7 Crucial Shots to Get When Photographing Wedding Invitations
Like we talked about in the Flat Lay Blog Series, capturing details for clients (or for your own portfolio) is such a valuable skill, and one that clients and potential clients will look for and appreciate. There are so many elements that go into planning a wedding: venue, caterer, photographer, attire, entertainment, stationery, rings, vows, videography…I mean, the list goes on and on. When you can accurately capture all of the details that support and make up the big day, that’s a big deal! And I’m here to help with the stationery side of things. Without further ado, here are the seven shots you should always capture when photographing wedding invitations!
I’m not here to tell you exactly how to style and photograph shots—if you want more direction in that, be sure to check out the Flat Lay Blog Series I just published! Instead, this list is meant to provide a general shot list of things that are worth capturing when photographing stationery. How you style, photograph, and edit, should enhance the main subject, but at the end of the day is up to you and your aesthetic.
Pro Tip: Ask your couple/STATIONER what they love most about their invitations, then feature that element in the photos!
1. Entire Suite, Just Cards and Envelopes
The first, most basic shot to ALWAYS get is one of the entire suite. Depending on the design, the suite may include things like wraps, ribbons, bellybands, etc, and while these elements are a huge part overall, you want to capture a shot of just the cards and envelopes, too. Show off the little details, like type choice, calligraphy, and any illustrations.
2. Entire Suite, with Embellishments
Once you have photographed the backbone of the suite, add in all the fun extras! Maybe the suite was wrapped with hand-dyed silk ribbon or held in a printed vellum wrap. Maybe there’s an illustrated envelope liner or custom wax seal. Style all the elements together for one big shot. There should be at least a few full width shots, but feel free to capture close ups from this big styling.
3. Main Invitation Card
The main invitation card is the heart of it all. It’s the piece that sets the tone for everything else. Capture it in a close up! This doesn’t need to be a shot of just the card on a blank background—definitely style it up (and even feel free to capture it in a close up of the styling from #2). This shot is one that so many people forget about, but when there’s a few photos dedicated to the main piece, your clients will thank you for it.
4. Envelope Addressing and Postage
Whether their addressing is digitally printed, calligraphed, or personally written by hand, envelopes are a great thing to capture. No matter which method they’ve chosen, addressing is a labor intensive thing, and there’s a lot of time and care that goes into it. Calligraphy adds elegance and refinement, printed addressing can include a ton of unique details (like illustrations or spot calligraphy), and hand addressing shows a sample of their handwriting—something kids and grandkids may like seeing years down the road.
My grandmother hand wrote each one of her wedding invitations (not just the envelopes, but the cards, too)! I got a chance to see those in person this past summer when visiting her, and it was really amazing! Those kinds of details—even if they aren’t expensive or particularly fancy—are the ones that make a suite special. So be sure to take photographs of them.
5. Assembled Invitation Suite
Any good designer knows the most important thing in an invitation suite is its function, so how it’s assembled is a huge part of the the overall design! Whether it’s wrapped up in vellum, ribbon, or thread, sealed with wax, or even if it’s just the cards themselves, capture the suite all assembled, as if guests just opened it out the envelope.
PRO TIP: WHEN STYLING THE “ASSEMBLED” LOOK, PLAY WITH HOW THE SUITE INTERACTS WITH THE ENVELOPE!
6. Save the Date
The Save the Date is a huge part of wedding paper goods. In fact, it’s the piece guests have for the longest, so it just may be what they remember most of the stationery! Be sure to have the save the date in the mix! Pair it with its envelope and embellishments, and give it its own shots—close up and full width.
7. Couple Holding Invitation at Waist
Like I said in the Flat Lay Blog Series, flat lays can photograph…well, flat. Change things up a little by having the couple hold the main invitation card at their waist for a few shots. This also is another way of adding context to the suite. While contextual clues can definitely be added in to a flat lay, seeing the couple and their attire/accessories tell a whole other side of the story.
When getting these shots, keep your own photographic and brand style in mind. Your clients (and potential clients) will hire you for that, so add your own spin and have fun with the process!