Wedding planning by its very nature keeps everyone involved on high stress alert where each little detail seems emotionally charged. Nowhere is this more evident than with the photography. Each bride feels like she is princess for the day, and when you deliver the pictures to her, Heaven help you if she doesn’t look like she is!
These are some basic wedding photography tips for those inexperienced photographers who are interested in capturing their first wedding on film. Be forewarned that you cannot take on this project lightly, and you only get one chance to do it right. There are no re-takes. (Indemnity insurance is also not a bad idea). Those things being said, there are some ways to make sure that you get all the shots the happy couple wants, and look like the star photographer that they’ll happily recommend to all their friends.
Plan your work, and work your plan
Preparation is absolutely essential to making sure you are successful in this job. In fact, you might spend as much time scouting venues and talking with the couple beforehand as you actually do in shooting their wedding. How do you prepare for the big day?
Here are some wedding photography tips:
- Make a shot list. Having a handy checklist that you can keep in your pocket and check off as the day goes on will ease your anxiety tremendously. Have the couple sit down and make a list of every shot they absolutely must have, including where- at the church or the reception, or both; and who should be in each picture. (Of course, you’ll want to shoot three or four of each and pick the best.) You’ll also want the couple to introduce you to a family liaison who will help to round up Aunt Sally for you when it’s her turn to be photographed.
- Before the wedding day arrives, you should know exactly how to get to the church and to the reception hall. You also should check out both places, and any others where the couple has asked for photos to be taken, to see what the lighting is like, and also locate places in both which would be particularly suitable for taking special photos.
- Make sure you have the proper equipment including backups in case of equipment failure, and you must be expert and comfortable using all of it. Your camera should be a 35mm SLR camera or an 8 megapixel digital SLR, at a minimum, along with numerous lenses- super wide angle and medium telephoto, most importantly. Be sure to turn off any sound-producing mechanisms as well-at the wedding, silence is golden. Likewise, no flash!
The Big Day has Arrived
You’ve planned and prepared, and now it’s show time! Gather all of your equipment; load it into your van, round up your assistant, (you have one, right?) and your extra batteries, and you’re off.
- First stop: the bride’s house. You will want to get pictures of her and her mother getting ready, the bridesmaids, the dress hanging up, the bouquet, mock shots of them all leaving for the church. Then get out of their way, for pandemonium is sure to strike at any moment!
- Move on to the church (or perhaps it’s beach wedding photography) and get some shots of the groom and his best man waiting outside, maybe take some candid shots of guests arriving at the church.
- Shoot small details that might seem inconsequential-like the rings, her shoes, the candles at the front of the church, a detail on her dress. These things can make for great pictures in the albums.
- During the ceremony, try and get shots from as many different angles as possible, without being intrusive. Move around a few times, but try to stay out of Grandma’s way, or you will be in trouble!
- Don’t delete shots from your digital camera. They may not look really good in that tiny little screen, but on the computer, they may be fixable and good pictures.
- During the reception, you’ll at least want pictures of the cake, the bride and groom entering, and each set of parents entering the hall. After that, candid shots of everybody relaxing are great.
Hopefully, with these wedding photography tips, your first wedding shoot was a smashing success, you have some beautiful photos for your wedding portfolio, and you are now on your way to becoming an experienced, in-demand wedding photographer!
If you’re keen to specialize in wedding photography, then like every other successful wedding photographer, you’ll need to invest in yourself, follow proven steps and read. There’s more to this than having a list of potential poses. That’s why the professional wedding photographers rarely run out of work, they’re in demand! You should be aiming for the same – plan to place yourself in a position of being in demand! That said, check these few articles for some extra tips and make sure you see the two guides I’ve made available below them. If you can’t get both guides, at least get one to start!
- wedding photography poses – a list
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.
PS. If the links above break for some reason, use this link below –