Being able to pull off a really successful wedding photography career would mean that you are able to establish a really great working relationship with all of the people that you get to work with at some point. Aside from knowing the bride and the groom, you should also know the people who are close to them or the people who matter most to them in the wedding.
You should know at least the entourage, or the most important people in them, by their first names. At least go through the motions of knowing the first names of the maid of honor and of the best man and really get to know them. They will technically be your mainstay pillars of support once the wedding actually starts to come up. They will know most of the people attending, they will know which people go with which group, and that is something that can really prove to be extremely helpful for you. You will need co-coordinators one way or the other so you need to be able to start early and get your head in the game.
You will be having some issues with regards to photographing the dress and that is something that you can bank on once and for all. Guess what, most of the bridal wedding gowns out there are in white. Startling white. That has always been the case and will look like it will still continue for more years to come. Most brides do not veer away too much from tradition. The issue with wedding photography and extremely white bridal wedding gowns is that the camera lens will not identify all that white as something that is white. It will misinterpret it for a big giant white spot that needs to be fixed.
The camera will basically attempt for this extremely bright spot to be fixed by going ahead and making the exposure just a bit too dark. If you do not patch this up with some positive kind of exposure compensation, you will end up with a wedding dress that tends to look a bit dull and a bit gray. It results to really disappointing looking photos and might be something that you might want to stay away from, if you can help it.
Wedding photography requires a second camera body.
There are no arguments when it comes to this particular aspect. You need one, period. This is particularly true if you are shooting big events that can last several hours on end. You need to make sure that you have some kind of insurance set in place for when something happens to your main or original camera. This may probably be a bit of a struggle for wedding photography experts who are just starting out at some point. High quality cameras can be extremely expensive. There is a quick solution to this though if money will prove to be a bit of an issue. You can borrow a second body camera from one of your Northampton photographer friends or you may even opt to go ahead and rent a second body camera instead.
Wedding photography takes a lot of time and takes a lot of walking to go through with so go for shoes that are comfortable enough for walking. Wedding photographers are always on the go. You have a lot of running and walking around to do. It’s just another day in the life of a wedding photographer essex and it all comes with the territory. Go for shoes that are comfortable enough to last you for the entire day and preferably something that can keep up with all of your moving around. They are a great investment.
1. Get a wedding photo coordinator, preferably someone who is part of the family.
The thing with wedding photography is that there will always be an issue with having just a little bit of chaos when it comes to the part where it is time to start taking the family photos. Ask for someone who knows the family and even better if you can get someone who is a part of the family who knows everyone and can sort of direct everyone and tell them when to pose and when to get out of the frame. Weddings involve a lot of people and you need to be able to manage that as much as possible.
2. Have a long and detailed meeting with the bride and groom.
Above everything else, wedding photography is all about making sure that results are delivered and expectations are managed as much as possible. You can easily do this is you talk this out with the bride and groom well ahead of time. It is important that both parties know exactly what they are getting into.
3. Create a must-have shot list and keep it on you all throughout the wedding event coverage.
Again, we go back to the fact that the wedding day can really be a busy day. You will need to make sure that you have an actual list of shots that are important and that the bride and the groom absolutely cannot do without. Make sure that you keep this list on you and cross things out as you go along. Over time, you become better at this but until such time comes up, you best stick to the physical list for now.
4. Try to be as unobtrusive as you possibly can.
Try to get out of people’s ways when you are covering the wedding event. This is usually where the telephoto lens comes in handy. Try to position yourself somewhere that does not get heavy foot traffic.
5. Know the couple’s inner circle by their names.
At least go through the motions of being on first name basis with the maid of honor, best man, and all of the other people who are pretty close to the bride and groom.
Learn about positive exposure compensation because it will help you out a lot in making sure that the bride’s wedding dress does not come off as dull. Yup, you got it right, most wedding dresses are white. Brides tend to wear an awful lot of white. The camera thinks this is a bright spot and darkens the exposure of the dress a little too much making it come off looking dull and grayish. All you need to do is to just dial in some positive exposure compensation and that should fix the issue for you.
You get better details and the images you capture come off looking sharper and clearer than ever.
What the newer wedding photographers out there do not really get to realize is the fact that RAW images can actually be way more powerful that they are initially being given credit for at some point. When RAW images are being paired up with really powerful programs such as Aperture or Lightroom, you get to sharpen your images and even manipulate the noise algorithms among other things in them. More than that, softwares in general are always upgrading or improving so with the advent of technology, things just get more and more powerful. And the great thing is you can always just go back and re-edit your old RAW files.
2. You get to benefit editing that is non-destructive.
RAW images can be edited again and again and you may even go ahead and save a ton of different versions and still not corrupt or change the original file because the originals will always be saved at some point. Whenever you are filming your images in RAW, you will never have to worry about ruining any of your files at all. You can be rest assured that you can always go back to the original untouched version because it cannot be destroyed at all, it will always retain itself. When you edit JPEG images, you lose the original file and end up with the new edited one so when you make a mistake, there is no way for you to go back to the original data you have captured.
