4 Essential Tips for Shooting Details for Publication

May 13, 2014


As wedding photographers, we shoot first and foremost for our brides, but we've also learned to shoot for editors as well. At the beginning of last year, we set a goal for ourselves to get published on a national blog for the very first time. We started studying wedding inspiration blogs, absorbing everything we could, and coming up with practical ways to apply what we saw to our own wedding days. By the end of the year, we'd been published nationally over fifteen times. Getting published is now an integral part of our professional process and adds incredible value to everyone around us. Brides love seeing photos from their wedding day that look like they belong in magazines, fellow vendors love having professional images that showcase their talent, and editors love having images that fit seamlessly into their publication's vision and design aesthetic.

Here are our four essential tips for shooting details for publication.

1. Tell a Color Story
Editors are looking for images that make a strong visual impact, and color can help you do that instantly. Pay close attention to the colors your bride chose to highlight, and make sure your images stay true to those colors throughout the entire day. If her colors are blush and gold, stay away from shooting details by a hotel's red curtains or an orange-patterned armchair. Instead, find the guest who's wearing a blush-colored dress and ask her to hold the signature cocktail, or clear some space on a table and shoot the invitations against gold-glittered linens. The more you can stay true to your bride's color scheme with each individual detail, the more visual power the images will have as a whole.

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2. Shoot Horizontally & Vertically
Options are extremely important to editors, because each one has a specific style for their blog or magazine, so when you shoot every unique item both horizontally and vertically, you're making it easier for editors to picture a final layout as they browse through your images. Horizontal images work better for banners and social media links, while vertical images are “pinned” more frequently on Pinterest and have a higher chance of going viral. If you give editors a variety of both, you'll show them your post's potential and streamline the publication process.

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3. Get Down at Eye Level
When you're flipping through a magazine, study the way the products are shot. Whether it's a tube of lipstick or a pair of shoes, products have more editorial appeal when the photographer gets on the same level as the product and makes it larger than life. The same is true for wedding photography. Instead of shooting the bride's perfume bottle from where you're standing, crouch down and get eye level with it before you push the button. This simple switch in positioning makes each detail shot more appealing for editors, their readers, and brides, too!

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4. Clean, Non-Distracting Backgrounds
On real wedding days, clean, non-distracting backgrounds can be almost impossible to find unless you walk into the day being intentional about it. In the middle of all the clutter and the chaos of a wedding day, you have to be proactive about this and commit to creating a clean backdrop for your images. Whether you have to take details into the hotel lobby, outside, or even ask the bridesmaids to help you literally clear the clutter in a getting ready room, the extra effort will make all the difference to editors. Clean backgrounds increase editorial appeal, because they put all the focus where it should be: on the beautiful details.

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So, what are YOUR top tips for shooting details? Join the conversation by sharing your ideas in the comments below!

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