Tips for novice Wedding photography

Wedding photography may be a challenging area to work with, particularly for novices. In addition to mastering a variety of photography genres within this sector, you must also combine your shooting schedule with marketing, client communication, sales, and other responsibilities. Each of these issues deserves its own guide and may go well beyond the scope of this post, but we’ll cover a few pointers to get you started.

Remember that, although starting out in wedding photography might be intimidating, particularly during your first few weddings, you can transform your passion in photography into a fulfilling profession with preparation, practice, and dedication (and some assistance from the following recommendations).

Here are eight tried-and-true wedding photography strategies to help you provide a flawless series of images that your customers will treasure.

  1. Sharpen Your Skillset
    As we discussed before, wedding photography is basically a combination of several types of photography. As a wedding photographer, you should get familiar with the following genres:

Brides and grooms put a lot of thought and money into selecting all the details that make their wedding day special and unique, such as their outfits (rings, dresses, tuxedos, hair and makeup), flowers, decorations, food and cake, and even the venue itself. Some weddings involve significant ceremonial aspects, such as worn jewelry and the altar used during the ceremony. Quality photographs of all of these elements serve to portray the whole tale of the wedding day. Examples of wedding ring photos may be seen here.
Portrait & Family Photography: You’ll need to take formal photos of the bride and her bridesmaids, the groom and his groomsmen, the bride and groom together (couples portraits), and group portraits of their family and friends who have come to support them. This may soon become difficult depending on the size of the groupings, particularly when it comes to communicating, posing, and lighting the group.
Street/Candid Photography: In addition to formal pictures, wedding photography should include candid shots of attendees engaging with one another as well as the bride and groom. You should be able to shoot well-composed candids without having to interrupt or guide your subjects for each photo; this involves selecting a suitable backdrop, making the most use of available light, waiting for the correct emotions, and other techniques.
Boudoir Photography: Although not necessarily necessary, some customers choose to add some boudoir type shots throughout the wedding day planning, so this is a talent to consider.
If you have no prior experience in one or more of these photographic disciplines, there are many methods to get started. You may refine your abilities by taking extensive classes, such as the SLR Lounge Wedding Photography Training System, or by practicing with friends and family. I also suggest reading a lot of wedding blogs and seeking for photographers whose work might inspire and motivate you to better. My following suggestion will also assist in this regard.

  1. Help at a Wedding
    Working as an assistant at genuine weddings is one of the finest methods to learn wedding photography. As an assistant, you’ll have access to skilled mentors and will be able to hone your talents without feeling pressed to produce at all times. You might reach out to professional wedding photographers online or ask your professional photography pals if they know any. Some, such as Lin & Jirsa Photography in Southern California, provide a link on their website seeking assistants and photographers.

Nothing like a genuine wedding to demonstrate how rushed things may get, how congested and ephemeral most shooting locations will be, how quickly the photographer must work, and how to communicate with family members, among other things. It will also show a lot of possible issues, particularly those involving the timeframe.

  1. Consider Yourself a Manager
    You may be beginning as a professional wedding photographer, but you are also developing as an entrepreneur and manager. Wedding photography involves both organizational and photographic abilities. Even before prospective clients approach you, it’s critical to think like a manager and create an effective process that will help you get the job and exceed your customers’ expectations. This includes creating (or incorporating professional level) email responses and contract templates, collecting and managing payments, planning phone calls (also known as walk-throughs), drafting timelines, coordinating with assistants, photographing the event, determining editing deadlines, hosting design consultations (for selling prints and wall art), and more.

I propose researching photography studio management software and choosing an alternative that meets your requirements to assist you handle all of these activities. Options range from simple, easy-to-use programs to sophisticated, complicated automated systems available at a variety of costs.

  1. Create a mood board
    Many customers may provide you with a list of the images they want you to take. If we’re talking about a shot list containing essentials like family portraits or other must-have photographs, that’s acceptable. It’s crucial to note, however, that a shot list created by you or your clients should not be interpreted as a precise screenplay for your production. Instead, use these lists as a basic guide to assist you get through the shoot and satisfy your customers’ expectations.

In fact, instead of a shot list (or at least in addition to a basic list), invite your customers to create a moodboard, and spend time analyzing it with them before the shoot. Inquire as to why the photographs were chosen. Was it the stance? What about the lighting? What about the editing style? What are the subjects’ expressions like? When gazing at a certain photograph, someone may not notice what you see or enjoy the same features as you. You may use your moodboard and the meeting notes as a template for the project. This is a vital weapon in the arsenal of a professional wedding photographer.

  1. Prepare Your Equipment

It goes without saying, but double-check your equipment before any significant shot. You could even print a checklist to ensure you have everything you need and that everything is ready to go.

Is your camera still in the bag? Why not invest in a backup camera?
Are all of your batteries charged and ready to go in your backpack (and camera)?
Have you formatted and inserted your memory cards into your backpack (and camera)?
Have you cleaned and packed your lenses?
Have you brought your tripod, flashes and triggers, light modifiers, and so on?
A complete wedding photographer’s equipment checklist may be found here.

Before you start shooting, make sure you’re comfortable with your camera’s fundamental shooting modes, exposure and focus settings, and other basic operations. You should also be familiar with the properties of the lenses you want to use (for example, how wide angle lenses generate greater lens distortion, particularly for close-up portraits), and don’t wait until the last minute to experiment with flashes (if you intend to use them at all).

  1. Locate Potential Locations Ahead of Time
    You should visit and explore the venues before the shoot/event, preferably at the same time as the wedding. It is beneficial to get acquainted with the venue, whether for an indoor or outdoor wedding. Check the light direction and search for the finest areas to shoot shots, particularly when employing innovative approaches like the Brenizer Method to get spectacular environmental portraiture. It’s also a good idea to look up previous weddings held at the location and see how the photographers utilised the space and available light. Sunseeker, a mobile phone program that monitors the sun, is recommended. This will show you where the sun will be at any time of day.
  2. Capture RAW images
    While it is easier to compress photographs and save them as jpegs, shooting in RAW offers several benefits. RAW files need more storage space and take longer to process, but the freedom they allow in post-production is well worth the extra effort. If you photograph with a high dynamic range, which means maintaining as much information in the shadows and highlights as possible, editing RAW files will enable you to recover otherwise unacceptable photos, such as those that are underexposed owing to poor lighting, and so on. Then you may utilize professionally developed presets to make rapid work of your modifications while still getting good results.

Many cameras feature the ability to shoot at various RAW settings (such as full resolution RAW or medium RAW), which you may utilize depending on how the photographs will be used. For example, if the photographs you’re shooting are likely to be printed, particularly at a big size, utilize the full RAW preset. Others, such as candids around cocktail hour, are unlikely to need the same technique. If switching back and forth becomes inconvenient, I suggest sticking with complete RAW files. Otherwise, reducing the RAW size when necessary might help you save space on your memory card.

  1. Continue Shooting
    This is a wedding photography tip that the majority of experts use. While we may plan for some moments, like as the first kiss at the conclusion of the ceremony, many unforgettable moments occur unexpectedly. As a result, it’s important to be vigilant and keep shooting before and after the anticipated times. You never know when that amazing expression may appear just after the “expected” moment has passed.

You will have lifetime followers if you snap engagement and wedding images that the bride and groom and their families like. This may result in extra shots in a variety of ways. First, since this is mostly a word-of-mouth sector, a job properly done might pave the way for future contracts. Second, married couples tend to have children at some time, which opens the door for future pregnancy, newborn, family, and school photo sessions.