What do I do if I am not able to get a lot of ceremony shots?

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QOTD from Kayleigh: "I have a major question!! I shot a wedding where the bride and groom stood with their backs to the congregation probably 90% of the time during the ceremony, even through the vows. While I was able to capture some beautiful shots of the first kiss, the reverend annoucing them as man and wife, and of them walking back down the aisle together, I am very stressed about the lack of face shots during the rest of the ceremony. Has anyone else ever encountered this problem? How did you handle it in the editing process and then when presenting the photos to the couple? Thanks!"

Mandy:  I've had this happen a couple of times, and I've never had a bride and groom be upset over it. They understand that some things are out of your control.

Morgan: I surely have, and that is the main reason I ask to photograph their reception so that I can see exactly how everything is going to play out on that special day...But, the couple will understand that it is impossible for you to get face shots if they have their back to you. The only thing I suggest for the future is to go all the way to the right and shoot, and then all the way to the left and shoot. That way you can maybe get some face shots!

Chris: Unless they say don't , that room is yours , go where you need to to get the shot , don't be intrusive , but you are being paid to capture their day

E Shay: Yep, many times. Try to move around at the ceremony so you can get shots from the right and left. Everything else is out of your control (unless you want to interrupt the wedding by yelling at them to turn around...lol). When presenting their pics, you can make a joke of that: "some of these are from behind; I figured you probably wouldn't want me hollering at you to turn around in the middle of the ceremony, haha!" kind of thing. :) It will all work out. You are responsible for capturing the day as it unfolds...NOT organizing everything or planning or making people pay attention to where you are shooting from. You just CAPTURE.

Melissa: Two words for avoiding this next time...Second Shooter. One of you stays near the back (where yes you could totally miss face shot with a situation like that) the other shooter is at the very front. They will get the shots that aren't possible from the back and you will get the shots they can't get. I would never shoot a wedding without a backup because I would also be worried giving B&G shots of the back of there heads during one of the most important moments of their life's.

Christy: I've been to churches where they do not allow any photography during the ceremony, just the processional before and after. For those I just did posed recreations of the vows/rings/kiss. The couple knew in advance that there would be no photos of the event.

Kayleigh: Thanks for all the advice guys!! Unfortunately, a 2nd shooter wouldn't even have helped this situation, I tried moving all over the place, short of actually standing at the grotto with the preacher and the bride and groom. She made it very clear to me that she wanted me to go where I needed to get the best shots, and I did what I could with the space I had to work with. I did get some from the sides as much as possible but they were standing with their backs DIRECTLY towards the guests so there wasn't much I could do there either. We did get pictures after the wedding of the bride and groom and all the wedding party standing in their spots. I am a big fan of the candid ceremony shots and I just didn't get as many of those as I would have liked and as I have in other weddings I took photos of.

Twila: I put in the contract as well as discuss with them possible restrictions that churches may have. I also give suggestions(if I'm not able to move around due to said restrictions) that they try to stay turned 3 quarters to the crowd vs. the priest. If these are not options then at that point, we have already discussed in depth that certain shots can be an issue due to positioning and/or lighting issues. If they really wanted those shots but it was unable to happen during the actual ceremony I do them post ceremony. The key is honesty and communication at all times. Never let your clients expect something that may be impossible. I should also mention candid is nice, but a good 50%(if not more) of "candids" you see out there for weddings were set up by the photographer in some way, be it clever maneuvering or outright posing. Do it smoothly and the clients forget that that wasn't exactly how it happened. I love candids and catch them when I can, but I have no issues with helping them happen too.

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