Wedding Photography Tips
The following are a few tips for photographers just getting their feet wet in the wedding domain. We are leaving out the technical aspects of photography in this issue, and instead focusing on tips to build better relationships with your clients and working with them towards achieving the common goal of getting the best pictures possible. Let’s dive straight into it.
Tip 1: Have a list of ‘must-have pictures’ ready
Ask the couple to think ahead of the events about what they would like you to capture. Have this list on you and share it with your team. Periodically check on this list. This will prevent any mismatch in expectations.
Tip 2: Scout the location
It is a great idea to visit the venues prior to the big day, especially if they are outdoors, or if you have never visited them before. Familiarizing yourself with the venue, seeking out a few good frames as well as finding out what kind of light is in play during the time of the event can all contribute to better photography.
Tip 3: Come prepared
There is a lot that can go wrong on the day of the shoot. Fortunately a lot of this you can prepare for. For example, keep backup batteries, memory cards, and even cameras for the day of the shoot. Definitely seek out the itinerary for the day, the event flow and key moments. For big events, attend the rehearsal if possible.
Tip 4: Set expectations with the couple
Discuss your style and portfolio with the couple. Make sure they understand. Find out what their goals from the shoot. Discuss the usage of the pictures (print with them.
Tip 5: Don’t miss the small details
On the day of the event, try to capture things like the ring, dress details, table settings, flower arrangements etc. Remember, the couple spent a lot of time choosing these to personalize their day.
Tip 6: Be proactive but don’t intrude
When you see an opportunity for a great shot, move towards it boldly but not so as to interrupt. When you need to get formal/group shots drive the couple and their family to get those.
Tip 7: Don’t start deleting images
Wait until after the event is over to review the images. What you may consider a mistake right now may turn out to be an amazing shot later.
Tip 8: Don’t be afraid to use different perspectives
Switch things up from time to time by taking shots from low or high angles, wide shots etc.
Tip 9: Try to diffuse light
Using a direct flash might not yield the best result. Look for opportunities to bounce the flash. Make use of fill flash.
Tip 10: Use the continuous shooting mode
The shots after the posed shot may turn out to look much better!
Tip 11: Try to use multiple cameras and lenses
Have at least one wide lens and one long lens with you for different situations.
Tip 12: Shoot in RAW format
Not shooting in RAW might feel like saving a lot of processing time and memory space but it offers you so much flexibility for manipulation on the computer. RAW will allow you to make adjustments and still obtain a considerably higher quality file.
Tip 13: Be mindful of the background
It is challenging to have a clear background for your images at weddings, with people going everywhere. For the formal shots at least, try to find a place out of direct sunlight and with an uncluttered background. It might help to set up a photo booth in coordination with the decorators.
Tip 14: Appoint a family shot controller
You and your team might not recognize all the relatives of the couple and their names. In this case, it may be helpful to have a coordinator – one for each side of the family – to help you round up everyone for group shots. Particularly helpful in checking off all the items in the ‘must-have’ shots list.
Tip 15: Keep reminding everyone to smile!
Weddings can be stressful for some people and they might not be aware of their facial expressions. They will thank you later for saving the shot. Keep smiling yourself so that everyone who sees you smiles back!
Tip 16: Don’t forget to take care of yourself
Yes, it is overwhelming to shoot big events and a huge responsibility, and so you need to be feeling your best to handle them. Make sure you are getting the deserved food, water, and loo breaks.
Tip 17: Have eyes everywhere
Stay on the lookout for little displays of emotion everywhere. The father holding his daughter’s hand, couples sharing love, a hug, a tear. Getting this on camera will add the value your clients will thank you for always.
Tip 18: Do your research on the traditions
When photographing the wedding of a culture or religion that you are not familiar with, take the steps to get acquainted with them. Also know what your boundaries are, for instance, you may not be allowed to stand on the same pedestal as the bride and groom, or use flash.
Tip 19: Keep your editing simple
If the quality of your pictures is great, you do not need to over edit them or use a lot of filters. Over the long run, the couple would appreciate the crisp shots much more than editing gimmicks.
Tip 20: Have fun!
Weddings are celebrations, be a part of them and not an outsider. It will help you relax, and warm up everyone to you and loosen up for pictures!
Best of luck!
We’d love to hear your tips on getting the best shots on the big day, comment below.