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Top most frequent wedding photography mistakes

Wedding-retouching has collected the top most frequent wedding photographing mistakes which photographers make. Here are several best suggestions on how to avoid these failures.

Weddings shooting is one of the most labor-consuming tasks which the photographer can undertake. It deals with a set of difficulties, and the responsibility is incredibly high. If the wedding photos turn out to be horrible, it is chagrin for the rest of their life. The perfect decision for you is to hire a professional weddings photographer. Otherwise, if you are a beginning one, do consider the most widespread mistakes which are being made by fans while photographing a wedding, and try to avoid them

Choosing the right exposure 

Bride’s white dress is the central attribute of the majority of weddings – but for the photographer who is interested in well exhibited pictures, it can become a real headache. On the one hand, if you take the bride’s dress in exposure, the photo can turn into a self-white mass without details. On the other hand, neglecting it may provide a grey and untidy look to the dress in general.

Luckily, wedding retouching can help you with a slight exposure problem. It is important to know where to stop in order to keep the details on a groom’s dark suit, and to avoid distortions in shadows because of digital noise. It is one of those aspects where the digital cameras win against the film equipment. You can trace a re-exposure and a dis-exposure during shooting and correct the exposure before the next shot.

Also, you are able to use the built-in camera "bracketing exposition" function, just push the button and without additional expenses you can take a series of pictures with different exposures. Also, it is useful to customize the display of the overexposed areas. For each shot you will be able to trace the areas with a loss of details in colors, to make the amendment to the exposure and to take one more shot.

Read about the Rule of thirds, framing, and guiding lines techniques in our previous post to make your wedding pictures look professional and qualitative.


wedding retouch photo

The best thing the photographer can do is to examine a celebration place beforehand. Define the arrangement of the most successful angles and foreshortenings for shooting to create the classical pictures of newlyweds and their families. A pleasant clear background gives a picture the expressive look. But avoid making a mistake: the background should not always be flat and empty.

One more bit of advice: often the photographer concentrates on the main figures and doesn't notice the other details of the shot. Cut off hands and feet looks bad, doesn’t it? Often you may find the piece of a tower, a tree or a pipe oddly "growing" from the model’s head or mouth on a photo. This effect doesn’t look attractively, though it isn’t noticed at once.

Horizon Rule

Amateur photographers often "fill up" a camera to contain the desirable elements in a shot. But professionals claim: "The horizon always has to remain the horizon."

Pay attention to the Light

One more mistake which must be taken into consideration is lightning. It is common knowledge that taking beautiful pictures in a serene sunny day is not quite easy. As a rule, the wedding photoshoot takes place in the middle of the day when the sun is high. It takes a toll with faces. Rigid light from above gives undesirable shadows on the models’ faces. Professional photographers use additional light sources which help them to avoid this mistake.

You will get the best photos, if you photograph during the sunrise and the sunset, the wedding shots turn out looking amazing, because the light source is not situated over the head. At noon your model will receive the effect of rigid light, so called rims under the eyes, the nose and the chin.

One more very important point, when taking pictures of, for example, under trees, do watch the play of light, because it doesn’t make your pictures look great here. Otherwise, the model’s face will be spotted. Things which look beautiful in life may seem a low-quality of a make-up.

Be careful with poses

wedding poses

Don't make the most frequently used beginner’s mistake - photographing "in a forehead." You do it, when your model stands parallel to a camera, the face is distorted from tension and it turns out "angry." That is absolutely undesirable for any wedding photo. Such a kind of photo has no vivacity. Even the banal half-turn will rescue such a situation.

Remember that any model should be open and relaxed, so do talk with a bride and a groom beforehand in order not to have difficulties. It will be an excellent idea to take some pictures before the wedding day in order to start to see the best angles and to choose the best poses and backgrounds.

Summing up, we should notice that looking directly into a lens is one of the most horrible mistakes you can make. It won’t be so in case it is the carefully built composition. If you want to try something new, read about the top collection of must-have poses for weddings.

Photo equipment

At best, for a successful photoshoot you should have two cameras with a set of lenses and couple of external flashes. Moreover, you have to know your equipment from A to Z, and be able to use it. A wedding is not the best moment for technical tests and trials.

Sometimes you may break your camera or the lens will stop working. You will have to forget about the price of damage and continue shooting. If the bride and the groom have entrusted you with shooting their wedding, there can be no excuses, the show must go on.

Besides, the presence of two cameras gives the chance of fast focal length change without any need to change the lenses. Just fix a lens with one focal length on the first camera and a lens with other focal length on the other one. Use both cameras in the way you like and want.

Don’t be afraid to take too much images, photo culling services will help you to solve this problem fast and for a reliable price. If you don’t have two cameras or all ranges of focal lengths of your lenses are duplicated, rent or lend the photo equipment for the period of a celebration.

Group shooting

group shooting

Photographing big groups of people is a complex challenge. First, you need to gather all guests and the couple (and to get rid of strangers), secondly, you should be sure that everybody is visible, smiles, and looks straight into the camera and doesn't blink. Place the most significant guests in the center of the group, around the bride and the groom, and ask all tall people in a big group to stand in a back row. For taking pictures of very big groups of people use a step-ladder, a high support or find a convenient point of shooting. One more way to avoid “blind” people on a picture is to ask them to close their eyes and to open them on the count of three while shooting.


Though the newlyweds are the main subject of the day, you shouldn't photograph only them, you can concentrate your attention on making the shots which open up the all the charm of a wedding day. Try to capture everything in which the bride has been spending all the hours of her time: starting from the decorated tables, the menu, banquet cards, flowers, the wedding cake and the bride and groom’s glasses. Instead of documentary photos try to make an album design the wedding objects as though you are shooting a still life or a microfilming.

The last but not the least component

We shouldn’t forget to discuss the photo’s format. It is worth nothing to spoil the wedding photos, and it would be not superfluous to have a maximum amount of data while doing wedding photo editing as retouching the exposition, color balance or shadows. It means that it is important to take photos in the RAW. If you shoot in JPEG, save your images in the RAW format too, in order to avoid troubles when you will be busy with post processing wedding photos

Keep in mind these tips so as not to make mistakes in the future. If you are just starting your weddings photographing business. Wedding-retouching wishes you good luck and have fun!

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I'm Nataly O'Neill, photographer and journalist. Discover all wedding photography news.... more

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