Wedding Photography Tips & Advice | Anatomy Of A Wedding Photo

It's Ask The Experts again, this time we hear how to create a stunning wedding photo, drawing on years of experience to capture that perfect moment.

Image © Paul Willetts

How do you make sure your wedding photos capture the true soul of your day? We’ve asked expert wedding photographers, Neale James and Paul Willetts, for their pearls of wisdom. And the good news is, great wedding photography doesn’t have to involve umpteen group shots of in-laws and parents.

Staged vs. natural

It can be tempting to sacrifice a chunk of your wedding day to the demands of a bossy photographer. You want to the best possible photos of this one-off event. They think the traditional set of time-consuming staged shots is the best way to get them. But there is another way to capture the unique moments that reflect the character of your day.

Neale James: “In my work as a wedding photojournalist, I aim to record reality. It’s a skill that is often misunderstood by many wedding guests and, funnily enough, photographers.”

This picture says everything; pride, joy, sadness, empathy - by | Visit for wedding photo tips
Image © Neale James

“This picture says everything; pride, joy, sadness, empathy. It's probably one of the most important I have taken in my career.” Neale’s use of black and white is also important too. The composition is focused on the moment, rather than the items within it.

“Show a picture [in colour], you look at the clothes. Show it in black and white, you see the soul.”

Creating a feeling

Paul Willetts concentrates on creating a feeling, more than simply recording the day. The image below is a perfect demonstration. Paul says, “a wedding brings out the best in people; the nervous groom awaits his bride, whilst the best man watches with a big grin on his face.”

A nervous groom awaits his bride by | Visit for wedding photo tips
Image © Paul Willetts

It’s not only the best man who makes this photo; the activity surrounding the bride is natural and realistic. Her apparent calmness also contrasts brilliantly with the expression of the groom.

Paul’s use of colour in the next photograph is a great example of how indoor and outdoor pictures differ. Again, Paul has chosen to capture a natural moment between bride and groom. If staged, this photo might look clichéd, but the natural glow of the setting sun simply says this was the perfect end to a perfect day.

Sunset bride and groom by | Visit for wedding photo tips
Image © Paul Willetts

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