“Must Have” Walk-Throughs | Wide – Setting The Scene

To start off the shot list for the ceremony details, consider the approach we take in S3: Shooting Stories That Sell. The first thing we want to do after walking the scene and analyzing the angles is to get a wide shot to set the scene. It may so happen that you are unable to get the wide shot first, especially if the ceremony site is not yet ready, but for the storytelling order, the wide shot would precede the medium and tight shots to establish the scene in an album or blog spread.

When you take the wide image to set the scene, the image should visually show the following:

  1. Complete ceremony setup
  2. Property/Venue
  3. Ceremony hero (the altar)

If the ceremony site does not look grand or epic, you can make it appear so (at least more so) by carefully framing the scene to look bigger or more full than it is. For example, in the image above, we cropped the image at the end of the chairs to make it appear as though they continue on, even though they don’t. It was a relatively small ceremony site.

Remember to mind the basics and consider the angle from which you are shooting and how much of the background is revealed. If the scene is less epic, or if there are distracting elements in the background, shoot from a lower angle to reveal less of the background.

Also, watch out for guests or vendors who may be walking through the scene and ensure that no clothing or other accessories are placed on the backs of any of the chairs. If guests or vendors are present in a scene, either politely ask them to step out while you capture the wide shot, or ask the coordinator to ask them to move. Either way, try to keep the experience positive for all involved.