Thinking about becoming a wedding photographer? There’s a lot of profit you can gain from it. The downside to that kind of work is that it can get very stressful, especially for those who can’t improvise. Even the best-laid plans can fall during the big day itself, and you have to stay flexible.
It’s a hectic job, but with these tips, wedding photography can be highly rewarding too.
Get the Right Camera and Lens
Most modern wedding photographers like to shoot using natural light. The problem is that the time of day and location may not provide sufficient lighting.
Photo booth rentals like Xtreme photo booths don’t have an issue bringing lighting equipment around. But when you’re the wedding photographer, setting it up and carrying it with you all the time just isn’t practical.
Your camera needs to get the job done by itself. What you’ll want is to get a full-frame camera that does well in low light, has a burst shooting mode, and an image stabilizer. Get two of them — you’ll definitely need the other as backup.
You’ll also need extra lenses that can operate in a low aperture. According to the Digital Photography School, these are the ones that every wedding photographer must have:
- 70-200mm f/2.8
- 24-70mm f/2.8
- 2 prime lenses, and
- 1 macro lens
Here are other equipment that you should bring with you as well:
- External flash unit and flash diffuser
- Extra memory cards
- Extra batteries and charger
- Light stand
How you spend your preparation time can make all the difference on the wedding day. You have to be in touch with the organizer, bride, groom, and others calling the shots. You need to know what the theme and color scheme is, among other things.
Go Over the Schedule
Knowing the timeline for the wedding will let you know what kind of natural lighting to expect during the ceremony. You’ll also have a guide on the flow of the wedding, which will help you with the shortlist.
Create The Shot List
When you’ve got the timeline, you can start planning what kind of shots to make, the angles you want, to what lens to use, etc. Don’t forget to coordinate with the clients on what shots they’d like to see too.
Inspect The Venue
Visiting the location before the wedding helps you figure out which spots have great lighting and views ahead of time. You can make sure that you’ll get good angles and advise your client on where to hold photo shoots.
Communication is Key
Aside from talking with key people before the event, you’ll want to speak up during the photoshoots as well. Don’t be afraid to say if you want people to switch places or change poses for a more symmetrical portrait, for instance. You can also provide directions to the couple if you’re aiming for a narrative.
In the end, they’ll appreciate you for it when you finally release the photos.
Anticipate and Observe Your Surroundings
Rehearsals help you practice, but it’s still nothing compared to the real deal. In between major shots, you can look around you and see if you can get a few candid ones in. You need to act quickly whenever there’s a surprise. It’s a great addition to the storytelling aspect of wedding photography.
Learn to Be Inconspicuous
Great photographers can get close up shots while staying as inconspicuous as possible. Aside from having the right lens, this can also be achieved if subjects are so comfortable with you that you’re practically invisible to them.
It’s a good idea to build a rapport with the bride and groom (since you’ll be taking pictures of them the most) so that they’re alright with your presence. Not drawing attention to yourself until necessary is also helpful when capturing candid shots.
Prepare for a Long Day Ahead
Weddings take a long time to finish. It can take up an entire day, from the bride and groom’s preparations to the ceremony itself, to the reception.
Make sure to pack in advance and get a lot of rest before the big day. You can bring your own snacks and beverages too — you save yourself the time and trouble of searching for drinks and food when you have shots to make.
You Can Always Fix Mistakes Later
We’ll always find something wrong in our photos, be it the lighting, a stray leaf or hair, a bit of blurring, etc. Don’t worry about it too much, since you can always make a few tweaks in post-production. Make sure your Photoshop skills are up to scratch!
Wedding photography takes a lot of planning, but seeing your clients happy with your work is worth it in the end! It’s daunting for most first-timers, but with experience and time, you can build your skills and become one of the best in the business.