Wedding Photography Ideas and Hacks
Weddings are unique and so are those just organize them and shoot them. Over the years the shared fund of photography understanding and knowledge got so large that it simply has to be shared among professionals and amateurs alike. We can learn from each others mistakes and implement some strategies that really work for the benefit of our art and our profession.
We collected enough useful tips to write a book and would like to share the best ideas here. Some of these might be nothing new to you and some might surprise you. In any way, we are sure you will find something that speaks to you or is worth sharing with colleagues.
Wedding photographers have to be versatile in many different styles, which include but are not limited to portrait, documentary, kids, nature, family, intimate, stills, and even sports. As you read our list of tips, keep in mind that the main idea is to stay calm and enjoy the process of shooting a wedding, so take just those suggestions that can help you feel this way.
- Contact - make sure you communicate with the couple in advance and constantly this is the best way to ensure your payment even if something unexpected happens. It is also great to lay out the expectations from both sides and prevent unpleasant surprises later.
- Visit the location in advance, especially if you are just starting out in this business. If nothing else, at least a loose plan can be made while you tour the grounds.
- Consider bringing a few props and talk about it with the couple in advance.
- Discuss what specific shots will the couple want, so both sides will at least have some initial ideas.
- Always manage expectations and make sure the couple doesnt expect something crazy, like a bride sitting on the cloud pictures. Your portfolio and your contract should speak for you.
- Get to know the maid of honor and the best man because they will know a lot of people at the wedding and can tell you some very important information.
- You should always have some back-up gear. Its expensive to maintain a few sets of cameras, but you can always rent some. You never know when emergency strikes. Its better to have an extra camera than deal with unhappy couple and insurance after a failed event.
- Some brand new photographers have a fake couple pose for the first pictures for practice and portfolio purposes. This is not a bad way to get your footing in this saturated industry.
- If you know some fellow photographers in your area, invite them to second shoot at your event and then pay them back with the same favor. Such insurance can never hurt.
- We recommend having at least 3 batteries for each camera and a charger handy. There can never be too many batteries.
- The same goes for memory cards arm yourself with them. After all, they are your bread and butter, so invest in them.
- Beginners should always attend the rehearsal and try their hand with particular set of people, so that some tweaking can be done in time before the real wedding.
- The clothing choices for the photographer are dictated by the theme and location of the wedding. Make sure you are not romping on the Hawaiian beach with a three piece suit and dont wear tropic-themed shorts at a black tie country club wedding. This one is pretty obvious.
- Wedding photographers day is long, sometimes 15 hours long, so you need to conserve your energy and slow down. Choose quality over quantity, compose instead of running around, and dont be afraid to sit down and eat some cake.
- One of the best advices is to put your camera on a silent more who wants to hear hundreds of clicks around them all day long?
- Make sure you tell your bridesmaids to walk slowly and smile. That applies to walking down the aisle and later during the reception.
- Couples spend insane amount of time and money on small details, so its our job to make sure those details get recorded. Always pay attention to details!
- Wedding photographers should always look confident and trustworthy. Someone entrusted you to capture one of the most important days of their lives, so you have to deliver and look like you know what you are doing.
- When it comes to flowers, the position is very important. Instruct your bride and bridesmaids to hold the flowers low, to their belly button to avoid looking hunched up with too high held bouquets.
- You should work your hardest during the Golden Hour, right as the sun is setting. That low orange light makes everything fairy-tale like, so you should definitely capture that. They will thank you and you wont have to use a filter.
- Pay extra attention to the bride; take shots of just her, after all, she definitely worked hard to look the way she does. Dont forget the profile and the back of her.
- Working with someone else can be very comforting and can help coping with stress and responsibilities, so take a colleague along.
- Emotional connection and displays of affection make the best shots. You have to find them when they are not staged.
- Get close to the couple, but be courteous and move slowly when you can not to draw too much attention to yourself.
- Use people as background, take some shots of the couple though people to give them a different perspective.
- Empty backgrounds will let the couple shine, so take many shots like that and get them away from people when you can.