Wedding Photography | Takin’ it from the top…

Last month I blogged about wedding photographs shot from interesting angles, specifically low angle images. These kind of images can be gimmicky if overdone but the point was that some images shot from unusual viewpoints can add to the visual variety of a wedding day story and add interest to your wedding album sequences.

Because most of us hold the camera to our eye when we shoot a lot of the pictures have the same ‘look’ and although this can be a good thing sometimes it’s nice to mix things up. In that previous low-angle wedding photography blog post I mentioned that I started shooting weddings with cameras that had look-down viewfinders which were designed to be held at waist level. This was a cool thing as photographs of people looked more in proportion due to the fact that the lens was roughly midway heightwise between the subjects head and feet.

One trick with those waist-level viewfinders was to flip the camera upside down and hold it overhead and look up into the viewfinder so you could see over the heads of people. It was a trick those press guys from the 50’s and 60’s used a lot in the scrum surrounding a major news event.

Here’s a few favourite wedding photos shot using a high viewpoint, either from an elevated position or with hands held outstretched overhead – the so called ‘Hail Mary’ position where you are praying that you have the framing and focus right :)

Mwah. Sarah and bridesmaid at a Trunkwell House wedding.
bride and bridesmaid at trunkwell house

On the way to the ceremony. Shot from the top of the stairs at Pennyhill Park Hotel in Bagshot.

wedding photo on the stairs at pennyhill park hotel

This image is from an pre-wedding engagement portrait session in Streatley a few weeks before Laura and Alistair’s wedding at the Swan Hotel. I like the graphic nature of this image and it was a nice counterpoint to their other engagement photos.

Here’s a wedding photograph from Nutley Priory in ceremony. The bride and her father on the way into the ceremony. With civil wedding ceremonies there is this interesting pause five minutes or so before the start of the proceedings. Both the bride and groom have different experiences of this time which are lovely to photograph. The groom is at the front of the room with all the guests seated behind him and the bride often just with her father marking time until it’s ready to go. I love to photograph both of these times if possible as I think it’s really nice after the wedding to see a glimpse of each others pre-wedding ceremony moments.

A couple of page boys killing time during the wedding reception. Again the overhead angle adds a bit of interest to a mundane shot.

Looking down the stairs during a wedding at Highfield Park, near Hook in Hampshire.

Nothing much to say about this wedding photograph other than that is one huge slab of chocolate :)

This image is from a Dulwich Picture Gallery wedding and depicts the ‘Kalleh Ghand’ – a Persian wedding custom of grinding sugar above the bride and grooms heads to symbolise sweetness and happiness. Shot from this overhead angle you can see the shawl and the crowd of friends and  family more clearly than from straight in front of the couple.

This is the standard wedding group shot from the first floor. This is the only way to shoot the wedding party in my view as of course you can see everyone. Shot from ground level you would of course only get to see 15 or 20 people in the front.

I like the pattern of this shot – the waiting staff head for the wedding reception just before the wedding breakfast is due to start. Photographed at Katie and Graham’s Lainston House Wedding.

Thanks for looking! Comments welcome as always.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. JJ Reyes

    Hey, nice article! Thank you!

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