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Wedding Photography Mistakes

written by: Mayflor Markusic•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/17/2009

The success of your wedding photography is not just about the things you should do, but also about the things that you should NEVER ever do. Sure, you may have taken some blurry pictures but those can be deleted. But what if you've taken the wrong pictures?

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    Wedding Photo Fiascos

    You've been asked to be the official photographer of your best friend's wedding. You're excited for many reasons. This is your chance to build your wedding photography portfolio. Your best friend will be out of your hair for many many weeks ahead. And you can probably meet someone interesting during the wedding reception. If this last reason is top priority, then agreeing to become the wedding photographer was your biggest mistake. On the wedding day, you won't have time to socialize. And when you are moving around so much, it would be a miracle to keep your hair intact and your underarms dry. Of course, as a dedicated and serious photographer, none of this would discourage you.

    You have mastered your camera's creative mode, you have flash equipment to get that romantic soft diffuse light, and you have prepared several empty compact flash cards. Since this is your first time as a wedding photographer, you've also read everything about it. You don't want to make any mistakes or forget to take a picture of an important part of the wedding. But the first journey in your wedding photography career is rife with pitfalls. Here are some of them that you should avoid.

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    Wedding Photography Mistakes

    Stiff bride and groom - Is it your fault that the bride and groom in your photos appear to barely tolerate each other? Unless there was a lover's quarrel seconds before you hear the Mendelsohn Wedding March, the bride and groom are definitely looking forward to this big day that begins their marriage. But they could be uncomfortable about displaying affection in front of you, the photographer, or they may not like your assistant whom they heard complaining about sappy ceremonies. To avoid this, make sure that you are always the friendly photographer and that the couple is willing to show their love for each other with your clicking camera as background music. Meet them several times before the wedding and talk to them about pictures that they want.

    Awkward compositions - In your rush to take as many pictures as possible, you've become careless in your composition. That wedding picture of the bride has an annoying toy car in the foreground and you'd like to crop that away. But if you do it, the bride would appear like a giant, with her full figure dominating the full length of the picture. Sure, you can say that she is the most beautiful giant, but that won't really appease her disappointment. Another awkwardly composed photo is that of the bridesmaid whose lower body has been cut off right at her elbows. When your mother saw this photo, she asked if the girl was handicapped.

    Imperfect group shots - With so many people in the photograph, it is almost impossible to have all of them smiling. One or two would have their eyes closed and some would have grimaces on their faces. Scott Kelby, the author of The Digital Photography Book, has an excellent solution. He would instruct his subjects to first close their eyes and on the count of three, they would open their eyes. Then after another count, he would take the shot.To learn more about taking group photos, please read 10 Tips on How to Take Great Group Photos.

    Nice background - How can a nice background be a mistake? In weddings, the background of the bride and groom should be extremely simple so that the focus of the eyes will be on the couple. Imagine how it would be when a picture is shown and the usual comment is "nice background."