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Wedding Photography

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Photography: 20 Essential Tips to Follow

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. The tips are right from the horse’s mouth and will effectively provide a new perspective to the assignment. 

Cutting the chase, you will need some wedding photography tips which can help to nail the first assignment. 

1. Pre-Wedding Preparation

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. 
pre wedding preparation

Time to connect with couples. Share your vision of wedding 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

2. Ideas from the Couple

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.
Ideas from the Couple

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

3. Visit the Venue

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. 

visit the venue

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.

4. 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.
Photography Portfolio

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 wedding 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.

5. 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.

Take Control with Respect

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.

6. Hire an 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 wedding photography and candid images simultaneously.

Hire an Assistant

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

7. 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. 

dress professionally

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.

8. 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. 

Photography Gear

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.

9. Natural Light

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.

10. 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.

raw file format

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.

11. 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.
Backup Storage
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.

12. Outsource Photo Editing

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 wedding photography images. It will save your time and allow you to concentrate on wedding photography.

editing

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

13. 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.

Expect the Unexpected

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.

14. 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.

Candid Shots

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.

15. 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 amateur 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.

exposure

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.

16. Shooting Angle

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.
Shooting Angle
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.

17. Stay Fit

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. 

stay fit

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.

18. 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.

Preparing for the Day

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.

19. Backup Batteries and Accessories

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.

Backup Batteries and Accessories

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.

20. Same Day Edit

Sharing a preview of your work-in-progress using software like Adobe Photoshop and other editing tools is a powerful way to keep clients engaged and excited. Whether through edited images or concept designs, these previews offer a glimpse of the magic in the making. By creating captivating preview videos featuring edited shots accompanied by music, you can build anticipation for the final digital album or picture bouquet.
same day edit
Additionally, these previews serve as valuable communication tools during the post-editing stage, keeping clients informed and involved. Ultimately, integrating advanced editing software into your workflow showcases your commitment to excellence and reinforces client confidence in your expertise.


Conclusion 

Mastering the art of wedding photography involves meticulous planning, effective communication with clients, and adept handling of various challenges. Pre-wedding preparation not only fosters familiarity with the couple but also sets the stage for innovative shots and client satisfaction. Collaboration with the couple on ideas fosters a shared vision and enhances the overall experience. Familiarizing oneself with the wedding venue beforehand ensures seamless execution and optimal use of available light. Transparency in service offerings and professional conduct are paramount for building trust and credibility in the industry. Equipping oneself with the right gear and technical know-how enables photographers to capture moments with precision and artistry. Adapting to unexpected situations with creativity and composure elevates the quality of the final deliverables. Embracing candid moments and mastering exposure and shooting angles add depth and storytelling to wedding photographs. Prioritizing physical and mental well-being ensures sustained performance and client satisfaction. Lastly, leveraging innovative techniques such as same-day edits enhances client engagement and sets the stage for lasting professional relationships. Through diligent preparation, creative execution, and a client-centric approach, aspiring wedding photographers can navigate the intricacies of the industry and carve a niche for themselves in this dynamic field.

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