For a couple, their wedding is probably one of the most important and memorable days of their lives. If you are a photographer, it is your responsibility to capture the perfect and precious moments of this day, so they can remember them for years to come.
Wedding photography can be challenging and stressful, but it’s also extremely satisfying when you do a good job. Use these nine tips and tricks to help plan your next wedding photo shoot.
1. Research the location
Before you do anything else, you need to familiarize yourself with where you are going to shoot. Take a trip to the venue before the wedding day; this way you can make a list of the best places for photos and understand the general layout and lighting.
If you waste time looking for the right lighting because you haven’t researched the venue beforehand, you’ll end up frustrating the couple.
Be sure to visit the venue ahead of time, so you can prepare mentally and avoid any possible chaos on the wedding day.
2. Double-check your gear
Can you imagine what a disaster it would be if you showed up at a wedding with a broken camera lens? The last thing you want to do is forget something at home or bring along malfunctioning camera equipment.
To avoid ruining the special day of the bride and groom, check all your cameras before you leave. Always bring extra items, like lights or lenses, just in case something happens.
Besides the wedding day itself, it’s best to check if everything is working as planned a few days in advance to avoid unnecessary panic.
3. Bring an assistant
Depending on the scale and extravagance of the wedding, you may need to hire someone to help out. A lot goes into most weddings, so it’s nearly impossible to cover everything yourself.
You don’t want to waste valuable time trying to do it all yourself. This could end up boring the couple on what is supposed to be the most memorable day of their lives.
Your best bet is to bring an assistant to take the pressure off a bit. You can have your assistant capture the smaller shots while you have plenty of time to capture the most meaningful moments.
4. Get to know the couple
When you first meet the couple, be sure to get to know them. Ask them questions like, how did you meet? How long have you been together? Do you have children?
By getting to know them, you will show that you care about them and that you are not just after their money. These questions will also help the couple feel less nervous about their big day.
The more you know the couple you are going to photograph, the better the photos will be. Won’t you feel more comfortable taking intimate wedding photos with someone you know than with a complete stranger?
5. Use the best camera gear
A wedding is just one day shooting, but it requires a range of different types of photography. There are close-ups, location photographs, portraits, family photos, and romantic wedding photos. You have to capture all of these different shots, and you’ll be shooting in places with varying lighting conditions.
To provide the best photos possible, you will need to use the best camera equipment you can afford. If you can’t afford the best gear, consider renting it for the day. A lot of photographers do that these days.
There’s a ton of gear to choose from, but the basics you’ll need to include are a full-frame camera, a variety of lenses, and some flashes.
6. Create a shot list
One of the most useful steps you can take to prepare is to create a personalized checklist. When you meet the couple, ask them to think about the important photos they want you to take on their special day.
The couple may not be 100% sure of the specific shots, and it’s your job as a photographer to know what to document during the wedding. You will need to keep a list of standard wedding photos handy to refer to throughout the day.
Some of the most popular wedding shots include groom and wedding preparations, close-ups of rings, family portraits, groom’s reaction, cake cutting and many more.
7. Don’t be pushy
There’s nothing worse than a boring, intrusive photographer who won’t give the couple their space. Yes, it’s your job to capture the most memorable moment of their lives, but it’s best to know when to get close and when to keep your distance.
A good tip is to buy a high quality zoom lens, so you can take great pictures without being too invasive. Also remember to always put your camera shutter in silent mode.
8. Capture natural moments
Having a checklist for wedding photos is essential, but don’t forget to take photos of natural and magical moments. Focus on the close family and friends of the bride and groom and be prepared to take a photo at any time.
The couple will truly cherish this touching photo of the groom shedding a tear or the bride dancing with her dad. Don’t spend all your time asking everyone to pose; it will only look awkward and unnatural.
It’s best to give space to the person you’re photographing and let their behavior come naturally. These shots may not be traditional, but they’re often the ones the happy couple will love the most.
9. Expect the unexpected
One crucial tip to remember is that you have to be prepared for things to go wrong. You’ve gone through all the proper steps beforehand, but even then, some things can go wrong on the wedding day.
Whether the groomsman can’t find the ring or the rain starts falling in the middle of the ceremony, it’s best not to panic. These moments of chaos can create the most memorable moments that the couple will remember and laugh about.
Always capture those memories, no matter how stressful they may seem. You’ll be able to capture fun moments that will end up being everyone’s favorites.
Make your next wedding photoshoot fun and rewarding
Although it can be incredibly stressful at times, wedding photography is worth it. Not only will you be able to capture a couple’s most memorable day, but you will also have a lot of fun doing it. Remember that a wedding is a party, so remember not to take things too seriously.
The more fun and relaxed you are, the more comfortable the people you photograph will feel. Keep these wedding photography tips in mind and you’ll capture amazing photos that the bride and groom will cherish for a lifetime.
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