If you are considering taking up wedding photography, you are going to need to make sure that you are prepared and know what you are doing in order to get good wedding pictures. There’s more to this type of photography than you might think. Sure there are all the traditional shots of the bride and groom, but every wedding is different and you want to be able to capture that difference for the bride and groom.

Here are a few tips for your wedding pictures to help make them more than just OK but outstanding:

Make Sure to Arrive Early – The preparation for photography for a wedding is very important. Moments you wouldn’t normally consider including in wedding pictures are just the ones you should get such as the bride and her mother together putting together the finishing touches before she walks down the aisle or moments with the brides best friend or someone else that is special in their lives. These things need to be captured. This is why you need to arrive early so you don’t miss these candid moments. Take shots of details of the wedding dress, or moments where the bride might be standing in silence contemplating the wedding.

Shoot Your Shots on the Manual Mode – More times than not you won’t be able to use flash during the actual ceremony and you will have to settle for whatever light there is provided. This is why you should consider using manual mode because then you have full control over your aperture and shutter speed of your camera. Put the ISO up to 800+ and set your white balance to auto and make sure to open the aperture wide and slow down the shutter speed as much as you can without making the photos blurry.

Always Be Prepared – Make sure that as soon as you can, try and leave the ceremony and set up your camera out front before the happy couple comes out. Never be afraid to ask them as they come out to stop and pose for a staged kiss as they are coming out of the church. They will definitely thank you for it later.

Don’t Be Afraid to Re-shoot If Needed – If you don’t think that you got the shots that you wanted make sure that you request a re-shoot, be assertive but be polite about it. They hired you because they want great shots of their wedding so make sure that’s what you do. Always make sure to get the traditional shots of the bridal party and their families but make sure to take full advantage of some candid shots as well. You can do this while everyone is getting ready for some formal shots. Make sure to request at least 15 minutes or more to do staged shots during the wedding reception. This gives you a better opportunity to get more intimate shots of the bride and groom. Make sure to be creative and get a little artistic with these shots.

Make Sure to Focus on Detail – It is important to get the “money shots” but also don’t forget to capture all the details of these shots. For instance, instead of taking the usual photo of the entire wedding cake why not take a more detailed shot of the flowers on top. Or include shots of the centerpieces and the place cards or take some out of focus shots of them dancing or reaction shots of guests during the reception.

Give Them Options – Don’t just offer them wedding pictures that are all in color, offer them some in black and white or even in sepia tone. People do enjoy having interesting photos and often this can make some shots look better if done in sepia or black and white.