Thinking about getting in to Wedding Photography? Unsure where to start? First, the right equipment goes a long way. We recommend a DSLR Camera with at least three different lenses for variety. We can’t stress this enough, lighting is key! Ensure you have proper flashes and diffusers. Being able to work in any lighting condition is why they are paying you the big bucks. You will need to perform in harsh sun, indoor lighting and low light situations. Ensure that you know your camera settings well. When the big day comes, just know that you are in charge. Often the bride/ groom will look to you for guidance on pacing and time management. Pictures are the staple of any wedding, especially now with Facebook and other streams of social media. Scared yet? We recommend that all new Photographers tag along with a seasoned Pro their first few times. You will learn a lot of valuable information that you can use when you decide to venture out on your own.
Here is our list of must have shots:
1. Mother of the bride doing up the dress
This is a very special moment that you don’t want to miss. The mother of the bride proudly doing up her daughter’s dress. Insider’s tip: Make sure to take this shot from a side angle to ensure that you capture both of their faces. Want to get creative? Position the pair in front of a mirror and shoot from behind. You will capture their faces in the reflection.
2. Bridal portrait in the window
All brides want to look stunning and timeless on their wedding day. They want to look movie star beautiful in their dress. A great way of achieving this look is shooting a soft portrait in a window. Have the bride look away from the camera and smile while looking in to the light.
3. Bridesmaids, candid or posed
This shot can vary depending on your photography style. An insider tip, be conscious of levels. You will likely have bridesmaids of all different heights. Line them up, stand back and make sure there is an even balance.
4. Helping the groom get ready
This can be the groom put on his jacket ,cufflinks, receiving a gift or simply on-looker’s reactions.
5. Groomsmen, candid or posed
Groomsmen often find it difficult to be in front of the camera. We recommend that you start off with candid shots and then move on to posing (If they are willing.) It’s important to make them feel like they can let loose and mess around. You will get the best shots when they feel carefree.
6. Here comes the bride
It’s the big moment. Timing and vantage point will be key. Position yourself halfway down the aisle and move towards the front as the bride comes closer. Make sure that you have a fast shutter speed and lots of light in order to capture this monumental shot.
7. The kiss
The kiss happens lightening fast and you will need to be ready to capture it just as fast. Even seasoned wedding photographers can miss it if they don’t pay close attention to the ceremony pacing. We recommend that you stay close to the front for the second half of the ceremony with your focus point locked on their faces.
8. Family reactions
Often the second shooter will capture the reactions of close friends and family. If you don’t have a second shooter, try to capture reactions during the vows. Family members will often tear up and this is photography gold. Insider tip, have the bride/groom point out the special people in their lives while they are getting ready. This will be your first time meeting their family and you will have to pick them out of the crowd.
9. Wedding party series
Again, this will vary depending on your photography style. Insider tip: ask the bride and groom to send you a few of their favourite poses before the big day. Knowing what they expect goes a long way when you are setting up multiple shots.
The announcements are another fast paced shot. Dial in a fast shutter speed, ensure your flash/ diffuser is ready and pray that you don’t get any blur.
11. The first dance
This shot is all about the angles. The first dance is usually 3-5 minutes long, therefore you can get creative. Make sure to change out your lens half way through in order to capture some closer and more intimate shots of the couple.
12. Parents dancing with bride and groom.
Similar to the first dance, make sure you tour around the room and capture all angles.
Speeches are very important to the bride and groom. Insider’s tip: save editing time by only capturing two moments. First ,when the person delivering the speech raises their glass, and second when they hug or acknowledge the bride and groom.
14. Cutting the cake
This is one shot that we recommend that you stage. It can be difficult to get the right angle and placing when you are working with two bodies, a table and often many on-lookers. Tell the bride and groom that you would like to do a “practice shot” first. Capture the real thing as well in case they decide to try the coveted “pie in the face” tradition.
15. The details
A good wedding photographer will stop to capture the details through out the day. These days couples spend a lot of money on styling their wedding to fit their particular theme or taste. They will recommend you to their friends and family if you properly capture the décor, flowers, rings and props.
Wedding Photography is all about word of mouth. Don’t forget to schmooze the guests. Show them your personality and charm. They are the key to your next booking. Final notes, wedding photography is a fun and exciting career and confidence will come with time. If you do your research and learn from a seasoned Pro you will be well on your way to building a fulfilling and profitable business. Good luck!