How Do You Photograph Ceremonies Discretely?

A few weeks back, I got asked this question and I have to admit, I love it! One of my main goals on a wedding day is to be as discrete as possible, that way I can capture the day as it unfolds in the most natural way possible.  This is especially important during the ceremony, in churches, backyards, and ceremony sites alike!  The ceremony is the whole point of the day, and it deserves to be photographed without interruption.  So here are a few of my favorite tips for photographing without interruption:

Invest in the right equipment.

This point is number one because its the biggest way that I can truly stay out of the way during a ceremony.  I utilize my Nikon D4 & my 70-200mm.  These two pieces of equipment a) allow me to shoot almost always without flash because the camera itself has incredible low-light capabilities and b) the lens allows me to stand farther back but to still capture the more intimate expressions of the day.  Below you’ll find two examples from weddings this past year that showcase these capabilities!

Check the ceremony regulations with the officiant.

I always make sure that I arrive to the ceremony location early enough that I can speak to the officiant beforehand.  Each one has a different approach to their ceremony and since they’re the ones running the show, I want to make sure that I’m being respectful to their process.  Sometimes this means not shooting during a certain section of the ceremony, or standing behind a certain pew – but at any rate it helps to ensure that the ultimate disruption doesn’t happen – that the officiant doesn’t stop the ceremony to remind you not to break the rules… that’s something that gives me nightmares!

Only move when other’s move.

This tip isn’t one that I always use, but it helps whenever possible! I try really hard to only move around when someone in the ceremony is moving – for example, when they call a reader up, or when the bridesmaids help fix the bride’s dress, etc.  This helps to keep from distracting the crowd and in case you make some kind of noise as you move!

I hope that helps!

Happy Friday, y’all!

Interested in the equipment used in this post?  These links contain affiliate links which means that when you purchase an item from those links, I make a commission, which helps keep the blog ad free. I’m so grateful for your support — thank you!

 

Posted:

January 6, 2017

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Wife, mama, wielder of light & joy, and capturer of moments.  I thrive off of conversation and genuine connection.  In between wrangling our kiddos, and hanging my husband, you'll find me dreaming up my next idea or creative endeavour.  It's these things that culminate to give my imagery a warmth and joy to them - the greatest compliment I could receive.

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