January 29, 2024  •  7min read

How to Capture Your Wedding Decor Details

capturing wedding decor details

When starting your journey as a wedding photographer, it may be discouraging to think that your work will never match those flawless results from the professionals. But in reality, we’re just taking pictures of everyday people’s weddings. They may not have those over-the-top weddings, but it is still a day they will never forget. 

The bride and groom have put in months of planning through everything on the special day. They’ve committed to whatever budget they have to create the special day they will cherish forever. 

Whether you are hired as a wedding photographer or just a friend of the groom with a camera, we have a few tips to help you capture the details of the decor of any wedding and make it something both the bride and groom will appreciate. 

Get There Earlier

Arrive at the wedding around half an hour before it starts. You’ll likely have a small window when the vendors have just finished preparing the decorations, but the guests haven’t arrived yet. 

You can capture the details when the guests are there, but most of the time, it’s easier to get clean pictures without them. And there’s a high chance that the decorations will be moved or ruined later in the day. 

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However, there are some decorations that you might need to photograph later on, such as guest signatures on the guest book, blackboard, or globe. But we recommend getting most of the detailed shots before they arrive. 

Arrange the Details 

Sometimes, you must move things around to capture the complete picture of the wedding theme’s story. For example, there might be many origami cranes on the reception table, with a sign close by with the writing “Please Take a Favor” for guests. You can try opening a favor box to capture the things inside it after a little arrangement.

Sometimes, you can get a better shot of a centerpiece arrangement when it’s moved slightly closer. Ask the bride if you can borrow her bouquet if it’s set down for a while, or opt for one of the bridesmaid’s bouquets. You’ll be okay if you don’t play around too much with things that may take time to put back in place. Also, return everything to where it’s supposed to be once you’re done photographing all the details. 

Shoot with Wide Open Lens

We love shooting every wedding detail with our lenses almost wide open (with an aperture usually set between f/1.4 and f/2). This offers an artistic feel to everything you capture and helps focus on what you’re photographing. If the wedding seems too simplistic without many fancy details and attention to perfection, you can consider blurring some of the background. 

You can use an 85mm 1.4 lens or a 50mm 1.4 lens, but any prime lens should do the trick. Ensure your focus is exactly where you want it to be, and hold very steady. Your focus needs to be extra sharp or the result will turn into a blurry mess. Indeed, shooting wide open is a matter of preference, and you may prefer an entirely different style.

Experiment with Different Angles

There are many ways of capturing a photo with indifferent angles. You can even stand on a chair to get the desired angle when capturing the details (this is one of the reasons why it’s better to get there before the guests arrive!). You need to get creative with your angles so the results won’t look like a picture any of the guests can take. This is especially important if you’re a hired wedding photographer.

Pay attention to where the lights are coming from, what you can see in the background, and which area is the most important. Even a slight change in angle can turn a photo from average to amazing, so experiment with the different angles and find out which works best. 

Working with Difficult Lighting 

Weddings and receptions are usually held indoors and toned with lowlights. This can be challenging for photographers, but it’s entirely doable. We prefer not to use any flash as it gives that natural look, so we’ll share how to work in dim lighting without a flash.

If you’ve followed our point before on shooting wide open, we’ve mentioned that it gives an artistic look and helps with minimal lighting. Sometimes, we capture an entire reception or ceremony with an f/1.4 aperture to let in as much light as possible. You may also need a higher ISO; crank it up until you can shoot with a steady shutter speed (we recommend around 1/80th if you tend to shake when shooting). You can have some noise in your photos with high ISO, but we love that look, especially at events with a low-light ambiance. 

To sum it up, when there’s extremely low light, shoot in RAW, underexposing to let your shutter speed be as fast as possible. Then, bring the exposure up during post-processing. 

Final Thoughts – Capturing Wedding Decor

In conclusion, capturing the intricate details of wedding decor is a task that requires a combination of preparation, creativity, and adaptability. As a wedding photographer, whether a professional or a friend lending a hand, you play a crucial role in preserving the memories of a couple’s special day. Remember, it’s not just about documenting the grandeur of over-the-top weddings but immortalizing the significance of an ordinary person’s extraordinary moment. 

Capturing wedding decor details goes beyond technical proficiency; it’s about infusing creativity and passion into each shot. As you embark on this journey, remember that your unique perspective adds a personal touch to the couple’s cherished memories, making your contribution a crucial part of their wedding story.

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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