Digital Wedding Photography 101

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  • 18
  • 38
    Exams &
  • 9
    average time
  • 0.9

Course Description

During the past five years, digital photography has grown by leaps and bounds. It is now considered so sophisticated that traditional film photography is fast becoming an artifact by many professional photographers.  In fact, 90% of wedding photographers are shooting digitally.


This course on Digital Wedding Photography will give you advice from experts, provide startegies for interviewing potential clients, review lighting techniques, help you make purchasing equipment decisions and suggest ways to manage and edit your images.  Additional topics of discussion include:


-     Photojournalism.

Photojournalism has, for a number of years, been the popular choice and has dominated the industry. And yet, today's photographers have no problem with posing an image, as long as the results look unposed and emotion filled. Today's photography is moving more toward fine-art imagery and like any artist, photographers throw the traditional rules aside and push their creativity.

-     Old Trends.

The popular saying "History repeats itself" is true as a recent development of formal posing techniques proves with the popularity and resurgence in group portraits. Traditionalists still stand by the tried and true because they evoke a period of elegance.

-     Current Trends.

Bridal magazines display the latest trends and poses that are as diverse as the wedding gowns worn by today's brides. Digital wedding photography is a passion revered by many, and while this course is intended to be a guide to the many aspects of wedding photography, individuality and self-expression is the key to the skilled professional.

-     Other topics.

Other topics will include the process of photo editing,  popular shots, the wedding photographers checklist,  marketing strategies, and much more.


Digital photography is here to stay and improving at record pace.  Professional photographers are reaping the advantages, and with the choice of both digital and traditional photography, the best of both worlds can be experienced.

Even today, with digital photojournalism taking over the world of photography, traditional wedding photography is still being practiced. More than five years ago, half of wedding photographers shot with film. Today, 90 percent shoot their pictures digitally. In fact, many other styles of photography are evolving from the digital world.

Think back to the posed bride and groom, her upright and clutching her bouquet with the "cheesey" smile, and him also upright and leaning in toward his new bride. Can you picture it? In this early style everything was orchestrated toward classical posing techniques. Today's weddings are meant to be a joyous occasion filled with spontaneity and fun.

It is for this very reason wedding photojournalists came to be. They rebelled against the classical lighting and posing, and strove to document the true essence of the day. Pay close attention and you might notice filmmaking techniques in the wedding album.
In recent years, wedding photography has reached the pinnacle of being recognized as a lucrative true art form. Along with this acknowledgement of the photojournalist is the belief that capturing the intimate and carefree moments of the day as the events unfold is the best way for the photographer to work discreetly; that the real way to produce creative photography is to respect and avail themselves of the creative refinements of the classic photos.
To establish yourself as a serious photographer cannot be accomplished unless you overcome your fear of change and welcome the future. Ask yourself the following:

  • Are you technophobic and overly anxious by technology?
  • Are you content to stay in your comfort zone?
  • Do you view film as your safety net and distrust digital images?
  • Do you fear change?
  • Do you fear being proactive with competitors?


If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, perhaps portrait photography would be your calling. Above all, you want to capture your client's trust. Simply put, a wedding photographer needs to trust that their digital camera will perform. A client needs to trust their photographer will perform.

People want to look as good as can be on the wedding photos. When film is used, eventually people will notice the imperfections, fine lines, oily skin or the hotel kitchen in the background. If you cannot eliminate these flaws, your work will become less marketable and your hands are tied. By going digital, you can open all the doors to become a successful wedding photographer.

Take the digital journey offered in this course. You cannot become an authoritative leader within your industry by staying in the dark ages.

The Evolution of the Digital Camera

By now, you have probably accepted that owning a digital camera is empowering for both your business and personal life. The advantages to going digital give you more creative control, lowers your processing and proof expenses and offers a more refined and flawless result.

As you move away from film you may notice the increased time and effort in being a totally digital operation. Today, fresh concepts and new workflows for image editing continue to evolve. New software and hardware are helping to simplify the process.

