The Journal

Three must-have reception detail shots

It’s a no-brainer that a HUGE part of your job as a wedding photographer is to create beautiful images of a wedding day’s decor and design details to deliver to your clients.

But what about the other wedding pros? What about the possibility of submitting to a wedding blog or magazine for featuring the story of the day (and showcasing all the hard work of the vendors involved)?

Your ability to prioritize must-have wedding reception detail shots will make your fellow vendors and publications VERY happy, in addition to delivering a robust collection of images to the happy couple.

A wide variety of reception detail photos is critical to ensure you’re delivering the best possible gallery, but if you’re tight on time or not sure where to start, there are a minimum of THREE angles at every wedding reception that you absolutely cannot miss!

Ocean View Farms barn wedding reception


1. The wide shot

An overview of the full reception space sets the scene for the celebration. Ensuring you have a clean “room” shot of the entire area sometimes takes a little bit of extra effort to clear people out of the frame, but it’s worth the work! Ask the wedding planner to help you with holding catering and venue staff out of the room while you get a couple different angles of the full reception area — take your shots quickly so the other vendors can get back to their jobs prepping for the guests’ entry to the reception!


Ocean View Farms barn wedding receptionOcean View Farms barn wedding reception


2. The table shot

This can technically be more than just a single image, but getting a closer angle of just one of the dining tables is your second must-have shot when covering reception details. This can be an overview of the full tablescape or even focused on a floral arrangement, table number, or (in the case of this wedding) the edible charcuterie centerpieces. The idea is to feature the elements of a single table at closer range than your wide shot of the full space.


Ocean View Farms barn wedding reception


3. Place setting shot

Last, but certainly not least, is a close-up shot of the individual place setting. The framing for this image should include the plate(s), flatware, glassware, and napkin, as well as any place cards or other elements related to the individual guest who will be seated in that spot at the table. Pull in a floral arrangement so it’s closer to the plate and can fill awkwardly empty space in your composition.

Kate and Matt’s wedding at Ocean View Farm, shown in the photos above, was published in Green Wedding Shoes. The feature shared all three of these different angles: the wide shot, individual table shots, and a close-up place setting shot. Publications want to be able to share the different elements of wedding reception details, so set yourself up for submission success by covering these three basics. Your clients and fellow vendors will be appreciative, too!

Ready for more inspiration?