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Your guide to the best wedding photography in 2024

2024 wedding photography

When you are a keen photographer – even on a very amateur basis – there is always the chance that friends or family may ask you to take photos of their various special occasions. But what do you do if someone asks you to be their wedding photographer?

It can seem to be a very daunting prospect, but if you have good photography skills there is no reason why you should not be able to step up and do a really good job. It does, however, take a bit of planning and preparation. So in this article we share a few tips on how to take the best wedding photographs ever. 

Get equipped for success

One of the most important aspects of how to take the best wedding photographs ever is preparing in advance. If you have all the kit that you need, and know how to use it, you are well on the way to success.

As a minimum, you are likely to need:

  • 2 cameras, for example DSLR;
  • A few camera lenses with different focal lengths;
  • External flash and diffuser;
  • Additional lighting if needed;
  • Memory cards;
  • Batteries and chargers;
  • Tripod.


As well as bringing all the right gear, you need to be completely familiar with all aspects of it so that you are not caught out on the day. You need to understand the best settings and lenses to use for different types of photograph and levels of lighting. This will enable you to capture the best quality images you can on the day.

It’s also important to thoroughly test out all your equipment beforehand to ensure everything is in working order. Even so, make sure you have backups of everything, and that these items are readily accessible at all times in case anything you are using packs up at a critical moment.

If possible, enlist someone else to help carry, set up and keep an eye on your gear so that you are not trying to do everything single-handed.

Plan your shot list

Another key aspect of preparation is to plan your shot list in advance. You need to liaise with the bride and groom to understand the essential shots that they want, and to make a list of these so you can ensure that nothing gets missed on the day. Also try to memorise as much of this as possible so you are not fiddling around with paper or your phone on the day.

Also try to become familiar in advance with who you’re shooting. To help with this it’s a really good idea to have a list of attendees and/or a seating plan ahead of the day to get a good idea of who the key people are and where they are likely to be at any given time.

When you are discussing the shot list with the bride and groom, it’s also a good idea to suggest some shots that they may not have thought of. To help with this, here are a few of the most popular wedding shots:


Before the wedding

  • The bridal party preparing for the wedding
  • Close-up shots of items such as rings, bouquets, corsages, invitations
  • The venue – empty then as it fills with guests
  • The groom and best man waiting at the venue
  • The arrival of the bridal party at the venue


During the wedding

  • The bridesmaids walking down the aisle
  • The bride walking down the aisle
  • The groom’s first sight of the bride
  • The celebrant’s opening remarks
  • The exchange of rings and vows
  • The pronouncement of marriage
  • The first kiss
  • Signing of the register
  • The exit


After the wedding

  • The bride and groom with each set of parents
  • The bride and groom with each immediate family
  • The bride and groom with each extended family 
  • The bride and groom with different groups of friends as desired
  • The speeches
  • The cake-cutting ceremony


Get to know the location in advance

It’s a really good idea to visit the ceremony and reception venue(s) before the event to check out the layout and kind of lighting that is available. This will help you to work out the best places to take your shots and can also identify any potential issues that you can prepare for in advance.

This is particularly important if the wedding is going to extend from daytime into evening, as this will pose a whole range of different lighting opportunities – and challenges! Making sure that you have all the equipment you need, and that you are completely familiar with your camera settings to handle different lighting conditions is essential. Let’s now look at this in more detail . . . .


Shoot with a range of different settings

Most professional wedding photographers shoot in RAW. RAW files are large unprocessed files that contain all the original image information. This enables you to adjust the photos in any way you want to at a later stage, for example colour, shadows, sharpness, brightness and contrast.  

You also need to harness the power of the so-called exposure triangle. This refers to the combination of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings to get just the right amount of light for the kind of result you want. 

For example, for photos where there is lots of movement you will want a fast shutter speed such as 1/200 or faster. And if you want everything in focus you need a low aperture such as f/8 or f/16, whereas if you want your main subject in focus but the background more blurred you could try a higher aperture such as f/2 or f/4. And for indoor weddings, an ISO of between 400-800 is a good place to start for portrait photos that are well-lit but not grainy.

You can read more about the exposure triangle in our guide Want to learn about photography? Start here!


Always be on the lookout for that perfect shot

Last but not least. One of the big secrets of how to take the best wedding photographs ever is to constantly be on the lookout for that perfect shot. Keep looking, keep shooting. You will end up with far more photos than you need, but that’s much better than realising you don’t have enough material for a fitting tribute to the wedding..

So be aware that as a wedding photographer you are never off duty. You need to be attentive and vigilant at all times to get the shots that will bring the most joy to the couple in years to come.

Don’t be afraid to be bold! Position yourself wherever you will get the best shots rather than trying to work around other people. If you hear fun things happening during the reception, muscle in there and get shooting – don’t wait to be asked. And always be on the lookout for those little, unexpected gems that would make a lovely photo.

It’s also a great idea to set up a shared folder online – for example Dropbox, iCloud or Google Drive – where guests can also upload photos they’ve taken. This gives you access to an additional resource of photos that you can use in parallel with yours if needed, either as standalone photos or to edit and combine with photos you have taken.


We hope that this article gives some useful information about how to take the best wedding photographs ever, and that if you are asked to photograph a wedding in 2024 it will be a tremendous success.

Do check back here soon for more helpful photography guides from Print Your Memory.

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