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10 Tips For Wedding Photographers

by Amber (follow)
Blog (8)      Articles (5)     

1. Establish your brand
It’s no secret that there are thousands of wedding photographers out there, and the idea of competing against them can be a scary one. This is why it’s super important to establish your brand. Think about what sets you apart from the wedding photography crowd; perhaps you have photojournalism skills that allow you to create reportage images? Maybe you are an avid people-watcher and are an expert at finding brilliantly candid photo opportunities.

Photo by Victoria Mullins

Playing to your strengths will help you attract clients whose wedding will fit in with your style. If there’s a client who is asking for something that goes against your photography style, remember it is always ok to say no. Trust me, it is a lot easier to say no than stepping way out of your comfort zone and having to produce photos that are substandard.

2. Research and plan!
The bride and groom are not the only ones that are expected to plan for the wedding day; when photographing such a large event it is essential to plan down to the last detail. What photos and poses are you going to capture? What lenses will you need on the day? How are you going to travel between venues?

I always make sure I visit the wedding venue beforehand, so that I can take notes on where is best for couple shots, and where I could squeeze 50 people into a group shot. The last thing guests want is to be herded around whilst you try to find the perfect vantage point for the photo. As the old saying goes, a stitch in time saves nine!

Photo by Victoria Mullins

3. Always wear a watch
People are always saying to the bride and groom to ‘make the most of every minute’ as wedding days go extraordinarily fast. You’ll notice this too as a photographer! It’s your job to photograph every important and special moment throughout the day, so it’s incredibly important to be in the right place at the right time.
Wandering off to photograph rogue guests when the couple are due to cut the cake is an absolute no-no! Wear a watch and check it frequently to make sure you are on track.

4. Dress appropriately
A wedding photographer once told me, in horror, about a photographer who turned up to shoot a wedding wearing safari shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. It may have been a comfortable choice but the bride and groom were frustrated by how he stuck out like a sore thumb in all of their guests photos of the day. Although there’s no need to go all out and purchase a tux for the occasion, it’s important to dress respectively, and to blend in amongst the other guests. The focus should remain on the couple, and not your wardrobe choices.

5. Always chat with the guests
It can be a little daunting for the guests when you walk round and occasionally stick a camera in their face! I’ve found that people open up and are happier for you to snap away when you make the effort to say hello and have a chat. It’s great to appear approachable, and it has even led to me making bookings! Embarrassing stories about the bride and groom are a bonus.

Photo by Victoria Mullins

6. Take more memory cards and batteries than you think you’ll need
Nothing, I repeat, nothing, is worse than getting to 5pm and running out of space to shoot, or seeing your low battery light flash and then have your camera die on you. It’s your responsibility to make sure you are able to capture every moment of the day, and then to have this stored safely and securely.
A photographer I once worked with even went to the extremes of always storing the memory cards in his breast pocket when he drove home, just in case he had a crash and had to get out of the car without grabbing his camera bag!
It may sound silly, but having to explain to the couple why you don’t have photos of their first dance is a tricky situation to find yourself in.

Photo by Victoria Mullins

7. Make sure you have a break
Weddings are fast paced and often hectic, so it can be easy to shoot, shoot, shoot and suddenly find that it’s 7pm and your legs are about to drop off. I always say to clients that I need to have a sit down and bite to eat whilst they are eating the meal, and venues often provide photographers with food (it’s an idea to check with the couple beforehand).

8. Be prepared for crazy situations
The great thing about photographing weddings is that no two are ever the same, and you can have fun with getting creative shots. It’s good to be open about trying new ideas and it can lead you to developing new skills. Photographing from a (what felt like) fast moving golf buggy, climbing up tree branches and shooting from a hotel roof are three skills I can now pride myself on. Always remember to put your own safety first though, no shot is ever worth risking breaking a wrist or lens for, however good it would look on Pinterest.

Photo by Victoria Mullins

9. Have a list of photographs
Brains are great at ignoring essential information and absorbing ridiculous facts, so it’s imperative that you make a list of shots that the bride and groom have requested, and make sure it’s on your person throughout the day. I always ask that names of the wedding party are included to make it quicker to find people when they’re needed for a group shot. Couples have usually spent a long time thinking about what photographs they would like from the day, and are relying on you to deliver.

10. Enjoy yourself!

Photo by Victoria Mullins

Wedding days are beautiful and definitely a photographer’s paradise! Months of hard work and planning has gone into creating a stunning venue, plus all the guests are dressed to impress. Take your time to capture amazing photographs. If you find yourself feeling stressed or nervous, just remember that someone has picked you based on your photography talents and style, so show off your skills and have fun!


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