So You Want To Be A Wedding Photographer?
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more competitive field than that of wedding photography. Along with this pressure for work, comes your desire to capture the big day in a perfect way for the happy couple, which requires various technical and emotional challenges to be overcome. Here are some tips to conquer these obstacles and deliver your clients with pictures that capture the spirit and essence of one of the most important times of their life.
1. Start by assisting
You don’t want to go out into battle unarmed, which is why it’s important to start your wedding photography journey by assisting someone else who is already a professional in the field. This is the perfect way to see how it’s done and develop your personal and technical skills, without having to be the one dealing with all the pressure and responsibility.
2. Have your gear ready
This one might sound like it is aimed at real beginners, but it is a tip that it never hurts to hear a few times over. Turning up on the big day with a flat battery or an empty gadget bag is a nightmare that would have any photographer waking up in a cold sweat. Check everything over carefully and pack spares. Not just batteries, but carry a backup camera in case of an unforeseen equipment failure. This is one occasion that you won’t be able to re-shoot.
3. Hire your own assistant
It’s tempting for the perfectionist in all of us to want to tackle it all on our own, but a little help goes a long way. With a second set of eyes and hands, it is easier to cover all the bases and capture all the important moments from the best perspective.
4. Capture the spirit of the day
Weddings are by their very nature emotional and this is the most important aspect for you to try to capture. It sounds easy, but unforeseen circumstances and sudden changes can really put a spanner in the works. Always keep your composure and remain professional. Be ready for anything and you are well on your way to a successful wedding shoot.
5. Check out the location
Head to the location ahead of the shoot to get a feel for the area and any potential issues or factors that could affect the photos. It’s best to develop a strategy early and to come prepared. Some key things to look out for are: the direction of the sun, lighting quality and key geographic/landscape features.
You’re here to do a job for a client, which is why it is important to start a dialogue early and outline their expectations and any potential issues that could arise on the day. Some key points to cover are: what style and types of photos they like or don’t like, timeframes of the day, and who are the important people in their life so you can keep an eye out for them during proceedings.
7. Keep Quiet
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget about this one, but it is important to turn off or minimise the sounds coming from your gear during the quietest and most intimate moments of the ceremony.
8. Have an eye for detail
Wedding planning involves many little decisions which the couple have discussed and mulled over leading up to the event, and these are the things they will want to be captured in their images. The dress, suits, rings, flowers and decorations are just some of the key details that add to the character of their special day.
9. Think outside the box
While ensuring you fulfil your brief, leave yourself a bit of room for exploring and letting your creative light shine. Make sure you don’t miss any important details or moments but experiment with some unusual angles and perspective in hopes to give your client with a truly unique set of images.
10. Have fun and stay happy!
For you, and everyone else around you, it is important to stay happy and positive throughout the long day of shooting. We all know a smile is contagious, so your positive outlook will lead to a generally more relaxed atmosphere which will be obvious throughout your images.
Although tricky to master, wedding photography is a very rewarding and often joyous experience. We wish you every luck in your developing business and hope these tips have pointed you in the right direction.
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