How to Photograph a Wedding Like a Professional

21/10/2019 2:08 PM

Wondering how to get into wedding photography, but don’t know where to start?
We spoke to professional wedding photographer Ben Connolly to find out his top wedding photography tips and tricks, as well as photography equipment he recommends.
“As a professional photographer I shoot a lot of different types of photographs, but I found early on that weddings were my forte,” says Ben.
“The beauty of weddings is that there will always be situations when you’ll take on something that is not familiar to you,” he continues. “This is good...embrace it!” “I have a couple of tips for any wedding photographers out there or photographers thinking that weddings might be your ticket to working in the photography industry”.
If this sounds like you, keeping reading for Ben’s 4 essential tips to beautiful wedding photography.


1. Find your motivation

How to Photograph a Wedding Like a Pro

If you’re looking at how to be a wedding photographer Ben says to ask yourself “why are you choosing this job?”. “Your ‘why’ is the reason you’ll get out of bed every day and push to be the best you can be,” he explains. “There is no right or wrong when it comes to your ‘why’ it simply has to be powerful enough to keep you focused”.


2. Follow the 6-step wedding photography checklist

“The following 6 steps are not new or groundbreaking,” says Ben. “But they are actions you need to take in order to shoot and sell great quality images”.

Light

“Lighting is the first step to any photograph, look for light before anything else,” says Ben.

Location

According to Ben, the best setting for wedding photography is the one with the best light. “Don't be seduced by a nice background,” he warns. “If you skip step 1, chances are you have to go back to it”.

Direction

“When directing your subject you need to give them a reason to be in that particular scene so that your photograph looks natural and un-posed,” explains Ben.

Ben emphasises that everyone wants to look their best on their wedding day. Make sure to adapt the poses in your wedding photography shot list to highlight strengths and hide any weaknesses.

Technique

Ben has a 4 step process for how to take good wedding photos:

  • Select the lowest ISO you can get away with
  • Choose your white balance
  • Choose your aperture setting
  • Dial in your shutter speed to get the correct exposure

How to Photograph a Wedding Like a Pro

Learning how to use manual mode will help you take good wedding photos. It gives you an understanding of how different settings affect different outcomes.

Expression

“Use that great personality of yours,” encourages Ben. “Test your subjects to see what you can get away with, but always be respectful”.

He adds that showing them photos as you go gains their trust and helps them go with the flow.

The result? Must-have wedding photos your clients love.

Story

“Telling a story with your photographs is wonderful for family and friends and essential if you're planning on making a living out of photography,” says Ben. “Having a story in mind or an idea of how an album will be laid out with your photos is key to selling your work”.


3. Wedding photography is 99% personality

How to Photograph a Wedding Like a Pro

“Be yourself and stay true to who are,” says Ben. “The quality and type of people attracted to you or your work will be directly proportionate to how effectively you can communicate your ‘why’ to them and how passionate you are about giving them the best possible outcome”.


4. Carry the best wedding photography equipment

To create must-have wedding photos you need the best wedding photography equipment. Ben’s unzipped his gear bag to show us what he thinks are the best cameras and lenses for wedding photography.

Camera bags

Bens main bag is the Thinktank Rollerbag, but he carries the LowePro Backpack when doing it light.

Best camera for wedding photography

Ben shoots with two Canon 1DX II on the day and carries a Canon 5DSr for backup, landscape and night photos.

Best lenses for wedding photography

Ben carries a total of six lenses with him to capture every angle. They are:

How to Photograph a Wedding Like a Pro
How to Photograph a Wedding Like a Pro

Flash & lights

Ben’s gear bag contains a solution for any kind of lighting:

  • 3 x Profoto A1 flashes with a wireless flash trigger
  • Profoto light grids and colour gels for the A1 flashes
  • 2 x Selens light stands
  • 2 x high output torches
  • Light painting equipment; light tubes and fiber optic whips
  • 2 x small portable softboxes
  • Icelight
  • Omega 5-in-1 reflector

Others

Extra wedding photography equipment in his gear bag includes:

“It sounds like a lot,” says Ben. “But in practice, it’s pretty easy to manage as it all goes inside both bags.”

All images copyright Ben Connolly


Getting started

Looking for more inspiration? As one of our acclaimed Ted’s Masters, Ben’s portfolio is available for you to check out.

If you’re ready to launch your wedding photography career, drop by your local Ted’s Cameras store to speak to our friendly team for advice.


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