Becoming an established wedding photographer is not all about photography. In fact, that is just a tip of the iceberg. Good photography skills only accounts for 30% of the package, the other 70% includes:
- Ability to built rapport with other people and become everyone’s best friend.
- Ability to solve problems before they develop horns e.g. car breakdown, mother in law fainting etc.
- Ability to make quick decisions and a convincing voice that it is the right thing to do.
- Being the best entertainer in the bridal party; crack jokes, play games, great pose etc.
- Being flexible and lots more.
A good wedding retains the most dazzling moments in one’s lifetime. The flowers, the cakes, the music, the venue the guests but what makes the memories last forever is the creative photographs. Unfortunately, there are so many amateur photographers posing as professionals. Novice photographers can tell you that shooting a wedding is one of the toughest assignments that a photographer can take. If you are new to photography, then this article is the Holy Grail, the mother of all beginners guide to photography.
10 Golden Wedding Photography Tips
Wedding Photography Tip # 1: Wear Comfy Shoes
This may seem obvious, but as a photographer, you are going to walk faster than never before. The trending “sharp pointed” shoes might do a great job at the reception, but out there they will make you look like an amateur of the rarest kind. The essence of comfy shoes is to add flexibility. At times, you will need to lie down, slide or even pose at an angle that will elicit laughter in order to capture every detail. A good photographer should take pride not feel shy at what they do.
Wedding Photography Tips # 2: Know Your Gear Inside Out
This is a $100 point that will help you avoid drama on the big day. What does it imply? Examine your camera and ensure that you are conversant with all the settings and modes. Get to know the settings available on your lenses and the circumstances that call for adjustments of settings, the image stabilizer, and the shutter speed. Once you are sure that you are good to go, get a friend and practice shooting at various lighting conditions. Take photos in the backyard where there is shade and see the outcome of the various camera adjustments. Take photos with the sun behind the subject and determine the best settings. This way, you will not have to struggle to decide the setting to use under various light conditions on the big day.
Wedding Photography Tips # 3: Write and Memorize a Short List of What to Do
This is very practical and many professional wedding photographers have seen it work. Write a short list of what to do at every location and even memorize it. This helps to ensure that you don’t miss out on any important photos. For instance, the list could contain the following:
Glooms shot list
- Tie and Cufflinks
- Ask the groom for any addition that he would want captured
Bride coverage Shot list
- Bride facing the camera
- Bride back-dress show off
- Bride holding or looking down at the flowers
- Bride walking
Bride and Groom Together
- Looking at each other
- Holding each other’s hand
- Kissing and hugging
- Bride hugging groom from behind
- Groom decently carrying the bride
For every scene, try to make it as detailed as possible. Note the background and cut off the scenes that are not appealing. Let the photos be arranged in a chronological order and this will make it very easy when it comes to designing the wedding album.
Wedding Photography Tips # 4: That “Hidden” Moment
It’s a common fallacy in photography that unexpected moments produce the best portraits and wedding photography is no exception. Keep an eye on those moments behind the scenes that will impact smiles on the faces of whoever sets their eyes on those photos. Some incredible moments includes:
- Bride cat walking or walking like a model
- Bride’s nephews dancing behind the scenes
- Couples wielding sentimental attachments towards each other
- Bride playing with the kids
- Groom having fun with his cronies
Do not shoot photos of people eating. They look awkward and no one will ever thank you for them. However, it is advisable to take photos of the food and snacks available. At this time, you should also give the camera a break and a grab a cup of cappuccino.
Wedding Photography tips # 5: Make Use of the Wind
The wind has the ability to make things look stunning especially when effortlessly floating in the air. Be wise and use this as an opportunity to beautify your portraits. The brides dress, for instance, can look so engrossing when its pattern hover steadily in the gushing breeze. The flowers look so awe-inspiring if blown where there is wind, use this to take a quick snap of the scenario. You have to be very smart here as a lot of movement may cause blur. You also have to be very careful when the changing the lens on a DSLR as dirt may find its way into the camera.
Wedding Photography Tips # 5: Shoot Photos of the Venue before the Event
According to the Butterfly effect, a small change in the occurrence of an event, or a change in the way things are done can have a radical impact capable of changing the course of the universe forever. Applied to photography, taking photos of the beautified venue can transform the career of the photographer forever. If you share some of the photos with the owner of the venue or allow for posting in their blogs, you will end up getting referrals after referrals. The very fact that you are promoting the venue as an ideal wedding palace will also make the owner promote you as a professional wedding photographer.
Wedding Photography Tips # 6: Don’t run out of juice
Do not be tempted to think that a single battery can last for a whole day. Head over to Amazon and get a second battery for as little as $20. Check also your memory space so as not to run out of memory before the event is over. I recommend high-end cameras like Nikon D7000 that have dual card slots. This is a good insurance and you don’t have to worry about running out. Running out before the event is over can be frustrating and can also cause damage to your reputation.
Wedding Photography Tips # 7: Get out of the way
As a wedding photographer it is important to know that the day is about them but not about you. The couples want a photographer who is respectful and cheerful. You can take too many photos even when you are not at the site. Yes, it’s possible to be everywhere though invisible at the same time. How do you achieve this? By use of a powerful or a high-end camera that can take long shots. There are some things that people will never do if they know that they are being captured on camera, you have to use your skills as a photographer to ensure that you don’t miss a shot by being absent physically. You also have to give the couples some privacy and take a long shot where necessary.
Wedding Photography Tips # 8: Be Realistic with your Schedule
Trust me, everything will take longer than you expected on the wedding day. From the reception, misplaced vows, rain, terrible traffic, mishaps that always happen and the list is endless. The trick is to set a schedule that leaves extra time for all the unavoidable circumstances. Yes, it’s a crazy world. No matter the preparation these frustrations will always happen. The keyword is preparation, preparation and more preparation. When you are ready to embrace whatever is thrown at you, you will have a very successful day.
Wedding Photography Tips # 9: Make Friends with the Planners
This is very critical towards the success of your photography as a photographer. The planners did not only plan the wedding but also organized everything that is to happen on the big day. They not only know the wedding program but also know where and what time each event is to happen. Making friends with the organizers will tip you about who is supposed to be where and when so that you capture all the photos at the right place and at the right time. It also helps to ensure that you don’t miss any important moment.
Wedding Photography Tips # 10: Have Fun
Weddings are about celebrating and enjoying life, you should have fun. The more you have fun and comical you are, the more the people will want to be around you. When taking photos, suggest the best posing positions, point out humorously when uncle Bob refuses to smile, keep the people engaged all you can. If you do a great job here, chances are that those who will like you will refer you or invite you to be their wedding photographer. Successful wedding photographers have learned how to enjoy their career and have fun. It is what makes you love what you do.