Tips to Photographers new to shooting weddings!
Below are 14 of the best tips to make sure you are fully prepared to take on shooting weddings!!
Scout Locations: Visit your wedding venues beforehand to identify the best spots for photos. Knowing the layout and lighting conditions can make a significant difference. You can event pre shoot detail photos of the outside of the venue and save you time on the wedding day.
Meet the Couple: Build a personal connection with the couple. This starts by scheduling EVERY couple a consultation. Get to know their personalities, preferences, and any special moments they want to capture. This will help you create a more personalized experience.
Create a Shot List: Collaborate with the couple to create a shot list. This list should include essential shots, family group photos, and any creative or unique ideas they have in mind. Makes sure you ask for any photos they absolutely do NOT want as well.
Plan the Timeline: Work with the couple and the wedding planner to create a realistic timeline for the day. Make sure there's enough time for portraits and candid shots without rushing. ALWAYS schedule down time in your day to account for hiccups, or jittery nerves in your couples.
Lighting is Key: Understand lighting and how it affects your photos. Be prepared to work with natural light, but also bring the necessary equipment for low-light conditions. Consult your couple and the officiant to confirm if flash is or is not allowed at the ceremony.
Capture Emotions: Focus on candid moments and genuine emotions. These often make the most cherished photos, so be ready to capture laughter, tears, and spontaneous expressions. Give guidance if needed but do not over direct and interfere with the moment.
Stay Calm and Flexible: Weddings can be hectic, so it's crucial to remain calm and adaptable. Be prepared for unexpected changes and stay in control of your equipment. No matter how stressed you may get, don't let your couple notice. You want them to see you as cool, calm, and collected so that they stay calm as well. Insure them that all weddings have hiccups and that their vendors will take good care of them.
Use a Second Shooter: If possible, work with a second photographer. Especially if you are really new. This can help cover more angles and moments, ensuring you don't miss anything important. They also serve as a second set of hands to fluff the dress and adjust your couple.
Be Discreet: During the ceremony and other intimate moments, be as inconspicuous as possible. This allows you to capture natural reactions without distracting the couple or guests. A zoom lens is best for moments such as the ceremony, first look, vow readings, first dance, cake cutting etc. This will ensure that you can capture these moments while you do not block anyone's view.
Post-Processing Skills: Invest time in post-processing to enhance your photos. Editing can help bring out the best in your shots and maintain a consistent style. Invest in a good culling program to help you sort through your RAW images. This will significantly speed up your work flow when sorting through thousands of photos.
Back Up Your Equipment: Always have backup camera bodies, lenses, and memory cards on hand. Technical issues and accidents can happen, and being prepared is essential. I've had my camera strap break causing my camera to fall to the ground( luckily this was on grass). I've had one of my camera bodies malfunction during a ceremony, and I've had a second shooter who's flash fell off their camera and shattered on the floor. I have also filled up memory cards and needed back ups, and had memory cards malfunction half way through the reception. You name it and I've probably dealt with it.
Wardrobe Considerations: Dress appropriately for the occasion. You should look professional and blend in with the guests while still being comfortable. Do not wear a thick blazer if it going to be an outside wedding in the middle of summer. Bring a jacket and hand warmers if it is winter. NEVER WEAR WHITE of any shade.
Contracts and Agreements: Make sure you have a clear and legally binding contract with the couple. It should outline your services, fees, and expectations to avoid any misunderstandings.
Continuous Learning: Stay updated with the latest photography techniques and trends. Attend workshops, shadow other photographers that offer that service( LIKE ME!!), watch tutorials, and practice to improve your skills. Understand that no one photographer knows it all. That includes you in 4 years after shooting 50+ weddings. We all learn something new everyday and we all have room to grow!
Entering into the world of wedding photography can be scary, but remember is not just about taking pictures; it's about capturing the love, emotions, and memories of a couple's special day. Being professional and knowledgeable while also being friendly and flexible. These 14 tips can help you excel in such a rewarding career! I BELIEVE IN YOU AND SO SHOULD YOU!!
OKLAHOMA WEDDING & ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER
I’m an Oklahoma Wedding, Elopement, & Engagement Photographer and would love to chat with you about a mentorship! Get in touch about shadowing my weddings and engagement sessions today!