Photo – Photo tips at the Wedding
To be a photographer at a wedding can be both scaring and fun depending on your previous photo experiences. A wedding is a big event for the couple and one of a kind happening in their life. For the inexperienced photographer it can be a huge press to live up to but with good preparations there is easier to feel comfortable over the situation. There below you can read some tips how to success as a photographer at a wedding.
Create a “To-Do” list
A good start to success with wedding photography is together with the bride and the groom think about what kind of photo shoots they like to take for this special occasion in their life. Create a “to-do”- list together and let them complete the list also if they want change the request after a while so you can check them off. The wedding day is one of the most memorable moments in many peoples lives and you can´t repair photos who not have been taken. A photo with the wedding couple together with the bride’s mom should not be forgotten. Missed that and you can be remembered about it from mother-in-law for a long time ahead.
Explore the Location
To facilitate the shooting it´s recommendable to visit the locations and the different possible places for the photo sessions before the big wedding day. It´s saving valuable time at the wedding day too. In for the big day, it’s nice to already know there you can find the best possible views and angels for the photo shoots. To move around a bunch of the people if you find an ugly lamppost in the background is annoying and takes unnecessary time and can be avoided if you have found the right spot for the photos before the real photo session. You can even take a few test photo shoots at the couple at the same time you explore the surroundings.
Take help with Coordination
It can be stressful to take photos on the wedding day. People are everywhere, you maybe don´t be aware who the different family situations are, people are in festival mood and some of the guests maybe have taken lite too much alcohol and are a little “too happy”. It can be quite chaotic to find the photo shoots you want to take. A good advice is asking both the bride’s and groom’s families to nominate one of their families as a coordinator for the photo situations. The coordinator can help to find who should be in the photos (for instance: find grandma on the toilets or children who run around everywhere), place the people in the right position and keep things moving so the wedding couple can go back to the party.
Photographers usually don´t use a tripod when they take a portrait photo shoots on location, but inside dark churches a tripod is very useful. In those situations you get sharp photos even with a slower shutter speed, especially if you don´t use flash. A tripod is useful also when to set the camera at lower ISO for cleaner shoots. Have you chose a special place indoors for shooting group photos, then it´s feel natural to use a tripod without problem as well.
White Wedding Dress
Be aware of the white balance. The bride’s wedding dress is in the most cases in white color, very white and with a lot of materials. It´s a challenge for the camera to reflect a shiny white surfaces exactly correct and natural. The light meter in the camera seen the white dress and think it’s bright, but it´s only white and not bright. To compensate for this large “bright” spot, then the camera often exposes the dress to dark. In those cases you need to change the exposure on the camera with positive compensation manually. But not too much so the dress looks only like a bright mass without details. Sometimes you can see blue or pink tint in the white dress depends on the background, be aware of symptoms like that and change the white balance on the camera if possible.
Battery and Memory
Be sure to have at minimum one fully charged battery but I´am strongly recommend to have a second full loaded battery also. At the wedding you are supposed to take a lot of photos, and find an empty battery at the beginning isn´t a good start of the day. If you take a lot of photos with flash, the battery is running out of power really fast. Of course you have checked the memory card/cards so it´s empty because you probably have not time to delete unwanted photos during the day.
The Unexpected Will Happens
Ok, you have a schedule plan for the photos, are sure what to do and the wedding couple is ready. But that to do then it starts to rain, your camera needs a fresh battery or totally break down? For that you need a backup plan. Look at alternative photo places indoors and maybe a second camera in case of emergency then your ordinary camera doesn´t work. You can have prepared for external flash lighting, but then you came to the photo session there is no electricity there you expected. Unexpected things happened, but with good preparations before it´s easier to fix the problem.
Turn off the sound of the camera. It´s only disturbing at speeches, kisses and other moments and for candid photos you spoil the chance to take a second one. To give the photo album an extra dimension it´s nice to take photo of small things also at rings, shoes, flowers or dinner settings. Don’t forget candid photos of the children when they are running around, playing or do something unexpected instead just sitting nicely and calmly at the dinner table. If you have small and easy digital camera also you can place them at the table and ask everyone to borrow it for just a couple minutes and take spontaneous photos at whatever they feel too. If you have a system camera you should not forget to change camera lenses now and then to take photos with both wide angle, normal and longer distance.
Be Moderate Bold
To catch the moment you need to be little bit bold sometimes. Too much polite and timid attitude and you maybe miss a great photo shoot. A feel for right timing are very important, think ahead and seek for the right position for the moment and at the same time not to disturb the event. Avoid moving around then someone is holding a longer speech, sermons or songs. Then you take the formal shoot, don´t be afraid of being a little bit bold and tell the wedding couple exactly what you want them to do. At this time of the day you are responsible for driving the show and let things moving forward.
Don´t Throw away Photos
With todays digital cameras it´s easy and inexpensive to take a lot of photos. Nearly the only differences between taking one or thousands photos is a larger memory card. It’s easy to remove them immediately also, but don´t do it too fast. Sometimes you can find an interesting part in a photo in an moreover indifferent photo. With Photoshop or similar photo editing program you can always crop and manipulated the photo afterwards. However, to use Photoshop is taking some time and need skills, so treat Photoshop as a helper for a few bad photos and not the solution for every image you have taken.
A midday shooting with backlit conditions can requisites a flash with full power to turn out the shadows in the peoples faces. In those situations the camera doesn’t automatically set the flash on, you need to force the flash to go on manually as a fill in flash mode. On the other hand, full flash can be too strong and give unnatural colors in some situations. To avoid those problems, it’s recommended to aim the flash not directly to the people or try to shadow the flashlight a little bit.
Don´t forget a flash can be disturbing also. In church under the ceremony the focus should be at the wedding couple and not the photographer and his flashlight.
Catch the Moment
A pessimist inclined person listens to Murphy’s law: “Anything that can go wrong — will go wrong”. But even if something hasn’t been as planned it can be the best part of the day. The best man has a problem finding the ring, it´s raining at outside wedding ceremonies or at the photo sessions, or the bride has forgotten her vows in front of the priest. Right then it can be a little panic, but afterwards there can be a good memorable funny moments. Be alert and don´t miss those moments with your camera, it will maybe be the best and most funny photo of the day.
Weddings are a celebrating that should be fun. If you have fun as a photographer it´s easy to send out relaxed feeling to those you are photographing. One of the best way to loosen up people is to smile. Do some fun photos as well. Play around a little and maybe take a funny theme from a movie to look alike. Some wedding couple like to unleash their children inside them and do wild and crazy photo session. Take one day before wedding to play around with the camera and create a funny moments to remember for them. But chose another clothes than the real wedding dress and suits if there is any risk to mess it up or destroy them before the wedding.