Wedding albums tell a story. So it helps to think about that when shooting the wedding, so we have all the photos we need to tell the best story.

When we tell a story, we try and answer 5 questions, the 5 W’s. You probably learned about them in elementary school. Who, What, Why, When, Where (and sometimes how, but that starts with H). So, we need to answer those questions with photos, not words. Here’s some ideas to get you thinking:

Who – This is fairly obvious, it’s the bride and groom, and they’re pretty easy to pick out. But we want to tell more about them than just what they look like; we want to know a bit about them and their lives together. Get a shot of them doing their favorite hobby or activity together, as best that can be done on a busy wedding day. Work in a bit about their personalities and interests, either separate or together. Are there items that are meaningful to them. Stuff like these are the adjectives of the story, and what story isn’t made better with a bunch of well used adjectives?

What – Again, pretty obvious. Get some of the interesting details of the wedding. What makes it unique and memorable? A ring shot is also a great way to answer ‘what’ early on.

Why – This kind of ties in with the who question. We want to know why they are getting married. Obviously because they love each other. Show this with portraits of them canoodling together, doing something together.

When – This is an easy one to answer with one shot, the invitations. You’ve got the time and date right there. But something more interesting is always better. A shot of a phone with a calendar event of the wedding, or the newspaper, or an actual clock (I think a spread with a clock close to the ceremony time and them both with the pre-walk look would be awesome; bonus points if you can get that series for me!).

Where – This can also come from the invitations, but still kinda blah and obvious. How about a shot of the ceremony or reception site sign or nameplate? If there’s a recognizable landmark at the ceremony or reception site, get that, or if there’s one nearby.

What about your ideas? What types of photos do you like to get that tells the story of the wedding? I’d love to hear about it in the comments, or an email if you’re shy!

PS Here’s a sneak peek of an album I’m working on for Gary of Definition Photography. Check back to see the rest!

A spread from a Jewish wedding album designed for the groom's pa