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wedding photographer holding his camera
By - Ameerah Woodley

7 Tips for More Emotive Wedding Photography and Video

One of the biggest factors that can take your wedding photography and video from “alright” to “amazing” is emotion. There is nothing more powerful or eye-catching than teary eyes or a brilliant smile.

Wedding photographer and videographer who can capture moments of true joy, sadness or surprise are going to be a lot more in demand than those that can’t. But how do you capture emotive shots without forcing it (because forcing it never works)?

Here are 7 tips for getting the most emotion out of your next wedding photography and video shoot.

1.     Use your setting

Environment can play a big role in our moods. This makes it important to make the most of the setting we’re using in the shot. Getting your subject to engage with their surroundings will make for a more natural and engaging image as opposed to using forced poses and fake smiles. For example, you could get your subject to climb a tree, build a sandcastle or strum a guitar. This creates interest and generates a genuine emotion from your subject.

2.     Make the most of lighting

Wedding photographer and his team taking prenup photos with the couple.

As always, lighting is everything in wedding photography and video. You can make a shot much more emotional by using dramatic lighting, or by illuminating a facial expression. Whatever you do, you want to make sure the focus is predominantly on your subject – the aim is to tell their story.

3.     Shoot continuously

While it can be a hassle to curate and edit, continuous shooting is an excellent way to score the perfect shot – the precise moment when your subject’s laugh is in full bloom. By shooting in bursts, you increase your chances of getting a great wedding photography and video shot – and avoiding being stuck with one where your subject is blinking.

4.     Capture the little things

Something as simple as a single tear on a person’s cheek can make an image truly memorable. By focusing on the smaller details, such as the ring or the rain, you can convey emotions in new, powerful and engaging ways.

5.     Surprise your subjects

Surprise shots can often end up being the greatest shots you take. By capturing your subjects off-guard, their genuine emotions come into focus – making for some truly memorable wedding photography and video images. They might be funny, they might be beautiful – you don’t know until it happens! Some of the ways you can do this include taking snaps when your subjects aren’t expecting it, or by giving someone something they weren’t expecting (e.g. news that someone is pregnant).

6.     Focus on eyes

The eyes “are the windows to the soul”, as they say – making wedding photography and video that takes this into account particularly compelling. Eyes convey real emotions despite what the rest of the face might say – which is why you can easily tell if a smile is a genuinely happy one or not. Your subject’s eyes might even be closed while they are experiencing strong emotions like pain or extreme joy. This can make for an engaging image, too.

7.     Be ready

And finally, be prepared for important moments like the kiss at the altar, or the first dance. Anticipating moments like these is essential for wedding photography and video artists, as these are often the moments that married couples want to capture and remember forever. Keep in mind that precious moments can also come when you least expect it, so be sure to stay observant and alert for the entire duration of your shoot. And of course, make sure your camera is always ready to go!

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