10 TIPS FOR PUBLISHING WEDDING DECOR PHOTOS
We asked Jeannie Savage, founder of Details Details, a premier full-service event planning and design company, to list the top 10 reasons she would likely share a photographer’s images of her work on social media and other outlets.
Here are Jeannie’s top ten tips:
1. Style The Invites
Bring a styling board or use props (linens, textures, etc.) to create a pleasant backdrop for the invites. It also helps to place coins under the invites to elevate them and create a drop shadow for depth. Jeannie notes that paper goods are huge for publications, so much so that publications may not accept submissions if images of the paper goods are not included, so consider these must-haves. Finally, photographers should get the coordinator’s final approval before completing the images of the invites.
2. Mind The Details
Always mind the details. When shooting across a row of seats to highlight a long table, for example, make sure to straighten the chairs and other elements on the table. Coordinators will not share the images if they don’t capture the coordinator’s best work. Also, be sure to ask the coordinator for approval of the hero shots (sweetheart table, tables with featured centerpieces, etc.).
3. Soften The Look Of Hard Light Ceremonies
If the ceremony site is out in the open and exposed to hard light, and if you cannot return to capture the ceremony details at a later time when the sun has gone down enough to soften the light, shoot to maximize your dynamic range and retain the information. You can lift shadows in post or lower highlights if necessary. Also, use a scrim for soft light with close up details.
4. Know What To Remove
Sometimes, what you don’t capture in an image is as important as what you do capture. When shooting table tops, it’s usually a good idea to remove the salt and pepper shakers, as well as the table numbers, unless they were designed to fit the theme of the decor. More often, table numbers are generic in appearance and don’t really add to/fit in with the look of the table/decor.
When shooting wide shots, kindly ask that all vendors, venue staff, etc. clear the area so that they are not featured in the image (see above). A lot of times, coordinators will be more than happy to help you clear the room for the wide shot. It is important for them that it looks great, too.
5. Shoot To The Style
Shoot to the desired look of the setup, whether it’s meant to look brighter or more moody. Avoid overly dramatic details, as they’re not published as often, and turn up the room lights if necessary. When pin lighting, avoid overly dark shadows. Instead, shoot so that the histogram leans more to the right, and lift the shadows during post-production.
6. Limit Carpet/Negative Space
Avoid leaving too much negative space in the frame as it makes the setup look small, which is especially bad if the decor is supposed to look grand and elaborate. Remember, you can shoot from the chair cushion up on the table closest to you to frame out the carpet while capturing a room.
7. Watch And Coordinate
Watch out for open service doors, vendors standing around, exit signs, and ladders/lights/etc. when capturing details. All of these distractions will take away from the setup, and as previously mentioned, coordinators will not share the images if they don’t capture the coordinator’s best work.
8. Stage Food And Drink
Publications and clients/vendors love food and drink images, and they help boost a large part of vendor sales. While a buffet line may not fall under this level of care (though it might, depending on the client), dessert and similarly adorned tables deserve the extra attention to detail. Lighting is important in food and beverage shots, and we recommend using diffused light (through an umbrella or similar gobo) to soften the light cast upon the subject(s). If these shots are taking place outside and the available/natural light is soft enough as is, then use the natural light.
9. Create A Cohesive Set Of Images
From the lighting and how it was shot to the post-production and how each image looks, it’s important to ensure that the overall set of wedding decor images looks consistent and cohesive when placed in an album spread or publication layout. If the series is not cohesive, then multiple images will not be featured together, or they may not be featured at all.
The two images above would not work together in a set for publication as the look and feel of each image is nothing like the other. This is why it is important to coordinate with the entire team before capturing wedding decor (or other) images.
10. Share Timely Teasers
Like news events, people are most interested in wedding photos right after it happens. Although it can be difficult to do, depending on a photographer’s workflow, sharing teasers from a wedding in the first day or two after the event will ensure a better chance for achieving higher social media engagement for that event.
Other Pet Peeves
Outside of the top ten list, these are some other pet peeves that could sour a photographer’s working relationship with a coordinator:
- Large watermarks
- Limitations (credit + link = enough)
- Improper credit/tagging
- Lighting/flashing without low light understanding
- Finally, you should always be nice to your event design coordinators!
We designed Photographing the Details to train wedding day teams to capture ceremony site and reception ballroom details with efficiency and purpose. Course objectives include working efficiently under time constraints, controlling lighting and colors in any scenario, capturing creative, publishable images that can be shared by venues and vendors, and telling complete and cohesive stories with details.
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