Cliche Wedding Photograph Subjects
collected by Jeffrey Sward
Schaub, George, and Kenneth Sklute. Professional techniques for the wedding photographer: a complete guide to lighting, posing, and taking photographs that sell. Rev. ed. New York: Amphoto Books, 2001.

At the house

  • Mother adjusting veil
  • Bride putting on garter with bridesmaids looking on
  • Bride in dressing room with mirror
  • Bride pinning corsage on mother
  • Bride pinning flower on father
  • Flower girl handing bouquet to bride
  • Portrait of mother and bride
  • Father and bride
  • Brothers and sisters and bride
  • Bride leaving house
  • Father helping bride into car

At the church prior to ceremony

  • Groom and groomsmen
  • Groom with best man
  • Best man adjusting groom's tie
  • Groom with best man and minister
  • Signing marriage certificate
  • Bride and bridesmaids in vestibule
  • Bride's mother on usher's arm
  • Grooms mother on usher's arm
  • Other people being accompanied down aisle

During the ceremony

  • Bride being taken down aisle by father
  • Father giving away bride
  • Shots during the ceremony itself
  • Time exposure of overall area during ceremony

After the ceremony at church

  • Bride and groom coming down the aisle
  • Groom kissing bride at the altar (set up)
  • Groom putting ring on bride's finger (set up)
  • Receiving line right after ceremony
  • Bride and groom on the steps of church
  • Getting into car or limo
  • Shot while seated in limo
  • Mood shots in and around the church or wedding area grounds

Between the ceremony and the reception

  • Outdoor shots of bride and groom
  • Outdoor shots of wedding party
  • Shots of groom and best man
  • And ushers
  • Shots of bride and maid of honor
  • Bridesmaids
  • Suggested location for outdoor shots

