Wedding + Portrait

Polaroid Wedding Moments: After the Champagne Tower

June 11, 2024

By Abbey Pleviak

Just as love, film is romantic, imperfect, and honest. These are the moments Mexico-based photographer and Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Star Anna Sauza endeavors to capture when she switches from digital to film when shooting weddings. Sauza has been shooting weddings for almost five years, and in the last two, she has achieved her goal of adding film photography, including Polaroid wedding shots, into her repertoire. It has become one of her trademarks that all her couples ask for.  

© Anna Sauza

Capturing the Perfect Polaroid Wedding Moment 

Rangefinder recently asked Sauza to share an image that excites her and epitomizes her photography right now. The image she shared is one of her all-time favorites – when the bride Camillia leaves the champagne tower for the dance floor. Sauza says, “I don’t like to pose my couples, and I always work with them to create and capture spontaneous, raw moments and their unique way to love each other.”  

For this moment, Sauza wanted to capture the beautifully illuminated courtyard with its strings of warm lights and a disco ball floating above the pool. She says, “I had the idea to take this photo with that background and instead of posing her in a certain way, I waited and got my shot when she was passing exactly where I wanted her to be.” When the bride came dancing by with champagne in hand, she caught the perfect moment. 

© Anna Sauza

Tips to Capture Polaroid Wedding Photos 

When shooting on film, the stakes are high. There are no digital backups, and shooting Polaroid increases the challenge of capturing a technically well shot image that is also artistic and emotional. It’s important to be intentional with each shot, and there are other factors to keep in mind to be successful with this type of shooting. Here are Sauza’s top tips for capturing Polaroid shots at weddings. 

  1. Always bring more than enough Polaroid film to a wedding, so you can be totally creative and experiment with your shots. 
  1. If you want to take a photo at night with flash, you should be close enough to your subject so that the strength of the light is enough to illuminate them but not too much to overexpose them. 
  1. Most importantly, choose those unique and special moments when you should shoot with a Polaroid (or any other instant or film camera). It will make your work much more special when your clients see it and much more challenging, interesting, and inspiring for you. 
© Anna Sauza

Spontaneous, Romantic, Editorial 

One of Sauza’s goals as a professional wedding photographer is to shoot 100% on film. These days, she still shoots digital, but for almost every wedding, she also incorporates film, including the Polaroid Now Camera, Canon Camera AE-1 / 35 mm format, Kodak Ektar H35 Half Frame Camera / 35 mm format, the Yashica Camera MAT-124 G / Medium format, and the Leica R4. 

Sauza says being asked by her clients to shoot their weddings on film “has been a great dream come true that inspires me every time.” Capturing these rare, unique moments – like when Camillia had just changed into her party dress and makes her way to the dance floor – inspires her to set up perfect captures of these fleeting, romantic moments in her editorial style. She says, “I am still on this path and look forward to experimenting and learning more.”

Follow along with Sauza’s evolving artistic expertise by following her on InstagramView the full gallery of Rangefinder’s 30 Rising Stars of 2024.


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