The Ultimate Guide in Wedding Photography 20 Must Follow Tips

Wedding photography is about capturing events and activities during a wedding ceremony. If you have been handed your first assignment, you need to prepare and adapt accordingly. Wedding photography is a lucrative industry with millions of dollars in turnover every year. Good first step can ensure a bright future with lots of satisfied clients.

wedding photography tips
Beautiful guy and girl, bride in a white wedding dress, groom in a classic blue suit against a nature background. Wedding, family creation.

Cutting the chase, you will need some wedding photography tips which can help to nail the first assignment. The tips are right from the horse’s mouth and will effectively provide a new perspective to the assignment. 

Pre-Wedding Preparation

wedding preparation
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Pre-wedding is not just part of the assignment; it’s your scope of getting to know the couple. Find some good relaxed moments of the two, and you will find the chemistry for the big day. Some couples are quite camera-friendly, while others seem to freeze. Use the pre-wedding shoot as a scope to do your homework and discuss it with the client. 

Time to connect with couples. Share your vision of photography, how you want to get the shoot done, and answer their queries. This information will eventually help you on the final day. Pre-weddings are the best scope of experiment and innovation. Don’t be shy to use your imagination and bring out new shots or props.

Things to Prepare

  • Camera Lens
  • SD Cards
  • Bag
  • Extra Lighting
  • Laptop
  • Notes
  • Action Plan

Ideas from the Couple

wedding couple
Bride in beautiful dress and groom in gray suit sitting on sofa indoors in white studio interior like at home. Trendy wedding style .Wedding

Though you are the artist here, give importance to the couples about shots. Ask them if they have any inspiration or dream shoot. Most of the couples will come up with some ideas of their own. It is a golden chance to go outdoors or have some cool experiment with your skills.

If the couple goes for some particular outdoor shots, ensure that you are prepared with the venue and planning. You might need tools and props for the purpose. If you can meet the expectation of the client, you will be earning the accolade. Try to meet their ‘couple’ photoshoot goals, you will surely get recommended. So gain insight from the couples rather than brainstorming yourself.

List Down Couples Ideas

  • Poses
  • Style
  • Color
  • Reference Images

Visit the Venue

wedding venue
Luxurious dinner hall with large crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling

Visit the wedding venue prior to the wedding. It is better to be ready from beforehand than to struggle later. Try to visit on the same day as the ceremony and place of reception. Focus on minute details like the natural light which is expected and how much light is available. It is a good way to take mental notes and preview the shots which you can take. 

You need to find good backdrops, get to know the place. It is just like the pitch-report before a game of cricket. On a minute level, even the temperature matters, which can change the feature of the natural light. You might have to juice up the white balance to get stunning images.

Photography Portfolio

Your proposal must come in packages where all the services are mentioned in points. A couple should be clear about the service which you are giving them. This is perhaps the best wedding photography tip for beginners. Be crystal clear about your services, and the client should share the same knowledge.

It is your business, transparency, and honesty is what will drive you ahead. Clients have the right to know what they are for the money they are paying. For example, if you plan on doing candid photos, the rates are different from the posed photography. The point is to be clear about the final product which you will provide. Whether it is a digital album or printed one, be clear about the terms.

Take Control with Respect

Yes, you need to keep your work and the guests, but bossing around is complete ‘no go’ at a wedding. You have to get the best group shot, profile, candid. You need to ask the guests to be out of the way, but if you are too rude, the control is lost.

Maintain a decent control of the situation without being bossy or abrupt. They are here for enjoyment and fun, and you are working on an assignment. You have to control the ambiance and yet be polite and courteous with the guest. There is a fine line between control and being the boss. Just make sure you maintain the line.

Hire an Assistant

photography assistant

Wedding photography tutorial recommends you to hire an assistant. Let’s say you have landed your dream wedding photography assignment. Think twice before you take it all on your shoulder. It can stress you out and even hamper productivity for the day. Share the shooting with your assistance. It will ease the pressure and you can work with framed photography and candid images simultaneously.

Assistant will help you to prepare the people for a group, capture the shots from various angles, and prepare the equipment beforehand. Worried that you are not a big enough photographer? You have to brace yourself for the bigger projects someday, then why not start it now.

Things to Discuss

  • Delegation of Task
  • Positioning
  • Action Plan

Dress Professionally

You represent your business and need to appear smart. If you are dressed smartly, you will appear professional. According to William Cheng, a renowned wedding photographer, you need to blend in the crowd and do not look like a typical photographer. There is a psychological message which clients develop when they see you dressed smartly. 

Your appearance must leave a good impression, convincing people that you are serious in your work. Future clients will have trust when they approach you for further assignments. The rule of ‘first impression is the last impression’ highly applies to the situation.

Photography Gear

photography gear
Photography Gear

Right choice of gear will help you shoot sharp, well-composed, and well lit images. Camera kit has to be light, easy to carry but must cover all the needs of a wedding assignment.A 16-35 mm wide-angle lens will serve during low light, fast shooting situations. For close-ups and candid, you can rely on a prime lens. An 85mm prime can fit your business for most weddings. A 70-200 mm lens will add versatility to your with high clarity at zoom range. 

In terms of the camera body, go for a mirrorless as it is more detailed, comes in the lightweight and compact size. It will reduce the amount of stress on your hands. This standard gear will see you through most assignments. If you need any special lens or camera, just hire it. It will save the price of buying one.

