What are wedding day detail photos?

Wedding photography is obviously heavy on the portrait side of things. But wedding photography isn’t ONLY portraits! Maybe you’re asking, “What should I give my photographer for detail or flat lay photos?” Or maybe you’ve never heard of these types of photos. Let’s talk about wedding day detail photos and their purpose, what you might want to prepare in advance for your photographer, and all the magical still life photos that can come out of a well planned timeline.

What kinds of details are included in wedding photography galleries?

Flat Lay Detail Photos

The first type of non-portrait photo you might find in your wedding gallery is often called “flat lays.” This just means your photographer will take small items you have for your wedding and capture them in an artistic, and/or lived in way. This usually includes your wedding rings, engagement ring, invitations, shoes, jewelry, and veil, if you are wearing one. Many people also like to include perfume bottles, vow books, and floral pieces. One of my favorite ways to present flat lays is to lean into the vibe and aesthetic of the day, and to play with shadows! Liv and Gavin had a black, white, and gold theme. Their flat lay photos reflect that. Sometimes, shadows and light can create a unique spotlight on various details, as well as hint at the vibe of the day. Bright? Moody? Either way, it’s so fun.

Now, why would I carve out the first several minutes of my contracted time to get photos of your details? First, it allows you to capture all the special items you are wearing for your wedding. Some brides will have heirloom items, such as jewelry or a purse from their grandmother that they’d like to hold close on their wedding day. Other times, the items you use will become heirloom because of their significance after this day.

Secondly, it puts together the whole story and aesthetic of your day in one photo. From your invitations to your wedding dress, there’s usually a cohesive theme that elevates your day. Putting it all together creates a special memory for you as you remember all of the envelopes you stamped and addressed. It reminds you of how beautiful you felt in your shoes and veil. All the little things add up to enhance your big day.

The Dress and Shoes

Another detail is your dress! Getting the bride’s dress hanging is such a fun photo to remember. To me, these photos bundle up the anticipation of getting ready, and all the excitement to dress up in this once in a lifetime gown. There are SO many different types of dresses, and each one can represent the bride in so many ways. I love getting this photo, if possible, especially to capture part of the venue along with it. In the photos below, I had Liv’s dress hanging and featured the open door, mirrors, and greenery of the venue. I then also used the venue’s bridal suite features to showcase her detachable sleeves, veil, and shoes.

Shoes are also so fun to capture, largely because most of the time your dress might cover them! I love getting them into your album for you.

Venue Detail Photos

The venue is another subject of “non-portrait” photos you might find in your wedding gallery. This can include various areas of the venue, but largely we like to capture your ceremony space and reception set up before guests arrive. This isn’t always possible, depending on the set up team and if the schedule allows, but with proper planning, it reminds you of all the work you put into this day. One way to help make sure we can include these photos is by choosing a package with a second shooter. A second shooter can go grab ceremony space shots during portraits, or reception area photos during the ceremony.

Table Decor

One of my favorite things to photograph is table items as the sun goes down. I love when the sunlight burst through the glasses and when the centerpiece florals cast shadows onto your plate settings. Or, if there’s candlelight, I can capture the romantic, elegant pieces you have put together in a soft, artistic way.

People-based wedding day detail photos

This could probably be a whole post on its own, but I didn’t want to neglect this other type of detail photo that might be in your gallery.

I am always searching for moments between events. This could be between the bride and groom, other family members, or even the bridal party. I might see a moment and capture the entire wide shot, but sometimes a close up shot will reel in all the emotions from that day and become a keepsake for years to come. Here’s some examples.

Planning for Wedding Day Detail Photos

Depending on your photographer, they will request that you set aside specific items for you on your wedding day. Always ask your photographer for what they need! But here’s a quick guide on what you might like to include if you’re asking yourself, “What should I give my photographer for detail photos and flat lays?”:

  • all rings
  • shoes
  • jewelry
  • ties
  • cuff links
  • perfume/cologne bottles
  • hair pieces
  • veil
  • invitations or other paper goods
  • floral pieces from your florist (greenery, petals, entire flowers, etc.)
  • heirloom items
  • anything else important to you!

Whether your wedding vibe is elegant and elevated, textured and bright, or somewhere in between, I’m here to capture every detail.

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