Weddings are a time for fun, dancing and merriment. Most importantly, they are to celebrate the union of two people. For new wedding photographers, the last thing you want to do is miss capturing any of these special moments the first time you get a gig. Brides and grooms want to remember their weddings for the rest of their lives; they’re counting on you to help cement those memories, so there’s no room for error.
Before photographing your first wedding, collect all the insight you can get! Here are a few tips to help you out:
Have a Plan
Have a clear-cut idea of the kind of shots you are going to take. Creating a shot list is the best idea to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything. Ask the couple in advance if they have any picture preferences since there are plenty of pose ideas posted across the Internet.
Of course, you want to take photos that will accentuate the beauty of the bride’s wedding dress. If you can, ask the bride for a photo of the dress or description before the wedding day. That way, you can plan ahead how to best capture the specific design and silhouette.
It can be quite nerve-wracking when it’s your first time doing a wedding shoot. Gathering people up and telling them how to pose and where to stand can be very chaotic when you don’t know what you’re doing. The best thing you can do is have someone tag along as an assistant to help you get set up or ask a family member of the couple to help direct people and get them in their places.
Bring More Batteries and SD Cards than You Think You’ll Need
You have nothing to lose by carrying extra batteries and blank SD Cards. You never know when you might need another battery after going through photo after photo and the bride wants a picture with her old friend. Extra blank SD cards can be your best friends when you run out of space, so it doesn’t hurt to have backups.
Get Friendly with Guests
No one wants to pose for a photo with a grumpy photographer who isn’t very personable. People like to work with photographers who make jokes and make guests feel comfortable. A little personality goes a long way when trying to coax a smile out of a guest if they’re feeling awkward.
Scout the Location
It’s a good idea to visit the locations you will be shooting at before the big day. Learn your way around to get a feel for your surroundings, the lighting and the angles. Invite the couple to these tryouts if they have time so that you’re comfortable heading into the big day.
Take Photos of the Guys Getting Ready
A picture of the bride and her bridesmaids is a must, but you shouldn’t forget the groomsmen too! The time when the groom and his groomsmen get ready is also important since it’s a big transition from their normal wear to their tuxes!
Shoot in RAW Format
Although it’s a bit more challenging to work with raw images because they take longer to process, a wedding is the right time to make this compromise. There are always issues with lighting during weddings and working with raw photos will give you a chance to enhance the images by adding exposure and white balance.
Turn Off Your Camera’s Sounds
Nobody likes interruptions during the wedding ceremony. The last thing people want to hear are beeps during the wedding vows! Make sure to turn the sound off on your camera.
Offer All-day Services
Most people look for photographers that offer all-day services because there are a multitude of events that take place from the beginning to the end of the wedding day. They wouldn’t want to hire different photographers for different activities. More importantly, a photographer should capture the small details, like when the couple’s family sits for meals, in addition to the significant events like the wedding vows and reception.
Offer Photo Book Purchases
Everybody loves souvenirs, so who would refuse a photographer who offers photo books complied with all their memories? You can work with someone to get this done and offer this to couples who are hiring you for their wedding.
Don’t Forget to Enjoy Yourself
There are many tips on how to do your best during your first wedding shoot. However, don’t forget to have fun too! Many couples usually offer food and drinks for their photographers, so if they do, make sure to enjoy and mingle. However, don’t forget to get your camera out when you come across an opportunity for a good picture.