Wedding photography tips.

Wedding photography isn't just about snapping pictures; it's about storytelling, capturing the laughter, tears, and love of the day.

Bokeh wedding picture of a candle-lit table for the bride and groom.

Capturing the essence of "The big day". 

Weddings are magical, a whirlwind of emotions, traditions, and celebrations that stretch way beyond the vows, the cake cutting, and the dance floor fun. It's like a symphony of moments, each one waiting to be perfectly captured with a mix of careful planning and a keen ey for detail. 
Grace Rivera, who typically focuses on editorial and portrait photography, found herself enthralled by complex world of wedding photography after shooting a destination wedding.“I respect the hell out of wedding photographers,” she says. “It’s really tough. You have to embody fashion, documentary, event, portrait — every field of photography — into one day where you have seven hours to create a huge body of work.”


Juggling everything from extensive shot lists and various locations to managing a large wedding party under the scorching Australian sun can be quite the challenge, even for top wedding photographers. Having a solid plan is key not just to make sure you've got all your bases covered, but also to give you a bit of a safety net for those moments when, as they always do, plans take a little detour.


The power of candid moments.


The real essence of a wedding isn't just found in the formal poses or staged moments; it's alive in the spontaneous laughter, the tears wiped away during speeches, and the uninhibited dance moves when the band plays. These candid shots are where the true story of the day unfolds, offering an unguarded look at the emotions and connections that make each wedding uniquely memorable.


To master the art of candid wedding photography, consider adopting a fly-on-the-wall approach. Equip yourself with a telephoto lens to capture intimate moments from a distance, allowing the day to flow naturally without the awareness of a camera lens intruding. Pay attention to the dynamics of the day—anticipate emotional reactions during speeches, the joyous outbursts on the dance floor, and the quiet, reflective moments in between.


Bride and groom captured in this wedding photograph with a lens flare.

How to prepare for wedding photography

Initial client consultation.

Start with a solid foundation by having an initial consultation with the couple. This step is crucial for understanding their vision and expectations for their big day. It's your chance to get to know them personally and ensure you're fully aligned on the style and feel they're aiming for. Approach this meeting with openness and readiness to listen, making it clear that their story is what matters most.


Schedule and shot list.

Developing a schedule and shot list with the couple in advance ensures you capture all the moments they value most. “I give couples a timeline planning worksheet,” wedding photographer and author Khara Plicanic says. This preparation helps manage both your and the couple's expectations, ensuring a smooth flow of the day from start to finish.

Bokeh wedding shot of a bride receiving her ring from the groom.

When discussing the shot list, consider:

  • Are there moments before the ceremony they wish to capture?

  • Timing and participants for family and wedding party shots.

  • Carving out time for that magical first look.

  • A walkthrough of the ceremony to catch those once-in-a-lifetime moments.

  • The reception rundown – from the first dance to the cake cutting.

  • And don't forget – schedule those much-needed breaks for a bite or a breather.


Wedding photography lighting.

Getting the lighting just right is key to capturing those stunning wedding shots. Whether you're dealing with the midday sun's harsh glare or chasing that golden hour glow, knowing how to work with light can truly set your work apart. 


Anna Goellner, a pro at wedding photography, shares a tip for those tricky midday shots: “With the sun directly overhead, you end up with deep shadows under people’s eyes,” she explains. “I always look for shade this time of day, be it from trees or buildings — whatever you can find to provide more even lighting. If no shade is around, try to put the sun behind your clients for a softer look.”

Dreamy wedding photo of a bride and groom walking on the beach into the horizon.

Prepping by scouting the venue can clue you in on the best spots for every lighting scenario. And for those evening festivities, Kilen Murphy suggests a nifty camera flash trick: vy “dragging the shutter”, or slowing down the shutter speed of your camera and raising the ISO (which controls the camera’s sensitivity to light), a flash can illuminate the foreground subject while still taking in the background light — perfect for capturing the dance floor's energy without losing the night's ambiance.


Wedding photography equipment.

When the wedding day kicks off, there's no running back for forgotten gear. To nail every shot, from the intimate whispers to the grand panoramas, your equipment checklist is your best friend. Think ahead about the shots you're aiming to capture to determine what makes the list.

Bride and groom smiling and posing on the beach.

“I had two cameras on me, two cameras on my second shooter and a variety of lenses,” Rivera recalls. “You want to make sure you have a long lens to catch faraway moments and a wider lens so you can switch between the two quickly — especially during the ceremony when you only have 30 minutes to get everything that you need.”


Coordinating with wedding planners.

