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Wedding Photography: The Details

Wedding photography has diversified over the last few years. With the revolution of digital, the cost of each shot has plummeted, and relatively few images are actually printed. With on-screen use dominating, the number and variety of shots has gone up, and we have come a long way from the classic 24 or 36 shot set, when photographers took just a few groups, and portraits of the couple dominating.

Whether or not this is a good thing can be debated. I have a hunch that the actual thoughtfulness and composition of the key portraits may have suffered: if you can only take 6 of the bride and groom, you work harder to make them really count. But certainly the flip side is that whole areas of wedding photography have opened up. We now spend a chunk of time at every wedding taking pictures where people don’t feature at all. They are delivered to the bride and groom in a folder marked “The Details”.

Images of the details at a wedding are very unlikely to be the mantlepiece shot, but they have their own importance. At the very least, they are part of your record of the day – they help communicate the flavour of the wedding, they tell you a bit of what it was like to be there. But, just as digital cameras have changed the shape of wedding photography, so weddings themselves have changed. There is far greater emphasis on designing or styling your wedding now, with brides especially frequently going to great lengths to create their big day. Friends are asked to help, with everything from cakes to paper flowers and bunting, to elaborate table decorations. As a result, I am frequently asked to make sure I photograph particular details. The details may not be central, but given all that effort, they are important!

Aside from sprinkling the flavour of the day through a couple’s wedding album, I have found detauls shots – especially of the flowers – can make a great background/paper in an album. So the bride’s bouquet close-up shown at the top here also served, with its saturation and clarity knocked right down, as the backdrop to all the shots in their album.

At every wedding we shoot together, it is Sarah who looks after much of the detail work – a great advantage of booking both of us, in my view! To contact us to enquire about our wedding photography, use the Contact Form or just text (07983 787889) or email me at

Wedding Photography Details: As the bride gets ready

As a wedding photographer, if I am booked to photograph the bride’s preparations, I know that I will also be getting a lot of details at the same time. In fact, unless your time is quite limited and you arrive only after the bride and maids are all ready, you will probably need to be taking some details to be occupied while some stuff happens that you can’t photograph!

I really enjoy this part of the day, and have found that many detail shots taken in that first hour or two make the final cut.

Details may include the happy chaos of make-up and hair stuff…

…or shoes and accessories that will definitely be going to the ball!

I try to keep an eye open for jewelry that is going to be used…

…and ask permission to move it onto good backdrop material.

I will look in another blog at photos of wedding dresses on the morning of the wedding, but had to include this brolly, hung artfully between the maid’s and bride’s dresses.

I normally ask if I can borrow the bottle of perfume that the bride will use – here is the evidence of her scent on the day!

Two shots of bouquets ready to go. In a borrowed flat, the family had arranged old photos on the table with the bouquets…

… all ready for my camera.

I love neat arrangements of button holes.

It is worth exploring the angles (these are the same roses)

Some details can be really poignant. The bride in this case was moving out of the family home for the first time. Her cases and belongings stood packed and ready in the hall. The teddy bear is definitely going with her!

Wedding Photography Details: At the church / wedding venue

If the bride’s house is a great location for details, the church or ceremony venue is where you will generally start to see where effort has gone in to getting everything just right. It is also where a wedding photographer’s time starts to be pressured as the timetable ticks away, so we need to look out and make sure that we take what we can while we can. Once again Sarah is invaluable; she often arrives at the church before I do and really works through everything from flower arrangements to service sheets.

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Getting the floral arrangements is a basic

At the church too there will be button holes, ready for arriving guests

I love the incongruity of the watering can! The flower arrangers were mortified, but I far prefer this shot to the more conventional symmetry once they had taken it away.

It isn’t always easy to get a ring shot, but worth it. I use the remarkable Laowa 15mm macro to get really close while holding on to the context in the church. 

Wedding Photography Details: At the reception / party venue

The reception will probably be the part of the wedding where the couple’s creativity and vision for the day has had freest rein. You will want to get the details here, and also watch out for the less planned details that crop up.

Rather like photographing the bride’s dress, I count wedding cake photography as a subject in its own right. I deliver my cake shots (both pre- and at cutting) in a separate folder, and will dedicate a blog post to cake at some point. Yum! (For my favourite wedding cakes ever, try Three Little Birds Bakery)

I try to capture the look and feel of the tables before anyone sits down to the meal

At the moment, “curated” decorative displays are fashionable, and take a lot of work to put together well.

It is essential to capture the table setting display

And the quirky, personalised details and favours

I make sure that I capture…

… the wine and other celebratory drinks…

… don’t mind if I do!

Drinks, whether being served…

…or stood ready help to give create a colourful and celebratory feel to detail shots

Without being a specialist food photographer…

…you do need to capture the food which is such a key part of the day

Not a cloud in the sky? I try to make sure I capture it!

Floral arrangements on tables can look great if seen from directly above

As the evening progresses, lighting will change…

…and lights and candles may well be part of the decoration

Wedding Photography Details: The oddest moments

Reportage isn’t all about the people – it can focus on inanimate objects – or even animals. Two unusual shots – I honestly can’t remember whether I delivered these to the couples or not!

A breakage

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Photos © copyright Andrew King Photography

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