11 Photos Every Wedding Photographer Should Know How to Make

We’ll help you build your list of must-take wedding photos so every client leaves you a rave review! See how simple it is . . . (Photographs by CLARA RICE PHOTOGRAPHY)


These 11 simple photos are must-haves at every wedding. Put your own spin on the style and content, and deliver a collection of images your clients will adore!

#1: A Great Detail Shot

Detail shots are more than close-ups. They’re photographs that tell the story of the artifacts and heirlooms your couple has chosen as part of their celebration. Don’t fixate on getting macro shots. Instead, prioritize making beautiful images that are crisp, clear, and focused on the item itself.

11 Photos Every Wedding Photographer Should Know How to Make: #1 - A Great Detail Shot
Must-take wedding photos by Clara Rice Photography

#2: Getting Ready Photos

There aren’t a lot of groundbreaking moments occurring as couples get ready, but the beautiful shots that do exist are truly something special. Remember: most couples get ready separately, so your photos are the only opportunity for them to see what the other partner was doing during their time apart. Emphasize moments of action and emotion, and use this flexible period to pursue unique angles.

11 Photos Every Wedding Photographer Should Know How to Make: #2 - Beautiful Getting Ready Photos
Must-take wedding photos by Clara Rice Photography

#3: Photos the Vendors will Love

You may not be at the wedding for the vendors, but the vendors will most certainly see – and request – your photographs. Think of these vendors’ portfolios when you’re photographing the cake, the flowers, the clothes, the venue, and other parts of the wedding day. Even if wild techniques and crazy angles are “your thing,” take a few clean, crisp photos specifically with the vendors in mind. Then share your vendor images in their own gallery on your ShootProof Homepage and watch the referrals roll in!

11 Photos Every Wedding Photographer Should Know How to Make: #3: Vendor Photos for Getting Referrals
Must-take wedding photos by Clara Rice Photography

#4: One Clear Ceremony Photo

If you can only get one ceremony shot, make it worthwhile. Many ceremony venues are painfully restrictive when it comes to making ceremony photographs. (If you’ve ever seen a ceremony coordinator all but tackle a guest who pulls out their camera, you know what we mean!) Find a shooting location that will allow you to get the BEST unobtrusive photo possible, and make that moment count with thoughtful photos. Of course, if you have total photographic freedom during the ceremony, go wild!

11 Photos Every Wedding Photographer Should Know How to Make: #4 - A Clear Ceremony Shot
Must-take wedding photos by Clara Rice Photography

#5: A Cover Image for Albums & Galleries

You’ll want to make at least one iconic image specifically with the couple’s album and online gallery in mind. Ideally, you want to make:

  • a portrait of your clients
  • in beautiful light
  • in a memorable environment
  • with plenty of space for cropping and/or design formatting
11 Photos Every Wedding Photographer Should Know How to Make: #5 - A Cover Image for Their Album or Gallery
Must-take wedding photos by Clara Rice Photography

#6: A Not-Icky Kiss Picture

If you just invite your couple to kiss, you’re likely to capture something a bit more graphic than you intended. Choose your words wisely, and ask your clients to “kiss lightly,” or to share a “sweet, three-second kiss.” If they’re relaxed and moving at a gentle pace, you’ll also be able to make a beautiful before-the-kiss photograph. Sometimes that pre-kiss moment is even more tender than the kiss itself!

11 Photos Every Wedding Photographer Should Know How to Make: #6 - A Not-Gross Kissing Picture
Must-take wedding photos by Clara Rice Photography

#7: One Big, Location-Focused Photograph

Maybe this shot is a portrait. Or perhaps it’s a wide view of the ceremony or reception. Whatever you choose, be sure to capture at least one angle of the day that shows off the environment. Most couples have carefully selected their celebration space, and a gallery full of close-ups simply won’t do their choice justice.

11 Photos Every Wedding Photographer Should Know How to Make: #7 - A Fun Environmental Portrait
Must-take wedding photos by Clara Rice Photography

#8 and #9: Individual Portraits

Whether you’re photographing a bride or groom, a parent, a guest, or an officiant, consider ways to enhance the personality of the individual in front of your lens. Don’t fall victim to repeating the same pose over and over. Even when you’ve found a basic setup that works, customize it to the person’s clothing, shape and size, and comfort level with the camera.

11 Photos Every Wedding Photographer Should Know How to Make: #8 - A Feminine Portrait
Must-take wedding photos by Clara Rice Photography

Many people feel less nervous when they’re photographed looking away from the lens. You can also encourage smiles by keeping up a steady stream of casual conversation, or help your subject relax by incorporating simple posing approaches:

  • hat in hands
  • hands in pockets
  • scarf or shawl wrapped close or flung wide
  • walking or swaying
  • leaning toward you or against something
11 Photos Every Wedding Photographer Should Know How to Make: #9 - A Masculine Portrait
Must-take wedding photos by Clara Rice Photography

#10: Natural Moments

Try replacing the word “candid” with the word “natural,” and you have a more accurate description of what most couples actually want from their wedding photos. True candid moments can be unflattering or dull. But natural moments can be as posed or un-posed as you like! Make a portrait feel natural by keeping your couple relaxed and focused on one another or their surroundings. Or capture a completely unposed photograph by waiting patiently for the natural decisive moment that every interaction eventually produces.

11 Photos Every Wedding Photographer Should Know How to Make: #10 - Portraits that Look Candid
Must-take wedding photos by Clara Rice Photography

#11: The Last Photo of the Day

Every album and online gallery should have a final photo – that one shot that brings the mood of the day to a close, and creates an authentic finality to your series of photographs. If you haven’t been able to capture a final photo naturally, invite your clients to help you create one. This image of Clara Rice’s clients walking away is a beautiful final photo that feels both natural and intentional.

11 Photos Every Wedding Photographer Should Know How to Make
Must-take wedding photos by Clara Rice Photography

What must-take wedding photos do YOU suggest?

Comment with your ideas below, and encourage your fellow photographers to prepare the best possible portfolio for every client!


Written by ANNE SIMONE | Photographs by CLARA RICE PHOTOGRAPHY via TWO BRIGHT LIGHTS


ShootProof Online Galleries. Client Contracts. Easy Invoices.
Try ShootProof for FREE! Online Galleries. Client Contracts. Easy Invoices.

Keep Read, Keep Learning...

Share this: