How to Photograph a Wedding

Booking your first wedding is an exciting milestone for a photographer. It is the most important day of a couple’s life, and they are putting their faith in you in capturing the special day.

Whether they have chosen you based on your portfolio, or they just appreciated your passion, you want to do your best and give them photos they can cherish for years to come.

Of course, that can be a lot of pressure, and you can end up having more nerves than the bride and groom! These tips will help you prepare for the big day, so you can be sure to get the best shots and capture every special moment.

Newlyweds making a heart with their hands

Get to Know the Happy Couple

A common complaint of newlyweds when they get their wedding photos back is that they don’t seem to capture who they are. Impersonal photos just aren’t acceptable for such a personal day.

The most important thing for any photographer is to get to know their clients. What are they looking for? What draws them to each other? What makes their relationship special?

Understanding their relationship will make it easier to find photographic opportunities. Work with them to come up with a shot list; this way you’re sure to get every photo they want.

Usually a wedding will have a second-in-command. The bride and groom can’t handle everything, so they appoint someone to handle issues that come up during the day. Be sure to find out who to talk to on the day.

And always come to an agreement on quotes and invoices before the day.

Check Out the Location

Head to the location before the big day; this will help you in preparing your game plan. Scouting the location of some of your shots before the wedding day will save you and your subjects a lot of confusion on the day.

Look for good backgrounds, a glistening stream, a gorgeous staircase, a floral garden … Figure out where your most important shots will take place.

Bride and Groom

Confidence Takes Planning

Know what you want out of your photos and be assertive. A wedding is basically a big party, and you might have to put on your teacher voice to get people paying attention.

If you are working alone, you’re going to have to be quick on your feet to get the best shots. It can be helpful to hire a photography assistant. While you are capturing the formal photos, they can capture the informal moments, so you can be sure to remain on top of everything.

Shoot in RAW

Shooting in RAW is the way to go. RAW files are completely unprocessed. They contain more information (which means you’ll need extra memory cards), which means you have more to work with in post-production. It will take longer than usual, but the end results will be worth it.

Wedding brides

Shoot Continuously & Don’t Delete

Continuous shooting mode is a godsend for these kinds of situations. Trying to get an entire family to smile in unison can be difficult, so shooting a stream of images will give you more options, and better candids.

Avoid deleting as you go; there might be a great shot there, and you’ll kick yourself if you delete while in a rush. Leave that for the editing suite.

Be Creative

Couples want their wedding photos to stand out, to be strikingly beautiful. So, it’s the perfect opportunity to be creative.

Playing with light in different ways can have excellent results. Invest in flash diffusers and reflectors, and colour gels for your flash.  Vary perspectives throughout the course of the day; this will give their wedding album a more dynamic feel.

You might also like to take multiple cameras to help you switch between styles easier. That could be:

  • one DSLR with a wide-angle lens for group shots
  • one with a standard lens for portraits
  • macro lenses for beautiful portrait shots.

An instant camera is a great thing to have on hand for casual fun shots that make for great little keepsakes.

Newlyweds on a road

Enjoy Yourself!

Weddings are a celebration of love. They are an important and beautiful day for all those involved, even if they are stressful for those behind the scenes.

But as stressful as it is, it is an amazing honour to be asked to help a couple on such an important day. Relax and enjoy yourself!

If you’re looking for the best photography equipment to take with you to a wedding day photo-shoot, check out the Camera House online store. For more handy advice head in-store, or visit the Camera House blog.

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