Adobe Photoshop has played an active role in the modern changes of wedding photography. No longer must the photographer develop prints in a darkroom. Now, the comfort of home or office is within reach of all photographers. Take the bold step. Rather than copy the works and ideas of successful photographers, try to forge new and creative ground of your own and continue to grow technically and artistically. Work toward making your work innovative, fresh, clear and insightful.

Just as the art and technology of photography helps you develop a positive wedding environment, you must also decide if you will remain proactive or reactive. Proactive photographers are open to change, think beyond the comfort zone and perfect the use of digital technology. Proactive photographers believe that capturing the motion of the moment is the important aspect. The reactive approach is a kind of knee-jerk reaction to what is happening during the ceremony and reception and posing the individuals in the usual way. Many photographers still prefer to use a combination of posed and digital photos. This has a number of advantages for the wedding photographer who prefers a more modified approach of taking photos, however, still wants to capture the emotion and emulate the style of photography that is seen in modern-day bridal magazines. 

The Digital Wedding Today

Today's wedding photographer must consider the wishes of the bride and groom while tactfully making credible suggestions. If a bride is getting dressed in poor light, the photographer may say, "Can you sit by the window to capture the light?" These are the moments the photographer should anticipate. This happens with experience.

The move away from film to digital photos continues to be the most popular form of picture taking, aside from the increased time and effort in a completely digital environment. New techniques, software and hardware are becoming more sophisticated. Photographers spend more time perfecting each image whether group portraits or focusing on the bride, groom and wedding party.

Working as a wedding photographer requires many skills. To deliver the best photographs, you must be able to communicate, strategize and plan, focus on work flow and depict not only the anticipated but unpredictable moments. Scope out the places where you will be shooting to help you plan the composition of important shots. Learn to shoot from the hip so people won't know they are being photographed. Who knows? The bride and groom kissing in the corner may be your most memorable shot.
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Lesson 1 - The Progression of Wedding Photography

Even today, with digital photojournalism taking over the world of photography, traditional wedding photography is still being practiced. This first lesson will discuss how wedding photography has changed. 35 Total Points
  • Review Article: Camera Changes
  • Take Survey: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 1 - The Progression of Wedditing Photography

Lesson 2 - Learning the Craft of Digital Wedding Photography

A wedding photographer cannot afford to wait until fall when the aspens are changing and the fall colors for a photographer's dream make a perfect background. Planning is crucial to a successful shoot. This lesson will discuss the skills that a Digital We 33 Total Points
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 2 - Learning the Craft of Digital Wedding Photography

Lesson 3 - The Wedding Photographer's Approach

You'll want to lean toward more candid shots for the engagement photos. No doubt, mom and dad will want a cheek to cheek pose for themselves. The key is to establish interaction, relieve stress and put the couple at ease. 34 Total Points
  • Review Article: Wedding Photojournalism
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 3 - The Wedding Photographers Approach

Lesson 4 - Workroom and Essential Equipment

It goes without saying digital photography has become popular among many photographers with different levels of experience. The advantages can range from better image resolution, control and an easier post-production process. 31 Total Points
  • Review Article: Digital Wedding Photography Equipment
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 4 - Workroom and Essential Equipment

Lesson 5 - Camera style and Composition

When it comes to exposure, the wedding day poses the greatest extremes – a white wedding gown and a black tuxedo being the ultimate. 34 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Wedding Composition Tips; Composition "Rules"
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 5 - Camera style and Composition

Lesson 6 - Posing the Subject

The colors and play of sunlight in the background shows the photographer knows his/her stuff. It certainly looks like he/she gave understandable directions to the subject. 34 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Posing Wedding Groups; 20 Wedding Poses
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 6 - Posing the Subject

Lesson 7 - Group Portraits

Many of the group photos are a disappointment mainly to the photographer and frequently to those in the group. Did you notice that the photographer included his open kit in the shot? 32 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Photographing Groups; Taking Great Group Photos
  • Take Poll: Groups
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 7 - Group Portraits

