News flash! Weddings have evolved! Wait – you already knew that? Well, unless you've been hiding under the covers for the past several years, it really would be hard not to know. Modern weddings run the gamut from quick, in-home ceremonies to elaborate, stop-the-presses events that hit the news - and someone's bank account – in a big way. One of the things that weddings tend to have in common, though, is trends that become traditions. Recent years and this one, too, are no exception and a savvy wedding photographer will know them and be ready to capture them.
The "Surprise" Dances
This one is so popular that, to be honest, most of them aren't even a surprise anymore. Every day, another hundred or so performances by wedding parties go viral on social media. Dad and daughter or Mom and son dances, jazzy processions and choreographed solo and group routines are making their way into every stage of the proceedings, before, during and after the ceremony.
Surprise or not, there have been and will continue to be some awesome dances that you're going to need to be ready to capture. Almost any decent DSLR will have video capability, so the equipment isn't usually the issue. Being ready to capture both those "impromptu" dances and the reaction of the guests means having help, so be sure your clients clue you in and have a second shooter or videographer ready to capture one perspective while you shoot the other.
The response to, "Who gives this woman..." or a similar question in ceremonies that include it can be a moment that you're not going to want to miss. Dads and Moms are surprising guests with speeches, presentations, shotguns – you just never know what might happen. As the photographer, however, you need to know. Make sure you check with the parents of the bride and groom to see if there's something you should be ready for, then see the advice under the previous topic. If you can't record it, at least be ready to photograph the reactions.
Let's skip all the moments you know you need to cover for the ceremony and move to the reception. One of the traditions that's become a whole new animal is the act of toasting the bride and groom at the reception. In many weddings, it's a time for slide presentations and a whole host of things that will elicit reactions from the guests, family and wedding party that a photographer is going to need to be ready for. Unlike many of the things on this list, the things said and done during this time often are unrehearsed and "spur of the moment" and can spark tremendous emotion. Don't miss these moments.
Decorating the "Getaway Car"
If the wedding plans don't involve rented limousines or similar transportation, one of the favorite traditions that has withstood the test of time is the process of decorating the getaway vehicle. Photos and video footage of the carnage can be fun, but this is also one of several great opportunities to use one of our favorite new tools for wedding and event photographers.
Gifyyy is a platform you can set up that lets event guests record hilarious animations of themselves individually or in groups, then preview the results and upload them to their smartphones and distribute them via social media networks. Imagine the fun while the "decorating committee" sends out animations of the process as it happens!
We've all seen those little video clips that family and friends record for the bride and groom at the reception. They're often very moving and just as often a real crack-up. Here's another place to set up your Gifyyy, which will actually display a message inviting the guests to touch the screen, then record, preview and share fun animations. We think this is going to become a tradition, too.
Even better for you, when guests send the gifs to their phones, numbers are saved to a list that you can retrieve and use to notify the guests when the wedding shots are ready to see and download on your site. That's a whole string of potential sales and new clients for you, along with the value you've added in the way of fun at the reception. Take a good look at Gifyy here.
There are more trends that you'll undoubtedly think of while reading this article. We believe the ones listed above have proven to be more permanent than most and well worth adding to your checklist for wedding shoots.