How do you photograph the Wedding Reception?
Every wedding reception I have been to is very different in regards to the procedure, but it's very apparent that this is when the party starts! Often I get to the wedding reception after the portraits while all your friends and guests are outside socialising, and I photograph all the untouched details of your wedding reception (cake, decorations and room layout) so I can showcase the atmosphere and build a mood through the photos.
If you have any quiet moments during your wedding reception then I sometimes ask guests if they require any mini-group photographs of them and other guests, this usually only lasts a few seconds but creates some fantastic pictures of your guests without eating into the formal photographs time.
I treat the reception similar to how I handle the cocktail hour, I observe and capture the guests talking to each other seated at tables or having a joke at the bar until I've caught most of the guests socialising. Once everyone is up and dancing after your first dance, I get right into the middle of the action and photograph everyone within proximity getting some energetic photographs of your guests dancing.
I never leave a wedding until I am 100% satisfied that your wedding day has been told to my best ability and also ask you, 30 minutes before going, if there is anything else that you require or if there's anything you think I have missed.
If you have a DJ, please request them to turn off any crazy, laser or strange coloured lights for your first dance, these lights will leave your skin looking unattractive and multicoloured, after the first dance you can tell your DJ to turn on the light show.
If your reception is held outside then, it'll be a good idea to think about lighting the area. This can be achieved by using natural looking warm bulbs; you'll find that Italian string lights are a beautiful way to add lots of light plus bokeh (out of focus orbs in the background, so some of my photographs) to your pictures, they're ideal for creating borders around dance floors.
If you like the look of night-time portraits, then I would suggest booking a 10 minutes window for these once all the formalities of your wedding reception is over, this allows you to step aware from the craziness and have one last portrait.