Partnering with wedding planners can make the photography process smoother and more cohesive. It's all about teamwork—your lens and their vision syncing up to ensure every important moment is captured just right. This collaboration helps you weave through the day's events effortlessly, from those must-have portrait sessions to the spontaneous, heartfelt instances that define the celebration. It's not just about snapping pictures; it's about crafting a story that aligns perfectly with the couple's dream day.


On the big day: Expect the unexpected.

Capturing the moment a bride and groom cut the cake at their wedding.

Wedding photography in Australia means being ready for anything. From sudden weather changes to last-minute schedule shifts, being adaptable is key. Here are some handy tips to tackle the day with confidence:


  • Stay Prepared: Always have a backup plan for your equipment and schedule. Extra batteries, memory cards, and even a spare camera can be lifesavers.

  • Embrace Flexibility: Be willing to tweak your plan on the fly for those unexpected, magical shots.

  • Keep Calm and Positive: Your demeanor influences the whole wedding party. Staying calm and collected in the face of challenges can help keep everyone else at ease.

  • Weather Wise: The Australian climate can be extreme, from scorching sun to sudden downpours. Use weather apps to track conditions and plan accordingly. For intense sun, have shades or umbrellas ready for outdoor shots. Waterproof covers for your gear are essential for rainy forecasts.

  • Equipment Essentials: Polarising filters can help manage glare and enhance the vivid Australian skies, while lens hoods can protect from sun flare and light rain. 

  • Hydration and Protection: Never underestimate the impact of the environment on you and your team. Stay hydrated, use sunscreen, and dress in breathable clothing to maintain your focus and energy throughout the day.

Costs and considerations of wedding photography.

Pricing strategies.

When it comes to pricing your wedding photography, it's all about finding the sweet spot that matches your client's needs and your unique offerings. Here's how to make your pricing both appealing and practical:


  • Offer Variety: Craft packages that cater to different tastes and wallets. Be crystal clear about what's included in each, showcasing the special touch you bring, be it your eye-catching style, seamless edits, or bonus services like aerial drone shots.

  • Stay Fresh: Keep your offerings up-to-date based on what your clients tell you and the pulse of the market, ensuring you're always the go-to photographer.

  • Be Honest: Your prices should reflect the stellar quality of your work, your depth of experience, and the all-in experience you're promising.


Amazing wedding photo of a bride and groom walking into the sunset.

Don't forget to factor in the behind-the-scenes costs:


  • Operational Expenses: Think gear, insurance, software, backup storage, and the extra costs of a second shooter or getting to and from venues.

  • Delivery Costs: If you're delivering physical goods like albums or printed images, make sure this is reflected in your pricing.

  • Time Investment: Remember, your time is valuable. From shooting to processing and editing, and even the hours spent meeting with couples, it all adds up.

  • Opportunity Costs: Wedding photography's seasonal, and you can only be in one place at a time, limiting how many weddings you can book a year.


Balancing these elements helps you set a pricing strategy that's fair, transparent, and tailored to celebrate love stories in the most beautiful way.

Newlyweds sharing a moment filled with love and joy during their first dance.

Elevate your wedding photography with Photoshop.

Diving into wedding photography, you're not just capturing moments; you're telling a story that'll be treasured forever. From the anticipation in getting ready to the joy of the first dance, your lens catches it all, turning fleeting moments into lasting memories.


Adobe Photoshop is here to elevate your work, offering tools that bring out the best in your photos. It's about making those smiles brighter, those moments more magical, and ensuring every detail is picture-perfect.


So, why not take your shots to the next level? Play with light, fine-tune colors, and add that spark to your storytelling with Photoshop. Share your masterpieces and join a community eager to see the world through your lens. Let's celebrate love, one photo at a time.


Do more with Adobe Photoshop.

Create beautiful images with Photoshop brushes, Content-Aware Fill, Photo effects, Neural Filter, Sky replacement and the many tools photographers rely on. 

Explore the Photoshop family of apps. 

You might also be interested in…

White dog next to the water-Focal length tips | Adobe

Understanding focal length.

Discover ways to select the ideal focal length for any and every photo.

Portrait photo of woman with freckles on black background

Creating great portrait photography.

Take a step closer to perfect portraits with tips and advice from professional photographers.

Bokeh photo of a city skyline at night.

How to add bokeh backgrounds to your photographs.

Learn more about the beautiful blur effect that can give your photos a striking look.

Ballet dancers performing on stage - Shutter speed photography | Adobe

Understanding shutter speed.

Discover how adjusting shutter speed can help you capture clean shots or motion-filled moments.


Lightroom plan

Edit, organise, store and share photos from anywhere.
7 days free, then    incl. GST.



Get Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, Photoshop and 20 GB of cloud storage. 7 days free, then    incl. GST.


All Apps

Get the entire collection of creative apps and more.
7 days free, then    incl. GST.