Lesson 8 - All About Lighting

The key to understanding the correct indoor lighting and creating this in your photographs is to comprehend the single light concept. 33 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Wedding Photography Lighting Tips; Guide to Outdoor Lighting
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 8 - All About Lighting

Lesson 9 - Preparation and Planning

To avoid wedding mishaps, a stress-free wedding starts with preparation. Success depends on how well the photographer and clients prepare for the shoot. 34 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: The Preparation; Wedding Photography Preparation
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 9 - Preparation and Planning

Lesson 10 - The Wedding Day

Planning wedding photo shots is almost as important as planning the wedding, as the pictures will be a helpful reminder of that special day 35 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: 21 Wedding Photography Tips; Tips for Better Wedding Photography
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 10 - The Wedding Day

Lesson 11 - The Wedding Reception

This lesson will discuss many of the photographs and photography tips that take place during the wedding reception. 33 Total Points
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Chapter 11 - The Wedding Reception

Lesson 12 - How to Make Your Wedding Subjects Look Great

Tips on how to make the bride shine, images of the wedding attire, the rings, and other wedding ritual shots are discussed in this lesson. 33 Total Points
  • Review Article: Photographing the Bride
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 12 - Changing Your Subjects to Shine

Lesson 13 - The Wedding Photographer's Checklist

This lesson will discuss the wedding photography checklist as well as other preparation tools. 34 Total Points
  • Review Article: Wedding Photography Checklist
  • Take Poll: Preparation
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 13 - One Size Doesn't Fit All

Lesson 14 - Managing the Computer and Digital Camera

This lesson will discuss what wedding photographers must do after the pictures are taken and on your digital camera. 35 Total Points
  • Review Video: Converting Wedding Photos to B and W
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 14 - Managing the Computer and Digital Camera

Lesson 15 - Wedding Photography Package Ideas

Wedding Albums are almost a thing of the past. This lesson will discuss the emerging trend. 33 Total Points
  • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 15 - Tying Up Loose Ends

Lesson 16 - More Details on the Editing Process

Graphics editing programs can be expensive and difficult to use. This lesson will go over how you can try out some of the editing programs already available with your computer. 34 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Wedding Photography Tips; Wedding Photography 101
  • Complete: Lesson 16 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 16 - Let the Images Flow

Lesson 17 - Designing the Wedding Album

What makes album designing unique is to turn it into a creative design, which means no templates. This takes more time, but nevertheless this is an important service a wedding photographer should be able to provide. 34 Total Points
  • Review 3 Articles: Wedding Album Design; Three Examples; ISPWP
  • Complete: Lesson 17 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 17 - Designing the Wedding Album

Lesson 18 - Marketing Your Studio and Products

Before any business, including a photography business, can produce product, there must be the knowledge of whether there's a market for that product and how profitable it might be. 113 Total Points
  • Review Article: Direct Marketing Tips
  • Take Poll: Course Completion Poll: Your Thoughts
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Lesson 18 Assignment
  • Complete Exam: Lesson 18 - Marketing Your Studio and Products
  • Complete: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe the progression of wedding photography.
  • Describe learning the craft of digital wedding photography.
  • Describe the wedding photographer's approach.
  • Identify workroom and essential equipment.
  • Summarize camera style and composition.
  • Demonstrate posing the subject.
  • Describe group portraits.
  • Describe lighting techniques when doing digital wedding photography.
  • Summarize preparation and planning.
  • Describe the wedding day and what to expect as a wedding photographer.
  • Summarize the wedding reception and what to expect as a wedding photographer.
  • Summarize techniques on how to make your wedding subjects look great.
  • Define the wedding photographer's checklist.
  • Describe managing the computer and digital camera.
  • Identify wedding photography package ideas.
  • Demonstrate designing the wedding album.
  • Summarize marketing your studio and products for future wedding photographer clients, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
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Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Digital Wedding Photography 101
Course Number: 7550549
Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: How To (Self-Paced, Online Class)
CEU Value: 0.9 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $70.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $95.00

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