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The orientation of my photography used to be pretty equal between portrait and landscape until I learnt that in 80% of cases landscape is usually the best option. The reason is because our eyes are spaced in a horizontal line so we see mainly in a horizontal format. Movie makers have always known this hence you do not see movies shot in portrait orientation.
It is very logical when you think about it. Humans and are all roughly the same height give or take a foot or two. Therefore when shooting landscape we can include many more people in our image than if shooting in a portrait orientation. Speaking with Kerry Morgan, author of “Wedding Photography – A Guide to Photojournalism” from www.oliver-cameron.com she explained that we can add a lot of context in a landscape image as it will contain many more aspects and details. She suggests that once we have established context (when used as a main image) we can then show emotion or detail in a supporting image.
Try shooting in a landscape orientation at your next wedding and observe how different and more story telling your work has become. You will hopefully find that you capture far more of the emotion of the day. Instead of having a passport style image on one guest smiling you will be able to incorporate what it is they are smiling at into your composition. Look at the accompanying image and you can see it shows the back of the brides father looking on at the reading hence telling a story.