Reception Decor Photos

There’s no substitute for experience regardless of field, and that’s why there’s so much value to be had from a first-hand look at actual client shoots; It provides you with all the details and the intangibles that you typically can’t extract from a book and on the types of shoots you may be striving to do on your own.

That’s generally the premise of our whole Unscripted Workshop series, and on this occasion, we bring you a quick peek at how to capture wedding details, particularly in the reception hall. You’ll get a glimpse into how to interact with an assistant, what equipment and camera settings we often use, and perhaps most importantly, how to think about the shots you need to get. Keep in mind that your bride and groom will likely not see the reception hall without a crowd, and miss some of the grandeur and the finer features, so you’ll be showing them something quite unique.

In addition, you may be aware that building relationships with fellow vendors are an indispensable way to grow your business. One of the ways to make a statement with said vendors is to capture and highlight their efforts with beautiful detail-imagery and share it with them – so it’s kind and advantageous to be conscious of that and incorporate it into your work.

Framing & Composition


More often than not, wedding venues will be imperfect in some way, often they’ll have distracting attributes such as unattractive ceilings or floors that can take away from the overall appeal of a ballroom. As with any subject, we want to omit distracting items in the room that do not add value to the image, and even detract from it.

Some ideas would be to shoot at such an angle where your image will not include the meeting point of the floor and the ceiling, and using the Rule of Thirds, try to frame centerpieces so the viewer gets a wide perspective of the room instead of just bullseye-ing the centerpiece whilst simultaneously blocking off a portion of the room. It’s also prudent to get multiple compositions and variations, and this can be achieved by simply assessing the area, slowing down, and walking around to survey the best possible shots from multiple angles.


It’s All About the Details


Covering all the wonderful aspects of wedding decor is what makes photographing wedding receptions a tedious but rewarding process. Start by capturing the wide-angle room shots that the venue can share to showcase their ballroom to future clients. Keep in mind, too, that there is a vendor for every item placed on the table and chances are they will want and be grateful for high quality images of their hard work. As such, zoom in and get tighter to focus on the smaller details such as place settings, menu cards, candles, guest gifts, and all the intricacies that differentiate one venue from another. It’s also wise to take safety shots before attempting shoot-through angles or creative compositions, as to ensure that you have covered every aspect of the room.

[REWIND: Unscripted | Photo Shoot BTS: Chapter One: Engagement Photography Posing & Lighting]

This has been an excerpt from the Unscripted | Photo Shoot BTS Premium Workshop, where we take you behind the scenes on engagements, weddings, and portrait photography sessions to give you access to hands-on client experiences that encompass photography techniques, on-the-spot problem solving, and more. Gain access to this workshop and so much more by purchasing a Premium Subscription to SLR Lounge!