Photographing weddings can be very stressful as you only have one go-through to get all of the necessary (and sometimes requested) images. Knowing where to stand as a photographer is typically difficult as you do not want to get in anyone’s view but still want to get all of the key shots a ceremony calls for.
Every photographer’s wedding day rituals are different, but one key thing to always remember is to arrive way early. Things always change day of (out of our control) and having time to adapt is crucial.
To begin with, you will want to look at the layout of the ceremony, visualize the bride walk in, and find out what the exact itinerary is so you aren’t blindsided by a random speech or gesture. Usually a wedding ceremony starts with the groom walking up with groomsmen and standing at the altar. Before this happens, you need to evaluate the location (with seated guests) and find routes to the different positions so you can move like a ninja without tripping over aunt Sue.
In any given location (for a ceremony) there are typically 5-8 key positions to take advantage of the event while staying out of the view of guests. These positions each offer a different type of shot and should be worked throughout the entire ceremony especially during it’s key moment (ie. bride giveaway, ring exchange, first kiss, etc); just remember to make sure your team is all on the same page and only one person per location so you do not double up on shots.
Take a look at this info-graphic below showing the different shooting positions and key images of each vantage point. Download the jpg, dropbox it, and use this as a quick pocket guide (especially day of wedding) for yourself and any members on your staff.