Photography Tips For Shooting Weddings In The Maldives

I worked as master of ceremony in dozens of beach weddings in the Maldives. In some other weddings I was the photographer. Having done these two very important tasks, I thought to give some tips for young people who wants to pursue a career in this field. Some of these are standard basic photography skills, others are what I learnt from my experience in the Maldives setting.

wedding at kihaa maldives

Coordinate with organizers beforehand

Before the ceremony begins it is important to talk to the event organisers and establish an understand between both parties. Usually in Maldives beach weddings there are members of organizing team present in various stages of the event. You will want them to understand that you are around. There are times that you want to give gestures to make way for you, clear background from unwanted people or bring in people into the scene as you capture. But, you will do this in a way that will not affect the wedding process.

For example the champagne toasting is a common wedding shot in the Maldives. You want only the couple and background on the photo, without the waiter. Then you also want to capture the moment waiter serves the drinks. These are two separate shots. In other shots you may want to include family members, bridesmaid and bestman as well.

For me, having done both the photography as well as master of ceremony, it is very simple. When I am master of ceremony I usually assist the photographer by making couple stage different poses.

If you have a good understanding with the organisers capturing awesome shots become a lot easier. Otherwise there may be obstacles in otherwise perfect shots.

Direction of the sun and lighting

Usually weddings in Maldives are done in the afternoon. If you shoot photos from the opposite side of the sun there will be too much light getting in to the camera. If you have captured sun on your photos that is the worst it could get. It is like you staring at the sun. This is very basic of photography but I thought it is important to be mentioned.

Scenic backdrops

When you are capturing a Maldives wedding you do not want to miss the beautiful backdrop of the lagoon. This is one of my favourite shots. When I do this I also consider lighting based on the sun. In some resorts there is a small boat involved in the ceremony. The backdrop looks awesome when there is a small sail boat in the lagoon as you capture the couple. I also take shots without. In the ceremony it is important to take shots with a variety of elements. Later on when you review pictures there will be lot of shots to discard. For example think of that sail boat, you might have captured captain of the boat having his sarong blown always by the wind revealing his pants. That may be an exaggeration, but every single detail on the shot is important.

Lagoon is not the only backdrop to capture. Tropical vegetation of the island looks nice too, sometimes lagoon and vegetation combined produces awesome shots. Capture with a variety of elements but do not forget not to shoot against the sun.

Taking advantage of the happenings in the resort

While your wedding is going on at the beach there are other usual activities happening in the resort and some of these could take place near you. For example in some of my wedding photography I had the luxury of capturing windsurfers in the backdrop, not up close of cause. It makes the place look more exotic on the pictures. This also adds some action to the shots while it attaches itself to moments and memories. Once I captured the couple with a seaplane taking off in the backdrop. That shot was really amazing, just like a postcard. I saw guests boarding to the plane and I kept the couple ready when it took off, at the right moment I fired a burst shot.

Capture every moment

beach wedding

In a typical Maldivian resort wedding there will be wedding vows, exchange of rings, ritual cutting of cake, toasting champagne, wedding tea, dinner on the beach. It is very important to capture every single moment of these in different angles. Some of the photos with only the couple, some with bridesmaids and bestman, others with family. Aerial shots are important too. So are the close up shots of couple smiling and revealing the feelings, close ups of cake, drinks, decorations, ring on the finger etc.

Romantic walk at the shore

I like capturing wedding couple going on a romantic walk on the beach close to the shore. Flower bouquet on bride’s hand produces amazing colours against the backdrop of beach and lagoon. You can capture from the sides, front and behind. You could also involve sail boat in some shots. One of my favourite poses is the groom holding the bride in his arms.

Next day photography session

Since the ceremony takes place in afternoon the colour of beach turns slightly golden, lagoon also becomes significantly dull. If the couple likes to have an additional photo session the next day it gives the opportunity recapture some of the beach pictures with much nicer colours. For this I prefer morning around 9:00 – 11:00 when the sun is still rising. Slightly before the midday there is plenty of light that reveals beauty in everything. Also you could shoot in different angles as the sun remains almost above you. Pictures of lagoon makes a huge difference.
Photography tips for shooting weddings in the Maldives. #Maldives #Wedding #Luxury #Honeymoon #Malediven


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