3. You just get better prints, period.
Although it may be true that this is already the digital age and most people really just resort to the soft copy of the pictures, there is still a certain novelty brought about by having the pictures in print. Great prints are still as important as ever because there is something touching and unique about seeing the actual physical picture instead of just seeing it on a screen. There is also considerably less banding when the images are in RAW format.
4. You get to have a better workflow.
You will be able to seamlessly work through things especially when it comes to using programs such as Aperture or Lightroom. Wedding photographers need to be able to work fast and work efficiently and seamlessly as well. Having said that, the reason why RAW is getting so much favoritism over other formats is because these programs will let you go ahead and edit huge batches of RAW photos at a time and you don’t have to do them one by one. That is a huge advantage for wedding photographers like wedding photographer essex especially when there is a certain timeline and you need to touch up photos in bulk.
5. Professionals use it all the time and they never settle for anything less.
The top and bottom of things is the fact that if you are in league with the other professional wedding photographers out there and you want to make it in this business, photo issues such as white balance and banding are huge deals that should be given the minutest of attention to detail and that is exactly what the RAW files will let you do.
Come up with a physical shot list of the moments that you need to capture in the wedding you are trying to cover. This may be something that will seem nonsensical to you at first but when you get to think of it, it is actually something that makes a lot of sense. There are times when clients may ask a little too much for you to remember everything so the best way to go about it is to go old school and actually start listing things down. It helps if you have a checklist of all of the important moments that you need to take regardless what happens. This will make sure that you do not forget anything or miss out on anything at some point. As you go along, you can just check things off. True, it is old school but it is also something extremely effective and it works.
Prep up your gear way ahead of time and watch out for any kinds of unexpected events. Wedding photography is all about mitigating risks and making sure that all sorts of liabilities are covered as much as possible. You need to make sure that you have a primary camera and a backup one as well. This backup camera will take care of you when the main one breaks down in the middle of you covering a wedding. You should also pack enough batteries and memory cards to last you for the entire event. Make sure that you also prepare for inclement weather if you ever come across the possibility of bad weather. You wouldn’t want your gear or anything like that ruined.
Have the confidence to speak up when the situation requires it. If you are afraid to speak up to people you don’t know, you might as well start practicing now because this is something that you have no way of going around avoiding. You will need to know how to manage a crowd and be able to give firm instructions but still maintain a friendly and polite tone of voice. This will be great for your business because if you can walk up to strangers and talk about yourself and what you do, you will have far more referrals and contacts that you normally would if you just sat in a corner and kept to yourself.
Save the discarding part of your images for until the end part of your editing process. It’s probably tempting to have to keep on checking your images after every click and discarding those that you do not like on first glance but this may actually be counterproductive. It will take your focus away from the moment that you are covering and you might be discarding interesting looking pictures accidentally. Wait it out until during the editing part of the process before you actually delete anything just to make sure that you do not regret any decisions you make.
Create a blog and nurture it as best you can. This is the best way for you to be able to cultivate your online presence. SEO is everything when it comes to growing your business and gaining an online audience so work hard at it.
Write down a list for all of the shots that you would like to take. You need to create list of all of the must-have shots that you need to take. It would be best if this is something that go over with your clients. Ask them what particular parts of the wedding are absolute non-negotiables. Keep the list with you at all times while you are covering the wedding and cross things out as you go along. Over time, this is something that you will be able to commit to memory and know pretty much like the back of your hand but until such a time comes, it will still be best if you stick to the actual physical list for now.
Find someone who is a part of the family who will be able to help you coordinate for the group photos.
Weddings can get rowdy at times and it may be a bit hard to tell a crowd nicely to behave especially if you do not know who’s who. You can solve this problem quite easily (and smartly) if you get someone who is from the family. It is different when someone they know is the one barking out all the directions. They can be told to shut up, move aside, get out of the picture, etc. without having to feel offended because they are in pretty good terms with that person and it’s all done in a light manner by someone they know quite well.
Visit the locations ahead of time and well before the big day.
Scouting the location is always a must-do for wedding photography. Make it your business to know as much as you can about the location so that you will come in prepared and pretty much familiar with the place once the wedding day comes in.
Prepare for the worst and get your contingencies set in place, if you can help it.
Pack up more than enough batteries and memory cards that you can ever need to make sure that you do not ever run out of supplies and find yourself lacking in the midst of a shoot.
Minimize the sound that you generate and try to be as quiet as possible.
Turn your shutter and camera sounds off. Guests will be distracted with unnecessary sounds. This is something that can turn out to be embarrassing especially during the moments that are not so boisterous like when the couple is exchanging vows at the altar, during speeches, and so on and so forth.
