A Beginner's Guide to Wedding Photography Skip to content

A Beginner’s Guide to Wedding Photography

Weddings are stressful and challenging to shoot most of the time. You’re responsible for capturing the best moments that last for a lifetime. Given this responsibility, wedding photographers must focus and multitask as there’s no room for mistakes and no second chance to capture that special moment you’ve missed.

Despite the facts being laid out, shooting doesn’t have to be scary at all times. Wedding photography is something to be proud of and can be extremely rewarding for a photographer.

What is Wedding Photography?

Wedding photography is a specialized form of photography intended for weddings. It involves taking photographs of the couple, guests, and the wedding ceremony itself. It may also include prenuptial shots, pictures of the bride alone or with bridesmaids, the groom with his groomsmen, and any other images related to the event.

How to nail a wedding shot? Follow the basic requirements that we’ll cover in this guide and become a pro in no time! 

  • Meet Your Client
  • Know Your Shot
  • Be Early
  • Use The Right Gear and Accessories
  • Edit with Enthusiasm

Wedding Photography Guide

Meet Your Client

Meeting your client is the most important thing to do before the actual wedding day. Usually, both the couple and any representative of the family are part of the decision making. During your first meeting, you will be brainstorming and discussing the client’s preferences and rough draft their wedding details. After that, you can give your clients time to make some changes and get back to them for finalization.

Once done, you can send your rates and provide an agreement contract stating the agreed package and payment details.

Know Your Shot

Knowing your shot means creating a “shot list.” A shot list is a checklist of must-have shots to be done during the wedding. Below are the different angles that you don’t want to miss when shooting for wedding events:

  • Close-Up Shot: An up-close or portrait photo of the bride, groom, or both. This could also be useful in taking photos of wedding cakes, wedding rings, down to the gown.
  • Wide Shot:This is commonly used to highlight the preparation, wedding venue, location, and ongoing ceremony. You can play around with different angles if you wish to.
  • Reaction Shot: It’s considered as the most crucial shot because it involves emotions. It’s really amazing how each person’s emotion gives a bigger impact as it tells you a story interpreted by a single capture. Reaction shots are mostly taken during the exchange of vows, ceremonies, and the after-party.
  • Group Shot: This shot is taken when the wedding begins — as guests are approaching the venue and kids are playing around the corner. Or after the wedding, wherein guests and the newlyweds are required to take group photos.
  • Details: Don’t forget that couples put too much effort into details, so you better not skip them. Good examples would be bouquets, centerpieces, and jewelry worn by the bride.

Be Early

The general rule of thumb in every appointment is to arrive early. You can be at the location one hour ahead, so you still have time to set-up your gears. This will also help you run tests and visualize areas of the venue where you can perfectly photograph the wedding.

Arriving early brings you a bigger opportunity to build a connection with and introduce your services to guests. There’s a high chance of dealing with future clients too.

Tip: Bring along with you an assistant. That will make you more efficient since you have someone to carry things or assist you during the shoot.

Use The Right Gear and Accessories

Standing for long hours can be tiring, so you might want your stuff to be as handy as possible, right? Here are the essential things needed throughout the shoot:

  • Camera. If you have your own mirrorless DSLR or any professional camera, then you’re good to go. Renting cameras or gears is also advisable; however, it is better to invest if you’re really rooting for a photography job.
  • Extra Batteries. Make sure to bring fully-charged batteries, or the whole moment will be ruined. Most photographers bring three or four batteries, depending on the event’s duration.
  • Tripod. Intended for wide shots, action shots, and basically to stabilize taking landscape photos.
  • Reflector. A small-sized and foldable reflector will do. This tool is handy for a great bounce effect to fill or soften the light.
  • Zoom Lens. Optional but can be very useful for weddings with large venues such as gardens, beaches, etc. Zoom lens allows you to quickly re-frame a scene while staying in your position.
  • Extra Memory Cards. Bringing extras will save you from running out of memory. Just make sure that you’re bringing a clean slate memory card to avoid losing files.

Edit with Enthusiasm

After taking many shots, editing finally comes in. It will require you some time to finish as there are hundreds of photos to be reviewed. Make sure to delete the unnecessary photos and rename those of good quality to sort them quickly.

Once photos have been filtered out, you can begin editing the colors and sizes, depending on the outcome you’re aiming for. Few things to consider are setting the mood of the photo taken, not cropping too much, and never sharpening the images. You can use any editing software you’re comfortable with, but Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom are highly preferable.

Modern wedding photographers often create their own presets to establish identity. Having a distinct editing style will also help build your portfolio and attract more clients. 

As you apply these basic guidelines in every wedding photography you shoot, you’ll realize how challenging yet fun this industry is! Patience and perseverance is the key to a successful wedding photography profession.

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