Wedding Photography

A Wedding Photography Survival Guide

Are you thinking about expanding your photography business to include weddings? If so, congratulations! You are about to embark on a whirlwind journey! Weddings can be profitable and fun, but remember, they can be a lot of work too, and aren’t for the faint of heart!…

A Wedding Photography Survival Guide 1Doing weddings is a really fun way to expand your photography business. They are emotional events that will be fondly remembered by everyone. However, such momentous occasions have their own problems that can cause big headaches for the photographer. With emotional events come family tensions, anxious brides, parents who want everything done just-so, drunk guests, and little choice in the photographic setting. Therefore, the subject of this article is how to prepare to capture the big day! You will find that every bit of preparation will be well worth your time.

Before the big day: the Consultation

Make sure you sit down and talk with the bride, groom, and anyone else who is involved in the wedding planning. Do this well before the day of the event. This is their time to tell you what they want, but you need to get this information out of them. Ask what kind of shots they’d like: do they want candid, photojournalistic shots, or would they like every picture posed? Which specific shots (of who, and where) do they want? Make some suggestions to give them ideas.

I suggest writing all of this in a small notebook along with all the other details about the wedding. Make sure to bring the list of must-have shots with you on the big day.

At this consultation, you also need to express your requirements to your customers. ALWAYS have them sign a contract, or you will end up with difficulties. Make sure they understand the fees for the particular package they have chosen, and whether it is an hourly or flat fee. Discuss the schedule of the ceremony and reception, and let them know how much time you will need at each point to get all the shots they’ve requested.

Lastly, use this opportunity to get all the relevant information from the couple. This includes information about all wedding locations: addresses, phone numbers, and directions for the reception hall, the church, and the bride’s home, if needed. How many guests will be present? How large is the wedding party? What type of reception will there be? Here are some extra wedding photography tips.

What type of wedding will it be?

If it is a religious wedding, there may be specific traditional shots that should be taken at some points in the ceremony. The couple may assume you know what these are, so it is best to ask.

Who will be included in the shots?

In order to avoid awkward situations and get a complete set of photographs, you should ask some probing questions about family relationships. This will save both you and the wedding party some embarrassment! For example, are the mother and father of the bride married (likewise for the groom’s parents)? Are step-parents or step-brothers and -sisters attending? Do either the bride or groom have children? Make sure that nobody close to the couple is left out of the photographs.

Before the big day: Planning

Make a check list of equipment and use it! Don’t forget to test all of your equipment and bring backups of everything. This is extremely important; if you need to run back to the studio to get additional equipment you could hold up hundreds of people on an important day.

Take a moment to figure out how many shots you should take to be able to offer the couple enough proofs for their package. With the advent of digital photography, you no longer have to worry about running out of film. However, I advise you to take more memory cards than you think you will need!

I also suggest going on a road trip. Visit all the wedding locations before the big day so you know the locations and travel times. You can also use this opportunity to investigate the lighting in the various sites and even do some test shots. (Keep in mind that flash photography might not be allowed during a church service.) Find the best angles for your shots, keeping in mind the time of day of the ceremony.

All of this preparation will save you a lot of stress during the actual event and will make the couple’s day even happier. If the couple and their family are pleased with your work, they will gladly recommend you to their friends. In addition, weddings are a great chance to give out a few business cards and meet folks who will soon need a photographer for that wedding/family portrait/graduation in their own family!

Wedding Photography Must Have List – If you are thinking of doing wedding photography properly, you need to know about preparing invoices correctly, wedding poses or posing the bridal party and couple. Then there are things you must know like; extended time agreements, the photographers contract, skilled thank-you letters (you want more business later from this – right?), and a tactful photographer’s deposit reminder. It would be wise to have a better and more detailed wedding photography checklist than this helpful though basic list above. A wedding photography website is also a must and there are templates specifically for that purpose available.

Here’s one of the few places we know of that can help with all the above at this link – at the very least it gives a good idea of what you should be looking for if you would like a clear blueprint. This wedding photography blueprint is perhaps the best resource to make the most out of your wedding-photography-business I know at present.

..all the best,
Ray Baker

PS. If the links above break for some reason, use this link below –