The closer you get the easier it gets

Bridesmaids talking at Birtsmorton Church

The majority of the wedding photographs I have captured using a Canon 5D mk1 and a 70-200 f4 IS USM lens. I have always worked at a comfortable distance from the guests to give them room to move. The other favourite lens of mine is Canon 24-105 f4 IS USM. I use this at 24, 35 and 50mm to produce images at close range. Some of the documentary wedding photographers I have talked to think that getting closer to your subject at a wedding is a bad idea. I thought exactly the same thing when I first started photographing weddings and I never got close or even talked to anyone at the wedding, using the ‘fly on the wall’technique. I have learn’t over the past ten years that the key to getting close, is to talk to your subjects before the wedding really starts. Bridal preparation is the ideal time to meet the brides family and to let them know what your approach will be. Later at the church they will be so comfortable with you being around that you can get closer and get the images you need. Make them know that you are photograph the wedding purely for the bride and groom and not for your own portfolio. Access is so important, and they need to feel comfortable. The camera can be very intimidating, some people love it and some people hate it. Use smaller cameras to see if that helps.

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