Wedding Photography for Beginners – Vol. 3
Welcome to Volume 3 of a new series that I’m calling: Wedding Photography for Beginners! In the next few weeks, I’ll be taking you through a number of important topics and giving you insider’s tips and tricks. My goal is to make your transition into Professional Wedding Photography as easy as possible. There will be 8 articles in total that will discuss everything from attracting new clients…to revealing the best kept secrets for capturing breathtaking bridal shots. Did you miss Volume 1 or Volume 2? Click to get caught up! Interested in reading all the articles but don’t have time to keep coming back to the blog? Subscribe to The Presetpro Weekly Newsletter and get all 10 articles PLUS Free Lightroom Presets conveniently sent to your inbox each week.
8 Tips for Getting Ready Shots
When you’re new to wedding photography, it can be difficult to know what to expect on the big day. Here are 8 simple tips that are guaranteed to make the morning run smoothly.
1. Arrive Early
Arriving early to the location(s) is a crucial part of feeling prepared and building your confidence as a new wedding photographer. Why arrive early? Unlike other locations, it’s likely that you won’t be able to scout this location before the wedding day. I suggest arriving at least 30 minutes early so that you can scan the location, set up your equipment (camera, lighting, etc. – See Vol. 1 for details) and settle in before you begin.
2. Natural Light
While scanning the location, take note of the natural light and color scheme in each room. Decide which space has the most natural light. Rooms with dark colors and fluorescent lights will be more challenging to shoot. Don’t be afraid to ask the bride and/or groom to move to a room that is well lit.
3. Stage The Room
You’ll quickly learn that reality is not always as pretty as we would like it to be. Depending on your photography style (See Vol. 1) your goal for the getting ready shots may be to document the process in an unobtrusive way. In some cases, this may be possible. The space could be arranged beautifully with perfect lighting and you won’t need to stage the room. In other cases, it may be up to you to declutter, move chairs and/or furniture to create a visually appealing atmosphere for the photos. Always remember to ask for permission first before you move anything. I suggest that you discuss staging the room with your clients prior to the wedding day so that you are on the same page.
4. Collect The Details
Detail shots are photos of personal objects that are special to the bride and groom. For the bride, this may include items like: the dress, the bouquet, jewelry, shoes, gifts, hand written wedding vows, etc. For the groom, detail shots may include: cufflinks, shoes, bow ties, a watch and gifts from loved ones. Arrange the details somewhere with good lighting and start snapping. Details that are shot using a low aperture are often the most desirable.
5. Document First
If you’re looking to capture photojournalistic or documentary style shots, when possible, try to collect them first before you get into portraits or posing. This will ensure that everyone is in a natural state of mind and you can capture their real emotions and interactions.
6. Family Photos
In most cases, there will be a room full of people and it can be hard for the photographer to decipher who is who. Ask your bride and groom to point out their family members and anyone that they would like to take extra photos with. You wouldn’t want to accidentally forget to photograph the bride with her favourite aunt, cousin etc.
7. Wedding Party Shots
This is your opportunity to get creative! I suggest that the you ask the bride and groom to submit a few inspiration photos to you ahead before the wedding so that you can use them as a guideline. Don’t forget to throw in some of your own ideas! Have a few getting ready poses in mind that you wouldn’t mind using in your portfolio.
When the excitement of the day starts, it can be easy to loose track of time. You might get so caught up in the shots that you forget to look down at your watch. Time moves quickly when you’re shooting a wedding and you want to make sure that you arrive at the next location with plenty of time to set up for the next wave. I suggest looking at your watch every 15 – 20 mins and planning your shots accordingly. I also suggest giving the wedding party a 20 minute warning before you plan to leave. You could say something like: “I’m going to leave for the next venue in about 20 mins. Are there any final shots that you would like me to get before I go?” This way, everyone is on board with your itinerary and you can leave on time.
Remember, every successful wedding photographer started out exactly where you are right now. You can do this! Don’t miss Vol. 4 where we will discuss everything you need to know about the ceremony. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week!
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