Wedding photography is possibly the hardest one out there; it is intensive and requires many personal and technical skills and experience. So, this article here gives you some important tips and hacks that you might use to make your life much easier and your shoot even better.
Maybe you are just starting and don’t have the budget for a helper, a second photographer, or a second camera, or maybe you have been putting them off because you think you don’t need them.
Wedding functions don’t give you time to switch between lenses or other settings. Rent a camera or buy a cheaper option; all it has to be is a 1080p HD video camera. Then you don’t have to make everyone wait while you fumble in your bags to change your lenses.
Similarly, offer your local competition to be a second for their functions if they second for you. You will get experience helping it out in their functions, and your functions will improve too!
Make a Checklist
Any wedding is full of so many activities that you are bound to be unprepared for a few of them or completely miss them entirely. So, the first hack is to write down every significant event and go by the book. Your checklist might look a little like this;
- Getting Ready
- The Dress
- The Rings
- First Looks
- Gifts and Mementoes
- Speech shots
- Empty Hall shots
- Reception shots
- The Menu
- The Flowers
- Farewell shots
These are just the categories, your full checklist will be massive, and you need it to be massive. Most couples don’t know which memory they will like and cherish the most. Your job is to capture the most you can.
And you know what you can do when you have a good checklist? You can delegate much easier to your seconds, divide and conquer! For your seconds, you can expand these categories to include watches, cufflinks, and ties and get these shots as someone helps the groom with these items.
Wedding shoots demand a lot of planning to be done right. It is not enough to know what shot you have to take, where is just as important.
You need to know which backgrounds to use on the wedding day for all sorts of things.
You need to know where people are not going to wander in the back of the shot.
You need to know if there is a suitable background for the dress or do you need to prepare something.
You need to see if there is a good place to showcase shoes and rings, or are you going to need to bring a handheld mirror and glue to get the best shot.
There is not enough time to make these decisions and develop the right strategy on the spot. It would be best if you had the research.
Group Photo Director
Ask the bride and groom to provide you with one director for each family. You do not know the dynamics at play during the day, you have already forgotten the few names you did remember, and it is also not your job to run around getting people together.
Use the directors and ask them to coordinate with their part of the family, to collect them all, and help you arrange them for the group photos.
Continuous Shooting Mode
You will find that the slightly relaxed photo a little after the formal one conveys a better story and emotions with experience. People blink, tense up, and all sorts of weird things at the formal shot; you need continuous to ensure you don’t run into any one of these problems or more.
Pack a Sheet
Brides and grooms often shy away from shots in the grass, near the water, or any weird location that you might come up with, and for a good reason. They don’t want to ruin their dresses and shoes. Bring possibly a white sheet for them to walk onto the area and then stand on. You get the shot, and they don’t take the risk. Win, win.
Lastly, I would say go off-script once you have completed the checklists. Get the parents’ picture relaxing at the end of the wedding, push them to be romantic? Get the couple or the bridesmaids to laugh and take a burst to find the most precious gems. Get the groom’s friends to waste time, capture the moments, or tell them to make cool poses. And finally, Good Luck!