What are some tips for getting quality ceremonial shots?

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QOTD from Melissa: "I am shooting a Wedding this weekend (my 5th one) and I have never been overly happy with my Ceremony photo's. Most have been in a church, one was outside but in tight quarters, but my one this weekend is on a beach, so nice and open for me to get around. But I get nervous trying to get in close and get those close up shots. I feel like I am in the way of the guests view or I am just being disruptive. What are some suggestions? I have a lot of area to work with and I want to get some really great angles, especially the couples expressions throughout the ceremony!"

 Elisha: I don't do weddings, but I'd use a longer lens

Catrina: Can you rent a zoom lens? That can help you get in for those tight shots without stepping in front of or over people.

Catrina: I'll actually be renting a 70-200 for my next wedding... I'm soooo excited!

Robert and Sonia: 70-200 2.8 lens is the way to go. I got some photos from a wedding I shot from a good distance. You can see on 29:11 Photography page.

Michelle:  All of my tight shots during the ceremony are done using a 70-200. The thing to remember is you don't want to get too close to the couple. You want the guests watching them and not you. A zoom lens helps you get the shots and stay inconspicuous at the same time...if you don't have one, then rent it. I've done this too after my hubby dropped & broke my 70-200 :-)

Melissa: thanks for your suggestions so far guys! Sounds like the way to go haha.

Tatum: A zoom lens of course but the thing you need to remember is they're paying you to capture this day. If that means you have to cross in front of someone to get THE shot, don't hesitate. Try and be mindful of the guests but sometimes you have no choice but to maneuver the space. Talk with your couple and officiant first but most times brides always tell me, "step on their toes! I don't care! Do what you have to to get the best pics!" I used to be timid but then the photos suffered. So I just do what has to be done to wow my couple.

April:  I also use a zoom & try to move around quite a bit to get angles showing the bride & the groom's face. Just pay attention to the progression of the ceremony so you're in a great spot to capture the kiss! That shot is important!

Kelly:  Tatum took the words right out of my mouth :-)

Mollie: My first wedding was a beach wedding, and if there are beach goers (not attending the wedding) take advantage of that! We had people walking past so me standing at normally "inappropriate" places didn't make much difference. I used my zoom lens and went all over the place. (Keep in mind that if it's not steady sand, you'll slide around some. Keep steady feet.) Good luck!

Jason: May I suggest a monopod with a quick release in case you have to slow your shutter speed at the full 200mm range. And exactly what Tatum said x 100!!!

Hope: Telephoto?

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