Think about getting a secondary wedding photographer.
Wedding photography is wide and varied in terms of tasks so you need to be careful. A full scale wedding requires too much work for just one man to cover alone. Get someone else to help you out. As a matter of fact, it would even be better if you can get three or so.
Always shoot in RAW format.
Although it may be true that RAW images take way longer than usual because they require extra processing but this is a downside that you can afford to take because of the fact that it provides you with so much more flexibility than any other of the image formats available out there. Weddings in general provide some major challenges such as tricky lighting and such and that is why getting the images in a RAW format will let you manipulate the exposure and the effects and everything else in between.
A tripod is something that has multiple uses and can really be quite beneficial for a wedding photographer. In the business of wedding photography where accessories and all other different kinds of gadgets cost a lot, something that has more than just one use is something that is definitely worth investing precious dollars in at some point. A tripod can be used to hold up different things or accessories. It can be used to hold up a light fixture, an outdoor umbrella for cameras, a camcorder, a reflector, and so on and so forth. Frankly, you really are quite limited by your own imagination when you come to think of it. If anything needs holding up photography wise, chances are, the wedding photographer will be able to use a tripod as a proxy to hold it up.
A tripod is also extremely helpful for a wedding photographer who would like to play around with his creativity at some point. A tripod technically frees the wedding photographer from having to worry about handholding the camera so he is given more time and room to concentrate more on the entire composition of the images he is taking. A tripod is also excellent for positioning the camera in angles that would have otherwise been impossible to take such as vantage points that are from an extremely low point, or having the camera just a few centimeters above the ground. The tripod allows you to worry about the more important aspects of the photo such as the lighting, the framing, and so on and so forth.
A wedding photographer will also get to find a tripod extremely helpful when it comes to filming people who are in motion. It will get to minimize camera shake since the camera is grounded and is far more stable and thus, minimize the amount of blurry photos produced as well in the process. Panning makes it so much easier for the camera to be able to take motion shots when mounted upon a tripod.
Tripods are also quite helpful in instances where natural light is extremely scarce. This is something that can happen more often that you would probably think. Some weddings are scheduled during the sunset or during actual nighttime so it is a bit inevitable. To be able to get more light into the lens during times when natural lighting is not readily available, the camera will usually adjust the exposure and the speed settings. There is involuntary camera shake produced when a camera is at a slower speed setting and that can blur out your photos. A tripod will be able to drastically minimize that kind of effect and that is why a smart wedding photographer will always make sure that he is armed with one when covering events.
Close ups are also quite difficult to take without the use of a tripod. The smallest of movements or changes can seriously jeopardize the image results. Having a tripod is perfect for stabilizing everything so you end up with picture perfect results.
Not attempting to talk to the people you take photos of
People will always be people, no matter what situations or circumstances you may put them in. One common mistake in wedding photography is being too focused on getting the perfect shots that the interaction between people is forgotten somehow and the people being photographed are seen and treated as just subjects that make up a photo. It has the tendency to weird people out, particularly those who are not very used to being photographed all the time. Break the ice by breaking the silence. Talk to them and help them out a little. Let them have a little fun and make them enjoy the photo shoot a little more.
Not religiously maintaining your online blogs and portfolios
Portfolios and blogs are the online lifeblood of the wedding photography expert. It is a platform where your works and all of the important projects you are working on are being showcased in such a way that is similar to a physical art gallery. They should be utilized as much as possible and more importantly, they should be updated with the latest and greatest projects every once and again. Would you date apply for a job with a resume that has not been updated for ages? You certainly wouldn’t, would you?
Not taking heed of whether or not people feel comfortable with having their photos taken
Wedding photography is all about feelings and capturing the rawest of emotions. Weddings are particularly emotional, in the first place. Do a quick check on how the person is doing, ask them if it’s OK for you to start filming. If you think they look like something is bothering them or they’re not at their best, you may be right. Ask them if there is anything at all that you can do to make the shoot just a little more bearable for them. Crack jokes every once in a while and let them feel like you’re just another normal human being and not a scary photographer person who is scrutinizing every facet of their face from behind the lens.
Not bringing enough batteries and memory cards for the camera
This is just downright unprofessional. If you signed a contract to cover an entire wedding event, you might as well make sure that you brought enough batteries and memory cards for you to complete the job.
Not having a secondary camera as backup
A second camera is a safety net. You never know when something bad happens to your main camera. You’ll rest easy if you are assured that you have something to back you up when all hell breaks loose.
Not scouting the wedding location ahead of time
Location is everything and something that you should familiarize yourself with as a wedding photography expert.
Not gaining experience first before taking on any clients
Gain some experience first. Get a lot of practice. Ask if you can cover friends’ weddings as a favor and not as the main photographer. Ask if you can assist a professional wedding photographer before you hold your own coverage. It’s the responsible thing to do.