This post brought to you by: Joanna Moss
I have taken a lot of time to perfect my process when doing detail photographs on wedding days. It started with a lot of styling at home on my days off, organizing styled shoots and taking what I’ve learned and applying it to my weddings.
Here are three ways you can improve your detail photos:
1) Practice: I have learned over the years that the best-laid plans go unused, and this was always the case when I go to shoot details on the wedding day. I coach every bride to have their wedding details ready for me when I arrive in the morning to her getting ready location. Jewelry, shoes, invitations, rings (all of them), veil, something borrowed, something blue, bouquets, etc. However, I go in with zero expectation because every bride’s details are very different. Some brides will only have her shoes and rings, and some will have everything from her earrings to her invitations and everything in between. Instead of a plan, I trust experience. I have practiced detail shots with different types of earrings from dangly ones to studs, delicate necklaces to statement piece, hairpieces to tiaras; flat sandals to3-inch heel pumps, and different combinations of them all. Once you know how to work with these different details it’ll be easier for you to work with them on the wedding day. Details are easy to practice at home and it makes great photos for Instragram. I challenge you to grab any of your jewelry, shoes, scarves, arrange them and shoot. Show me your best shot in the comments!
2) Come prepared: I have prepared a little kit that I have in my bag ready to be used for wedding days if I need them. I try to use the things around me and position things in a way that doesn’t leave me with a lot of editing in post. The item that comes out of my kit the most often, especially when I’m doing ring shots, is Glue Dots. You can get glue dots at any hobby or craft supply store. I like them over other sticky products because they don’t leave any residue on the rings and they stick to absolutely anything and everything from flowers to cement. The dots are also clear, so you usually don’t see them in the photo and if you do, the editing is super quick and easy and can be done in Lightroom. The other key elements in my kit are a reflector and large white cardboard; you don’t know what the getting ready area will look like or if you’ll have room or a surface for that matter that will work. I have had to make a makeshift product studio in the trunk of my car because there just wasn’t enough room for me in the getting ready room. Come prepared.
3) Look at magazines & shoot for the vendors: When you’re shooting a wedding your goal is always to shoot for the client. However, I find that shooting details with the vendor in mind delivers better detail photos. Brides love it when their wedding photos look like they’ve come straight out of the glossy pages of a magazine. I recommend getting a few magazines, they don’t even have to be bridal magazines, and check out the way they shoot products because products are essentially details. On the wedding day, I start with setting up my scene; I’ll use several different details in one shot. Then I get down to the product level and shoot from different angles. You’ll notice that in magazines most of the products are shot at eye level or from directly above. This makes the detail the focus of the photo.
Now go out there and put it all into practice!
What are some of your favorite tips for shooting detail photos?