Top 6 tips on how to be the best wedding photographer

Photographing a wedding is no joke.  We spend countless hours in workshops and training on shoots perfecting our craft.   Shooting a wedding is really like no other type of photoshoot.  You have to wear many hats,  be really quick and AMAZINGLY creative under pressure and under some crazy deadlines.  At Mango Studios we offer workshops on an ongoing basis to our photographers to make sure everyone is staying motivated and inspired.  We share our knowledge and experience and become better together.  On the wedding day we have to be great at many roles.  Not only do we occasionally have to play the role of councillor, wedding planner, or boutonniere specialist  (heheh)  but we also have to be an expert in many photography genres.  Below are list of roles we play during that 8-10 hour jam packed day.

1. Be Calm, Organized and Great under pressure

Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice.  Can’t say this enough.  A wedding day can be hectic and over whelming at times.  We sometimes have split seconds to be creative and assertive under extraordinary pressure.  You have to capture once in a lifetime moments within seconds technically perfect and creatively amazing.  This comes with time, practice, being organized and preparing ahead of time which will build your confidence.  Reviewing timelines, photo lists, shoot locations, inspirational images,  the weather network,  and speaking with your client will all help you prepare and be more confident in shooting the wedding day.

2.  Be an expert in Product styling and product photography.

We typically have about 20 minutes to shoot, dress, shoes, invites, rings and any other misc items.  It’s not enough to technically be great but we also have to have a vision of how to style and display items to create shots that beautiful not only tell the story of the wedding day. We try to create an arrangement of all the items in one shot (invitations, shoes, jewellery, rings, flowers, perfume, etc). When choosing items to style in your photos, look for items that are similar in colour or are complementary colours. Avoid pairing to many different colours together. We stick with two or three main colours and consider adding accents. We aim to create balance and choose items that are of different sizes or shapes with a neutral background to photograph them on. We will photograph the invitation set with a typically a 50mm lens preferably and a large aperture. We will always get a series of birds eye view and then get closer details at angles that are interesting. Generally a good tip is to look for a small table or chair to photograph small items on individually such as flowers and shoes. For the dress and suit, we find a place to hang the suit jacket and dress preferably in a location with nice natural light and one that is versatile with multiple vantage points for framing.  Finding a window or art piece for example is key, something that relates to the story of the wedding day.  The key is to try to always explain the wedding in one shot. (for example, location, colour scheme, and any personal touches from the couple).  We make sure we always look for the nicest hanger available- or ask the couple to prepare one a head of time.  As for the wedding dress, we photograph the entire dress full length in portrait and landscape and then go in for details of anything interesting. Same with the suit jacket, check for any personalized embroidery and interesting details.

3. A great fashion or Portrait photographer

Key moments for portrait wedding photography are those meaningful moments after the bride finally has her makeup on, once the couple has gotten into their wedding gown and suit, when they can privately pose for pictures with their parents, the first real moments after tying the knot—you get the picture.

4. An amazing photo journalist

A good photographer must have a very keen eye for detail to ensure that all elements within the photo—the lighting, the composition, the subject, and everything else in between—work together harmoniously to convey the right vision or message. Even the tiniest detail can make or break a photograph.  We try to find unusual angles, and focus on light, composition and most important emotion.

5. Interior photographer

A wedding client spends countless hours planning and spends a lot of money trying to make their wedding day unique and special.  Its our responsibility to capture the space and all the details in  beautiful and interesting way.


6. An expert at lifestyle photography

We focus on prompting, not posing and getting those perfect in between moments. Lifestyle photography lies somewhere in between documentary photography on the one hand, and classic portraiture on the other hand. A documentary photographer will have a “fly on the wall” approach, catching life as it is without trying to interfere with what is going on. He or she will tell the story of real life, as it happens, while trying to be as transparent as possible for his/her subjects. A photographer specialized in classic portraiture will try to have full control over what is in the frame: light, backgrounds, clothes, poses, props. He or she will be in charge of how their subjects position their bodies, move (or not) and will control everything up to the angle of their head or how their hand is laying on their lap.  Our approach is organic and seamless. We strive to capture the organic moments and the raw, genuine emotions of your wedding day. We also appreciate all of the in-between moments that otherwise go unnoticed – the moments you forget all of the noise, the moments that are not forced or posed.