Wedding Workshop Five | Photographing the Ceremony: Processional: Groom + Wedding Party
Processional: Groom + Wedding Party
For processional must-have images, the groom and wedding party kick-start the list. Here are the lenses, settings, and positions/shots you will need to consider:
- LEAD: 24-70mm (Most often, flexibility)
- SECOND: 70-200mm (Working across distances)
- THIRD: 70-200mm or SFX (Working across distance, opposite to #2)
- SHUTTER SPEEDS: Ideally (1/500+) low-light (1/160+)
- EXPOSURE: Max histogram without clipping shadows (highlight alert always on!)
- LEAD: Front aisle wide, medium, tight (watch expressions)
- SECOND: Backlit side shoot-through (medium, tight)
- THIRD: Artistic/SFX (optional/safety)
For other preferences, such as auto focus modes (continuous focus vs. single-shot focus), you’ll need to dial in settings that work best for you in a given situation. For example, when tracking subjects during a processional, continuous focus helps to ensure sharp focus on the moving subjects; however, some photographers prefer to refocus each shot using the center focus point and placing it over an area of high contrast, such as where the groom’s jacket overlaps his shirt (assuming it’s a dark jacket and a white shirt). We recommend testing the different focus modes on your camera to make sure they work to the standards you require.
It is worth mentioning that many shooters transition from one subject to the next during the procession based on the start and end point of the person walking down the aisle. The problem with this tendency rests in the fact that we may miss important moments like a groom hugging his mom at the end of the aisle, which has nothing to do with who is next in line. Keep an eye out for such interactions.