Natural Light

Nothing beats natural light to illuminate your subject. You can have the best light stands, reflectors. If you are shooting in an outdoor venue, use every ounce of natural light you get. When in a church, you can play with the light reflected from the windowpane. Juice up the exposure in your camera and find some stunning candid of your subject.

Raw File Format

Shooting in raw provides the ease of manipulation and editing during the post-production phase. Jpeg formats are automatically compressed and processed when you shoot. Switch to raw mode while you shoot the wedding. Raw format preserves all the information you enter in the camera while shooting. Sharpness and contrast are retained to the optimum level.

You will get flawless production with a stunning natural result. The files are much larger and hold more information provided by the camera. The images would look livelier, natural, and visually compelling when it comes to RAW format shoot.

Backup Storage

backup storage

You need to carry hard drives and SD cards to complete the assignment. Backup spaces will help you to store the images and photos which can go over 20-50 Mb in size. Make sure you have ample space carrying during the shoot. Certain wedding photography camera settings can challenge the amount of space you have.

Try using cloud storage which will save the hassle of carrying a hard disk. Cloud storage can provide ample space and is a good back up option for the photos.  Besides you can take photos from the cloud for culling or editing even when you are moving.

Outsource Photo Editing

backup storage
Camera Photography Design Studio Editing Concept

Considering you are new to the industry, here is a valuable wedding photography tip. Hire a good editing team to do the retouching for you. Photo Editing Company is one of the leading organizations with years of experience in editing RAW Photography images. It will save your time and allow you to concentrate on photography.

These editing companies come with various advantages. They have a team of experts who are experienced in editing and can handle various demands. Charges are pocket-friendly, starting from 0.2 USD per image. Why would you carry the burden if you can get them sorted by experts.

Post Production Service

  • Color Correction
  • Adjusting White Balance
  • Adjust Temperature and Hue
  • Retouch Blemishes
  • Removal of Objects

Expect the Unexpected

Things might go wrong on the day of the wedding due to various reasons which are beyond control. But it is you who needs to turn it around and bring out outstanding shots from the situation. The ring can be lost, rain can drench the ceremony, and the bride might have an awkward situation.

Try to capture these epic moments, which makes the day special and an incident to remember. Look for the funny side of the situation and try to keep the environment light. Remember, a small joke can be enough to boost morale. Look for the photo which will speak about the lighter side of the situation.

Candid Shots

candid shots

The wedding ceremony is a dynamic environment with people, music and of course the couple. There are various reactions going on among the people. Looking at someone with tears in the eye when the ring is being exchanged? Capture this precious moment. It is a powerful image that will add up to your storytelling about the wedding.

Ask your assistant to take the planned image. You can shift to find those rare moments of expression. These moments light up the wedding and speak a thousand words through the frame and expression.

Exposure

Exposure is a technique which you need to master to get just the right amount of light. It is one little trick which differentiate ameteur from the experts. Brides come in white dresses which can get over-exposed. Your control of exposure will help to capture the bride with optimum brightness. Often minor positive compensation can do the trick.

Remember that shadows can be easily restored in comparison to the highlights. If you are not absolute about the level of exposure, try to stay on a darker side. Increasing the highlight later is much easier at the post-production stage.

Shooting Angle

photography angle
Portrait of playful beautiful caucasian woman pretending to take photo with her hands while walking on the street. Attractive model posing, using hands to make a frame outdoors in summer

Try tilting the camera which brings a dynamic or movement to the subject even if its static.There is no hard and fast rule that you have to shoot the frames in the horizontal or vertical image. Play with the vertical, horizontal lines and turn them into diagonal ones. Try to implement new expressions based on the angle of the image. Just stay within your limits and find some weird angle shot for the couple.

Stay Fit

exercise photography
Core challenge. Horizontal shot of a young photographer female working out her abs doing crunches at the gym.

As a photographer you need to stay in optimum health of mind and body. For that case prepare yourself accordingly before the day. Take ample rest, eat well, and relax the day before. Spend time running through your favorite photographers, preparing yourself mentally. 

The idea is to keep yourself charged and focused during the shoot. Embrace the stress during the work and come out of the situation with all guns blazing. The better health you can gather, the better the performance will be expected. The situation will test your mental as well as physical ability to take stress.

Preparing for the Day

Preparation for the shoot is an important aspect of getting good shots, keeping yourself ready for any moment to capture. You need to be intelligent to carry two bodies and two lenses. Using a leather strap to hang two cameras will reduce the need for lens or body change. It will keep your hands free when you are not holding a camera, and you can pick any one from each side. Keep one camera for the portraits with a prime lens of fixed focal length. Use the zoom lens in another body in case you need to shoot from far away.

Whatever the situation demands , you will be ready to snap a photo. The strap will help you to move easily and you do not need to change lens or body often.

Backup Batteries and Accessories

backup accessories
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One golden rule followed by the best photographers across the globe is that they always carry spare accessories and battery. Accessories like lens caps are easily lost. Always carry a number of lens caps which you can get for cheap. It is an accessory which protects your camera and it is a must have.

When it comes to a power supply, keep back-up batteries fully charged. RAW mode shooting eats excess of battery, and you must have something in the disposal to support the entire shoot. Aim for lithium-ion batteries, which can comfortably last 300 to 400 shots a day. Having two extra batteries won’t hurt and can save your day.

Same Day Edit

same day edit

Sharing a with a preview of the works which you are preparing for the album can keep the clients engaged with your business. Try something innovative like sending a preview video with few shots and sweet music packed in it. It will keep the client connected and they will be eager for your digital album or picture bouquet.  It will see you through the dormant post-editing stage when you have nothing to share with clients.