Wedding photos can be a challenge to take, because of the flurry of activities that go on and the wide variety of lighting conditions that may occur, but with the guide below, you will learn several tips and tricks that will give you the best wedding pictures of all time. Let’s check it out!
One of the most critical elements in being a successful wedding photographer is preparation. You absolutely need to prepare ahead of time (at least two months prior). It’s a good idea to get to know the bride and groom so that you can understand their needs and wants. Some good questions to ask are:
How many photographers will there be?
What type of photos would they like?
How many guests will be at the wedding? Are they mostly family members or friends?
What locations will be used? A church, reception hall, etc.
Asking pertinent questions like these will help you understand the requirements for the wedding photos, which will also help you take better shots!
Locations, Events and Times
Once you know what the wedding locations, events and times are, you should go check them out. For a church wedding, it’s best to go inside the church to check out the lighting, decor and environment. Perhaps you can find a few places to stand during the ceremony, so you’re not running around in a panic on the day of the wedding. It’s also important to check out the reception area, just so you know how everything will be set up.
Organize Your Gear
This is a critical step. Here’s a list of the equipment you should bring to the wedding shoot:
Digital camera: This one is obvious. It’s good to have a backup analog camera as well, just in case.
Camera lenses and filters: Take along any special lenses or filters you may want to use.
Tripod: This one is important for indoor shots under low light.
Memory cards: Bring at least two 1 GB memory cards. That may seem like a lot, but you won’t believe how many shots you’ll take during a wedding.
Portable drive: This is important in case you run out of space on your memory cards.
Assistant: Try to bring along an assistant. It could be a friend or a helper at the wedding. They can help you arrange the group shots, etc., which will take a lot of stress off of you.
On the Wedding Day
Here’s a typical sequence of events to help guide you when the actual wedding day arrives.
At the House
If you’re taking shots of the bride getting ready, it’s best to be early. In fact, you should be one of the first to arrive so that you can set up your positions, tripods or whatever you may need.
At the Church
Once you’re at the church, find out where the preacher will be standing and position yourself accordingly. Some critical shots include the entrance to the church, the aisle and where the couple will stand.
Note: Don’t get too excited about your shots so early on. You have a long day of taking photos and you need to ration your memory card space to ensure you get pictures of everything throughout the day.
If there’s a reception, make sure you get there before the rest of the guests so that you can find your perfect position. Receptions are a good time to capture candid shots, so have some fun with it!
Formal Group Shots
If there are any formal group shots to be taken, try to start with the big groups and then slowly remove family members so that you can get various combinations of the friends and family.
So, what do you do after a wedding shoot? Well, plenty! You need to do some basic image editing, such as removing red eye, cropping and rotating. You also need to burn the photos onto CDs and DVDs, usually in a slideshow format. You should try to get the final copies to the happy couple as soon as possible.
~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami