographer from getting that crucial shot.
-DON'T be caught in any photo with your phone out. You wouldn’t want to be seen in someone’s wedding photos picking your nose would you? That’s poor etiquette - and it ruins the shot. So to does your smartphone.
And, if you really want to take frame-worthy photos at a wedding that you can call your own...
-DO be in the moment. Be present. From here, you can really start seeing, you can capture beautiful candid moments without missing a heartbeat. At a wedding, this is paramount.
-DO take candid photos of friends and family throughout the reception, party, or games. Use your closeness and familiarity to catch precious little moments.
-DO reflect upon your surroundings. Note colors, light, patterns, shapes, and textures. Be conscious of other guests and the photographer.
-DO use a photo editing app before sharing and printing to adjust exposure, color balance, crop or straighten etc.
One Last Thing...
Print your images! It’s easy to swipe past a photo or forget about it buried on your phone somewhere between that day at the beach and an instagram-worthy breakfast. As a digital and film photographer, I know that there is nothing as satisfying as seeing a print for the first time! A printed and framed image goes so much further. It allows us to remember the event in a more intimate way, it starts a conversation, and it serves as a meaningful gift.
Andrea Shettler is a Canadian photographer based out of Berlin, Germany and shoots weddings, concerts, and events. Andrea works with film and digital mediums in a documentary style to create collections of beautifully sincere and authentic photographs. Check out her work at www.shetsy.photo
After the wedding is over, memorialize your snapshots of friends and family with a Keepsake frame. It’s the perfect memento or gift for such a memorable day.
- Open the app on your phone or use our website.
- Select your favorite photo.
- Choose one of our beautiful handmade frames, and preview your photo in it.
- Your new frame arrives ready to hang.