How I Work, St Louis Wedding Photography, St. Charles Wedding Photography, Wedding, Wedding Photography

Elevating The Snapshot


Photos captured throughout the wedding day fall into several categories. There are a lot of carefully crafted documentary images and some are staged artistic photos. Then there are the quickie snapshots, usually done at the request of the couple or their guests. You know the type, the smile-for-the-camera snaps with no delusions of grandeur. Think of them as the typical iPhone snap. I don’t seek these out, but I’m regularly asked to take them.

But they don’t have to be the bland shot that typifies 99% of snaps out there. With just a tiny bit of effort we can elevate it to something more.

The photo above was made at the Old Millstream Restaurant in St. Charles. The couple specifically asked for a photo in the beer cooler. Inside it’s really quite small with just enough room to step inside.

The first shot is very iPhone snap. It tells the story, nothing more. The orange overhead lights mixed poorly with the blue sunlight streaming in the open door. This is a pretty poor photograph, but unfortunately this is where most photographers would stop.


It really doesn’t further the story to see our couple’s legs and feet, so the next shot was a closer view. By putting them to the side we see a little more context in the shelves. I’m not particularly fond of the stiffness of the expressions. Admittedly we were in a rush (we had about thirty seconds in the cooler), but we can still do a lot better.


I asked the couple to step back a bit so they were completely surrounded by the cases of beer. Despite the very cramped quarters we really need to show how surrounded they are too, so I popped the fish-eye lens on the camera. Shooting blindly while holding the camera overhead I was able to capture a far more interesting image.


I have no delusions. This is still a snapshot. It’s not ever going to be printed big and hung over the mantle. But it’s certainly better than what we started with and it adds to the overall experience of the wedding day.

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