How to get beautiful detail shots

I love capturing all of the little details that brides have worked so hard to plan. It's probably one of my favorite parts of wedding photography. Rings, jewelry, invitations, programs, and florals are all included in the details that I usually shoot. Here are suggestions for brides and photographers to get the very best detail shots.

For Brides: 

1. Schedule it into the day

I usually included at least 1 hour of bridal detail / getting ready time into a wedding day. This may seem like a lot, but it takes time to find the best lighting, and shoot all of the possible combinations of the details. I take getting ready pictures during this time as well, but most people only want to see the pictures when they're mostly finished with their hair and makeup. So I'll shoot some candids during this time, but I usually focus on the details.

Some photographers shoot details throughout the wedding day, whenever the details are available. I prefer to shoot them all at the beginning of the day because I can control lighting and then I'm free to focus on capturing the rest of the day. 

2. Have all your details ready

Make sure to have all the items that you want photographed in one central location. I usually ask my clients to put all the items in a box or a central corner of the room. It takes a lot of time to walk around and gather up all the items. So when they're all together, I can get started right away. I usually ask the bride to include are all 3 rings, jewelry, perfume, dress, shoes, guys accessories, borrowed and blue items, florals, and any other small item with meaning. 

There are a couple of common setbacks that I usually run into. First, most of time, the best man will have the rings. If you keep all three rings with the detail box, I promise to get them to either the best man or the planner when I'm finished taking pictures of them.

Second, the florals often arrive right before the ceremony. It's best to have the bouquets and boutonnieres arrive when photography coverage begins so I can make sure to get good pictures of the flowers. I'll make sure to keep the bouquets in water so they still look fresh for the ceremony. 

3. Plan with photography in mind

Plan your details knowing that they will be photographed. If you're diy-ing your floral arrangements, I usually encourage the bride to get at least her bouquet done professionally. The bridal bouquet will be photographed and used as a backdrop for other details like the rings, so its important that you love the way it looks. 

I also encourage brides to chose invitations and programs with more text/typography. Although I love it when clients include their engagement pictures on their save the dates, a more text based invitation/ program suite is timeless and photographs great! 

4. Bring the extras

Depending on the theme of your wedding, there may be some extra elements that you wan to include with your details. For example, if you're having a country themed wedding, some pieces of burlap or lace will add an extra element of texture to your detail pictures. Ribbon and extra dress fabric are a couple more ideas for extra elements to include in your detail box. 

 

 

For Photographers

 

1. Communicate expectations

If you want to get beautiful detail shots, you first need to communicate to your brides. When I make a wedding timeline to send to the bride, I also include information about having the detail items all in one place. If you have other instructions to help make sure you get the detail shots you need, make sure to let the bride knows what you expect in advance. 

 

2. Invest in a macro lens

A good macro lens makes all the difference! I don't use my macro lens for all of the detail shots, but I do use it for rings, jewelry, and the bouquet. 

 

Whether you're planning your wedding, or trying to get better detail shots as a photographer, I hope this post has been helpful. Below are some of my favorite detail pictures!