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5 Must Have Ceremony Shots

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5 Go To Ceremony Shots

There are no do-overs, or second chances while photographing a wedding ceremony, so we want to make sure we capture it all!

As a wedding photographer, capturing the ceremony can sometimes feel like a challenge, with the couple simply standing at the front and the scene looking the same throughout. However, by having five go-to shots in mind, you can create a more creative and visually interesting gallery for your clients!


The Wide Shot

The first shot is the wide shot, which allows you to be more creative and capture the full picture of the ceremony.

When taking the wide shot, aim to shoot around 28mm, which allows you to see the composition in a different way. Compose the image so that the couple is in the lower third of the frame, with the chairs and any architectural or floral elements filling the rest of the frame as negative space. This shot sets the stage and allows you to capture what the entire ceremony felt like, so that even if a grandparent couldn’t attend, they can still feel like they were there.


The Groom’s Reaction

The second must-have shot is the groom’s reaction as the bride walks down the aisle. This is a crucial moment that you cannot miss, as it is often one of the most emotional and meaningful parts of the ceremony! To capture this shot, focus on the groom first, before the bride arrives, to ensure you have a shot of his reaction the moment he sees her. 

Make sure you know any rules ahead of time about where you can/ cannot be during the ceremony at a specific venue! Some churches have very specific rules. 


Side Close-Up Shots

The third essential shot is the side close-up shots of the bride and groom’s faces. These intimate, emotional moments are best captured during the vows, when the couple is typically more visually connected and expressive. Position yourself on the left side, while your second shooter covers the right side, to ensure you have multiple angles!

When taking these side shots, be patient and wait for the right moment to capture genuine emotion and connection between the couple. Avoid shots that look emotionless or disconnected, as these won’t make the final album. Balance the time you spend on these side shots with the need to get back to the center aisle for other important moments, such as the ring exchange and the kiss.


Front Row Shots

The fourth shot to capture is the reactions of the couple’s loved ones in the front row. This could include parents, grandparents, or other important guests. While you don’t want to be a distraction, try to capture the emotional moments, such as tears, laughter, or physical gestures like holding hands. This can be a challenging shot, as you need to balance capturing the emotion without being intrusive.

If the ceremony layout allows, consider using a longer lens to capture these front row reactions without being in the line of sight. Time these shots to coincide with moments when the couple is sharing their vows or other emotional parts of the ceremony.


Creative Shots

The fifth and final must-have shot is a creative, visually interesting image that pushes you as a photographer. This could involve playing with composition, using leading lines, or incorporating details and foreground elements. These creative shots can add visual interest and variety to your ceremony gallery, breaking up the more standard wide and close-up shots.

Look for opportunities during longer ceremonies when you have a bit more time to experiment. Consider focusing on details like flowers or pew designs, and then incorporate the couple into the frame in an unexpected way. These creative shots will help make your ceremony gallery stand out and showcase your artistic vision.


These 5 must-have shots are are just a starting point and you can be creative after that! I’m excited for you to dive into the whole video below and see it in action!

Also, if you like what you see, you can literally watch me photograph 100’s of wedding and portrait sessions by joining our KJ All Access membership for only $29/month!! Want a look at more? Try it HERE!


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5 must have ceremony shots

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

The Sledge & Hugo Family Legacy Family Portraits | Maymont Park

What’s better than doing a family session for one KJ couple? Photographing TWO and adding in Nonna and Grandpa!


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