At the reception

  • Receiving line
  • Wedding cake (prior to being cut)
  • Guests signing book
  • Introduction of the wedding party
  • Wedding party toasting bride and groom
  • Close-up of bride and groom toasting
  • Dances: Bride and father
  • Groom and mother
  • First dance
  • Bride showing rings to bridesmaids
  • General dancing shots
  • Candids of wedding party
  • Flower girl and ring bearer together
  • Group family portraits (please be specific)
  • Table shots (done on a sales-guaranteed basis only)
  • Bride throwing bouquet
  • Groom and garter
  • Cutting the cake
  • Bride and groom feeding cake to one another
  • Bride and groom's hands with rings and flowers
Sint, Steve. The bride's guide to wedding photography. New York: Lark Books, 2004.
  1. The Bride's Home
    1. The dressing room
      1. The invitation with bridal bouquet and/or the ring bearer's pillow
      2. Mirror photos
        1. Bride using comb and brush
        2. Bride with compact
        3. Bride applying lipstick
        4. Bride's hands holding parents' wedding photo, with her reflection in the mirror
        5. Bride's hands holding invitation, with her reflection in the mirror behind
        6. Bride's hand holding engagement ring, with her reflection in the mirror behind
        7. Bride and mirror together
      3. Mom adjusting the bride's veil
      4. Bride and maid of honor
    2. The living room or yard
      1. Bride and dad: formal
      2. Bride and dad: kissing him on the cheek or hugging him
      3. Bride and her parents: twice
        1. Bride and her parents: selective focus
      4. Bride's parents alone: twice
      5. Bride and mom: regular and soft focus
      6. Three generations: bride with her mother and grandmother
      7. Bride and sisters
        1. Optionally, bride with each sister or bride with all siblings
      8. Bride and brothers (and optionally, bride with each brother)
      9. Bride and bridesmaids (and optionally, bride with each maid)
        1. Bride and flower girl
        2. Bride and maid (and/or matron) of honor
      10. Bride alone: three to four closeup poses, two to three frames per pose
        1. Bride by window light: at least two
      11. Bride alone: three to four full-lengths, two or three frames per pose
    3. Leaving the house
      1. Bride, parents, and bridesmaids in front of house
      2. Dad helping bride into limousine
  2. The Ceremony
    1. At the Church
      1. Dad helping bride out of limousine (or variations)
      2. Groom and best man: two frames (possibly a gag shot, too)
      3. The Processional
        1. Mothers of bride and groom being escorted down the aisle
        2. Each bridesmaid walking down the aisle
        3. Maid of honor walking down the aisle
        4. Matron of honor walking down the aisle
        5. Flower girl and ring bearer walking down the aisle
        6. Bride and dad walking down the aisle: two
        7. Alternatively, three frames
        8. Dad's kiss goodbye
      4. Readings or music (photos of speakers, singers, and musicians)
      5. Time exposures from rear of church or choir loft
      6. Exchange of rings
        1. Groom to bride
        2. Bride to groom
      7. Candle lighting (if there is one)
    2. Special Traditions
      1. Mass
        1. Couple kissing at the Sign of Peace
        2. Bride and groom kissing/greeting parents at the Sign of Peace
        3. Drinking wine and/or receiving the host
        4. Presenting flowers to the church
      2. Other religious traditions
    3. After the Vows
      1. The Recessional
        1. Bride and groom: at least two frames
        2. Bride and groom kissing in the aisle at rear of the church
      2. Receiving line (and its aftermath)
        1. Three to 24 candids
        2. Two quick pictures of the bride and groom with each set of parents
        3. Possibly pictures of the couple with their grandparents
      3. Leaving the church
        1. Bride and groom, silhouetted in church doorway
        2. Bride and groom with bridal party on church steps
        3. Same as "Receiving Line" photos but with thrown rice
      4. Getting into the limousine
        1. Shooting through the far door, looking in at the bride and groom
        2. Bride and groom looking out limousine window
        3. From the front seat looking into the back seat of the car
          1. Bride and groom toasting
          2. Bride and groom facing camera
          3. Bride and groom facing each other
          4. Bride and groom kissing
  3. Formal portraits
    1. The bridal party
      1. Bridal party together
        1. Both formal and some gag shots of the bridal party
      2. Groom and ushers (and optionally, groom with each usher)
      3. Bride and bridesmaids
      4. Bride, groom, maid (or matron) of honor, and best man
      5. Bride and maid (or matron) of honor
      6. Groom and best man
      7. 4t Groom alone: four to six poses, two or three full-lengths and two or three closeups
    2. The bride and groom
      1. Six to eight photos, three or four different full-lengths and closeups
      2. Variations on the bride and groom portraits
        1. Closeup of rings on hands
        2. A scenic image
        3. Bride and groom: selective focus
    3. Worthwhile additions
      1. A few additional full-lengths and closeups of the bride
      2. Any bridal party couples
      3. Groom with his siblings in the bridal party
      4. Relaxed group photo of the bridal party around the limos
  4. Family Photos
    1. The groom's family (bride's were done earlier at her home)
      1. Groom and his dad (twice)
      2. Groom and his mom (twice)
      3. Groom and his parents (twice or thrice)
      4. Groom's parents alone (twice)
      5. Groom and his siblings
      6. Three generations: groom's side (groom, his dad and his dad's dad)
    2. Family: bride and groom together
      1. Bride with groom's parents (twice)
      2. Bride and groom with groom's family
        1. With and without grandparents
      3. Bride and groom with groom's siblings
      4. Bride and groom with groom's grandparents
      5. Bride and groom with bride's parents (twice)
      6. Bride and groom with bride's family with and without grandparents
      7. Bride and groom with bride's siblings
      8. Bride and groom with bride's grandparents
    3. Family: others
      1. A, Grandparents alone or as couples
      2. Extended family: bride (aunts, uncles, cousins)
      3. Extended family: groom (aunts, uncles, cousins)
  5. The Reception
    1. The Entrance
      1. Siblings
      2. Best man and maid of honor
      3. Flower girl and ring bearer
      4. Bride and groom: twice or thrice
    2. The First Dance
      1. Bride and groom: two to three full lengths and possibly a closeup
      2. Bridal party couples (especially married ones)
      3. Parents
      4. Grandparents
    3. The Toast
      1. Best man toasting
      2. Bride and groom with best man and toasting glasses, if possible
      3. Bride and groom toasting each other
    4. Table pictures
      1. Tables for both sets of parents
      2. Tables of friends
      3. LH Special tables (cousins, coworkers etc.)
    5. Candids: 50-200 photos
      1. Bridal party: friends
      2. Guests dancing
      3. Groups on the dance floor
        1. Photos of couples dancing: faces toward the camera
        2. Three and four people groups
      4. Large, impromptu groups
        1. Friends
        2. Coworkers
        3. Families
    6. Special dances
      1. Bride and dad dancing
      2. Groom and mom dancing
    7. Romantic photos
      1. Candlelight photos
      2. Goodbye shots or gag shots
      3. Available light night scenes, Including reception hall scenery
    8. The cake
      1. Bride and groom cutting the cake:
      2. Twice or thrice
      3. Bride feeding the groom
      4. Groom feeding the bride
      5. Bride and groom kissing each other With cake in composition
    9. Bouquet and garter toss
      1. Tossing bouquet
      2. Removing garter
      3. Tossing garter
      4. Putting garter on bouquet catcher's leg

All written content of this web site is solely the editorial opinion of Jeffrey Sward. All images, graphics, and written content of this web site, including the html files, are creative products covered by copyright law. All content copyright Jeffrey Sward 1975-2019. All rights reserved. No portion of this web site or its constituent elements may be reproduced in any form, by any means, without prior written permission. So there.