Are you photographing a wedding and need to know how to do the best job possible? Check out these tips.
Setting expectations with your couple
Whether it be the details of your contract or discussing your shot list with the happy couple, knowing exactly what is expected of you as the photographer will make the big day (and the days following) go much more smoothly. How long do they expect you to stay? What mood do they want captured in their photos? Gather as much information as you can.
Bring out the cameras
That is cameras in the plural. Bringing two cameras armed with two different lenses will save valuable time when you're switching between wide and close-up shots. Shot list and planning ahead aside, you never know when there will be a moment best captured by that other lens.
The shot list and the B roll
The aforementioned shot list might be one of the most important steps in your preparation work. This is a list of all the photos you absolutely must get while on the shoot. Discuss it with the bride and groom beforehand.
The other series of photos that needs consideration is your B roll, or the small details of the wedding. The centerpieces, the invitations, the place settings, all the little things that make the wedding unique unto itself. This might not be in the forefront of the couple's minds, but they will be delighted to have those memories later.
Do not forget the dress
When we say "do not forget the dress" it is because that dress was agonized over. It is not just a dress, it is THE dress. Ask the bride what made her choose it, then capture what she says in your photographs. Was it the detailed beading? The veil? The train? Simply put, pay as much attention to it as possible. Having many pictures to go through later is better than realizing something was forgotten.
What you bring to the table is crucial to this event, because your skills are going to shape later memories. First thing is first, your preparation skills. Research the venue. Get the number for the maid of honor in case you cannot reach the bride when something urgent arises. Bring extra batteries and extra memory cards. Just be prepared.
Next, be organized. Preparation will get you nowhere if you are all over the place with your equipment and to-do list. Organize the shot list by location and time, keep your camera bag in order, and stay on schedule.
Third, pay attention to the details but never forget the big picture. Get those detail shots but not while the cake is being cut or the first dance is happening.
Finally, stay on alert for those spontaneous, intimate moments. The meaningful glances the couple shares or the laughter between the bridesmaids and the groomsmen. Your ability to immortalize those moments along with everything else will have the bride and groom recommending you to everyone they know.