How to Get Great Outdoor Wedding Photos

“When you think of memories you’ve made with friends, those memories become treasures.” Madge Pomerleau Slidely.

If you plan on having an outdoor wedding or if the reception is going to be outside, there are a few things you need to be aware of in order to get good photos. If you want to capture memories that will last a lifetime, you have to be prepared. Remember that things like bad weather or too much sunlight in the shot, can mess up albums of some of the best weddings.

Make A Shot List

For starters, make sure you or the photographer brings an ample amount of memory cards. Nothing feels worse than having a high quality camera and a bunch of beautifully dressed guests, with no more memory to store footage on. Whether video or camera, memory backup is a must. Extra batteries and locating charging locations ahead of time are also important.

Create a shot list of the people, memorabilia and scheduled actions you want to capture such as cutting of the cake. There are particular people and events at your wedding that you don’t want to forget. If you haven’t seen your Uncle Lance in over 20 years and he’s bringing his son that you never met, you’ll want to make this a priority on your shot list. Other things may uncle throwing the bouquet, your husband pulling your garter off, placing rings on each other’s fingers, pictures of the ring bearers coming down the aisle, your Cousin Cheryl’s dog in a tuxedo and her cat dressed in a wedding veil or a series of pictures of the bridesmaids and groomsmen performing a special dance.

Scout for best filming locations for sunny days and best locations when it rains, at your wedding venue. Look for spots that have exotic waterfall backdrops, mountain ranges that you want to be visible, historical monuments you want to be photographed in front of. In case it rains you may want to set up a tent with proper lighting so that you can still photograph family and friends. If your location is a barn wedding, you may want the bridal party to do a cute pose in front of a horse drawn wagon.

Bring two cameras for photography, not just as a backup, but for extra photo opportunities. Having two separate people film the event from different aspects and angles, will add depth to your memory book. Also remember to photograph tiny details like the ornaments on guests’ tables or their name plates. Take an extreme close up of one of the wedding flowers in an arrangement and rings on the ring pillow.

Using Ambient Light

When you shoot images outside you are using ambient light and you have to make sure your picture won’t be overexposed by too much sun. To do this you must locate the white balance control on your camera and place a plain white poster board or large piece of paper next the subject or object being photographed. As you look through the lenses with the control switched on, if the paper shines or the light coming from it is somewhat loud, then you need to lower the amount of light coming into the camera. Once the paper object looks like it has a normal amount of brightness, set your controls accordingly and now you’re ready to take shots. Avoid direct sunlight.

Lastly, make sure your background doesn’t match the color of the people or images in the shot. If the colors compete with each other, you’re bound to drown out the people or images you want to capture. If the color of the bridesmaid’s dresses is Evergreen, try not to put them in front of a setting with bushes in the background.