In this article, Franklin at FBalzan Photography shared with us the techniques and tips which he uses during a typical wedding.  The post will be particularly relevant to new wedding photographers which require an insight into a typical day of a wedding and an approach to the timelines which they will be facing during a wedding day.

The below descriptions are mostly related to wedding in Malta, however the main concepts will apply across the world, since the main timelines of weddings is the below.  The below timeline however changes significantly for Indian weddings, as these are celebrations which typically span over 2 or 3 days and have different rites and ceremonies which need to be incorporated in the timeline.

Preparation phase

Since I always love to meet both the groom and bride before the wedding day and want to shoot all the imagery myself, I do not normally use a second shooter.  For this reason, during the first consultation meeting I make this clear to the bride and groom and together we create the timeline of the coverage.  I start the timeline with the ceremony and then build the series of events based on this.

Groom followed by Bride preparation 

I typically start at the groom house and allow myself around 1 hour for this part of the coverage.  Normally at the groom’s house or location, I cover the groomsmen just chilling out, then cover the groomsmen wearing their shirts, shoes and jacket.  This is followed by some portraits of the groom and then a cheer or drink with his friends.

I then travel to the bride who normally is getting ready in another location.  The bride normally wants me to shoot some images with her bridesmaids in their informal outfits.  At the bride I typically cover the wedding details (such as rings, dress and jewellery), the makeup, then the final parts of the dressing up and then some bride portraits. As per my style I love to just cover the moments as they happen, however in this part of the wedding day I do have some minor editorial feel where I move some elements around if necessary.

For this preparation part, I normally use closer focal lengths such as the 20mm and the 35mm and set up an off-camera flash strategically if needed. However, I try to use as much window light as possible, particularly for portraits.


I then travel to the ceremony, around 15 minutes before the bride leaves her location.  This gives me enough time for me to arrive at the ceremony location and make myself ready for the bride entrance.  In this part of the wedding day, where the emotions are high, I take a very low key during the wedding and simply observe and take a complete documentary approach.

Although I love closer focal lengths, I do use my 85mm lens more during this part of the wedding day in view that at times it is not possible to get too close to the scene.  The main moments to capture are definitely the bride’s entrance, the groom’s first look at the bride, the highlights of the ceremony, the first kiss, the exchange of the vows and the couple exit from the church.

We usually also follow this up with some couple portraits.  The location of these portraits may vary based on what the couple wishes and the time we have available.


Once we arrive at the reception location, after the couple entry, I usually tackle the formal group photos immediately.   This is the only moment where I ask the couple for assistance since I do not know the list of formals the couple wishes to have.

Following this part, I will look at the timeline of the day to make sure that I do not miss any of the highlights of the day.  Usually they include speeches, the bride and groom talking to the guests, the cake cutting and the first dance.  During these moments, I will try to find some time to replenish my energy as I then prepare to document the higher moments of energy during the dancing moments.  The dancing moments are for me and my photography style, one of the highlights of the wedding day since people are just enjoying themselves and having fun.  

During this part of the wedding day, I will get closer to the action and during the dancing part of the wedding day I do use my wideangle lens. 


In conclusion, I hope that this comprehensive guide for wedding photographers, offering insights into the typical wedding day, effective shooting techniques, and a recommended timeline is useful for you as an aspiring wedding photographer. 

My expertise and passion for capturing the essence of weddings shine through in his advice, making this a valuable resource for both novice and experienced photographers alike. By following his tips and incorporating his approach, wedding photographers can capture stunning images that truly reflect the joy and emotion of the special occasion.