Great wedding photos rely heavily on the photographer’s understanding of lighting and composition. Though a photographer can use lighting and composition creatively, the following basic tips help ensure you take stunning wedding pictures:

  • Get more appealing pictures by using soft light. Soft light, such as light reflected off a wall or the ground in front of your subject, provides a smooth and even look on your subjects. Try to avoid hard light, which creates high contrast and shadows.

  • Use natural light whenever possible. Place your subjects in the shade and use natural reflectors to bounce the light source evenly back toward them.

  • If you can’t use natural light, shoot with an off-camera flash the correct way: with a bounce flash, bounce card, or diffuser to even out the light. Never shoot with a direct off-camera flash.

  • Use the rule of thirds when composing your images. To understand this concept, imagine a tic-tac-toe grid drawn across your viewfinder, breaking your image into thirds horizontally and vertically. Subjects placed on a line or at the intersection of two lines draw your viewer’s attention.

  • Pay attention to your background. Try to place your subjects in front of neutral backgrounds that are free of clutter.