Wedding photo ideas: how to shoot a wedding classically and creatively

Wedding photo ideas: how to shoot a wedding classically and creatively

In our latest Professional Photographer to the Rescue post our pro shares some of her best wedding photo ideas for learning how to shoot a wedding that is both creative and appeals to classic tastes.

Wedding photo ideas: how to shoot a wedding classically and creatively

Meet our professional photographer

Kate Hopewell-Smith’s love of photography started when she gave up her job in marketing to start a family. She turned pro following instruction by the world-renowned Aspire Photography Training. She is now one of the UK’s top wedding and portrait photographers, and is back at Aspire as one of their regular tutors. For her portfolio and for details of her new one-to-one tutoring services see

Meet our apprentice

Viv King got into photography in 2005 while living in the Netherlands – she bought a D70s for her husband, but ended up using it herself. Now based in the Wirral and with a five-year-old son, she has already shot six weddings for friends with her own D300. She turned to us for help with the view of turning her pastime into a part-time profession that she can combine with being a full-time Mum.

Technique Assessment

Is Viv ready to go down the aisle?
You don’t get a second chance when shooting weddings, so Kate checked over Viv’s SLR setup before the off to suggest some improvements:

Wedding photo ideas: ditch the kit lens

Forget the kit lens
Kate says… You need to create a pro look to your pictures, and get shots that look different to those taken by guests on compacts and phones if you are going to charge for your work. My first step to doing this is to use a fast lens, and preferably a prime, for all shots to restrict depth of field. Rather than using her usual 18-200mm, I got Viv set up with a 50mm f/1.8.


Wedding photo ideas: use continuous shooting

Don’t stay single
Kate says… There are times where you need to take multiple shots quickly, so I advised Viv to switch drive mode from S (single) to its three-frames-per-second CL (continuous low) setting.

Spot the difference
Kate says… I like using dramatic lighting for my shots, so I always use spot metering. With practice this allows me to get exactly the effect that I want just by metering for the right area.


Wedding photo ideas: use manual mode

M is for marriage
Kate says… I got Viv to switch from P to M mode. I used to use aperture-priority for my shots, but switching to using manual was the best thing I did, as I no longer need to keep changing the exposure compensation to get the shot I want.

PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: Wedding photo ideas from our professional photographer
PAGE 3: FInal wedding photography tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear
PAGE 5: Shot of the Day


Wedding Photography: 10 steps to pro-quality pictures
Free wedding photography cheat sheet
Bridal photography tips: best camera settings to preserve highlights in the wedding dress
12 wedding shots every bride wants (and how to get them)

  • Great article. I am glad that you said it! you only get one chance to shoot a wedding. Do it right.