All the guests at a wedding, from the bride’s 8-year-old niece to the groom’s 80-year-old grandpa are snapping pictures with their phones. While some of the best wedding photography is done by professionals with advanced DSLRs and changeable lenses, the rest of us can still create some stunning images with smartphones. Here are some tips.
1. Close in on your subjects. Rather than trying to get everyone and everything in a scene, focus on just a few people and capture a specific action. This approach often creates a more powerful image that conveys emotion. Bonus points if there’s great expression in the eyes or a genuine smile.
2. It’s about location, location. Pay attention to where you’re sitting. Tall guy’s head in the way? Move to an empty chair in front of him to get a clearer shot. Rather than trying to zoom in with your smartphone—the zoom feature on most phones aren’t great anyway—try to sit closer to the altar. But be mindful of your role as a guest. The bride and groom will love that you’re taking photos, but don’t interfere with the photographers or videographers they’ve hired for the day.
3. Didn’t get a good seat? Then sit back and take some shots of the other guests. While the bride and groom are the stars of the wedding, guests are an important part of the day’s story too.
4. Details, details. The bride and groom spent many months choosing their clothes, flowers, food, table settings, and a million other minutiae that make up a wedding. Capture those items, such as these cufflinks, and set them against another object that shows them off in a new way.
5. Go macro. Tap into your inner Georgia O’Keefe with some fabulous close-up shots of wedding flowers. Phones are great for macro-photography, where you focus very close to an object, paying attention to interesting shapes, like the folds of this rose.
6. Mirror, mirror. Use reflective surfaces to create interesting portraits. Sunglasses, rain puddles, mirrors and water glasses can provide ways to make extraordinary portraits.
7. The Selfie. What’s a party without a selfie to prove that you were there? Most likely, the bride and groom are going to be busy talking to everyone at the wedding that you may not get to spend very much time with them. But they liked you enough to invite you to the wedding–and pay for your dinner. So be sure to take a fun picture of yourself, which will be priceless for the couple later on.