December 26, 2023  •  7min read

Top Camera Settings for Wedding Photography You Should Know

best camera settings wedding photography

Wedding photography is a competitive field as it is part of thousands of professional photographers’ daily bread. If you’re a photographer looking to succeed in this niche, you need to be prepared. Knowing the essential camera settings for wedding photography is important as it can make all the difference, especially if you’re new in the field. 

In this article, we’ll explore the technical needs and requirements you need for the best wedding photography results. We’ll go over all you need to know to take those perfect shots, along with some general wedding photography tips. 

So, let’s get started!

Manual Settings 

When you read about the most recommended camera settings for wedding photography, there’s no doubt that most professionals opt for manual mode and manual camera settings in general. That’s no surprise, as there are a few reasons why professionals like to turn their mode dial to ‘M’ when shooting weddings!

Compared to shooting photographs automatically, the manual option offers more room for determining the right aperture-shutter balance for your specific shot. This is a big advantage, particularly for wedding photography, where portraits and depth of field are usually the most important parts you should aim for. 

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The same combination of manual settings that takes a blink of an eye to dial may require up to a minute or more of experimenting with automatic mode overrides and exposure locks. In this case, manual mode may also help you work faster.

Maintaining the Ideal ISO Settings for Wedding Photography 

In many cases in wedding photography, you need to be quick on your feet and take whatever you get regarding lighting. This includes candid shots, which have been in demand and increasingly widespread in recent years. 

Therefore, every photographer must have total control over ISO settings. As shutter speeds and aperture settings will depend on the camera’s preset setting, ISO may be the main exposure setting you have full manual control over. 

By using smart ISO, you can easily compensate for trickle light without negatively affecting your image. However, remember to minimize the appearance of digital noise when shooting in higher settings. 

Manual Metering Modes to Manage 

Metering is a crucial aspect of wedding photography, just as it is in other forms of portraiture. Accurate metering ensures reliable exposure settings, preventing missed opportunities and unfixable shots during post-production. However, you shouldn’t rely solely on the camera’s default metering settings to achieve this. Instead, choose the right mode based on the number of subjects in the frame and the current lighting conditions. 

Three basic metering modes—spot metering, matrix metering, and center-weighted metering—are available, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Familiarize yourself with these modes and double-check the selected metering mode to ensure accurate exposures.

Take Pictures of Weddings in Semi-Automatic Exposure 

You don’t need to embrace the manual mode fully to capture that magical blend of exposure control and speed. Instead, it would be best if you considered either camera’s primary semi-automatic exposure modes. It’s essential to be more familiar with the aperture and shutter priority modes as they are handy for wedding photography. 

There’s a good reason why many professional wedding photographers use this mode for weddings. Instead of letting control over the lens diaphragm while taking control of shutter speeds, it works the exact opposite. 

Shutter Priority Mode

Shutter priority is usually used in action, sports, and wildlife photography as it lets them set the perfect speeds for keeping a sharp focus while minimizing blur. So, why would you use this for shooting weddings?

There are many situations where shutter priority can come in handy. For example, the shallow depth’s visual effects may be unimportant when shooting indoor weddings because the smaller aperture must grab more light. 

In this case, your shutter speed option, which allows a creative choice between motion blur and sharp exposure, becomes more important than the lens diaphragm.

Best Time to Take Wedding Photos 

Stunning wedding photos are available at any time of the day, but you need to know how to handle your camera settings and make them fit the concept. In natural light, the sun’s different phases offer different emotional tones, which is extremely important to the subjects you’ll be shooting at any wedding. 

For example, late evenings at around an hour of sundown will offer plenty of warm tones and dramatic backlight. This is the perfect time for romantic moments and candid shots between the couple!

In comparison, early mornings offer a cozy feeling with more muted colors, and you’ll get a dreamy atmosphere in the right environment. Remember that the perfect ‘golden hour,’ where the sky offers its most dramatic war hues, usually happens twice a day, once during sundown and once at sunset. 

Try to avoid high noon when shooting a wedding venue. The harsh shadows and overhead lighting won’t complement the couple’s faces well. Also, remember to compensate for fast lighting changes, like during late evenings, with the right shutter speed. 

Build Your Portfolio as a Wedding Photographer 

In the end, nothing teaches you better wedding photography skills than experience in real life. After all, every couple and venue is different! Therefore, you don’t need to master everything we’ve mentioned in this guide instantly. 

Instead, approach the task with patience and a good dose of confidence. You never know the kind of experience and learning opportunity you’ll get in the field!

In other words, the best camera settings can only be executed well when you have a decent amount of experience in the field. Remember everything we’ve discussed in this article, and keep an open mind. And most importantly, remember to have fun while doing it!

Guntur author at Bali Wedding
Guntur has been writing tips and tricks for weddings in Bali since 2020. He has written everything from preparing a pre-wedding in Bali to the best wedding dress and makeup you should choose for a wedding in paradise.

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