12 Tips to Capture the Perfect Moments as a Wedding Photographer
Date Posted:16 February 2017
If you’re a wedding photographer, or an aspiring wedding photographer, there’s no doubt that you want to capture the ‘perfect moments’ of the day. Your goal is to recreate the atmosphere and mood of the wedding through the images you take. Shooting a wedding is often technically challenging, emotional and sometimes even unpredictable, but it’s also a lot of fun! Here’s a few tips to help you refine your craft and capture those picture-perfect moments as a wedding photographer.
1. Assist a Pro
Before you go out on your own and start up a wedding photography business, it’s a good idea to get some experience alongside someone who is working as a professional in the field. It’s not a technical tip in itself, however it’s sure to lead to the development of your technical skills, as well as relationship building skills that will put you in a good position to expand your client base as a wedding photographer.
2. Prep your camera (and gear)
Maybe it sounds obvious, but before you turn up on the day ready to shoot, make sure all your equipment is charged and ready to go. It’s a good idea to have spare parts, so that if you experience an equipment failure you will avoid catastrophic consequences. It’s not just batteries either – check all your gear and be ready for anything. Make sure you have a back up camera.
3. Get an assistant
It’s a lot easier to cover the bases, get coverage of all the important events and make sure that you don’t miss anything. An assistant, (or even better, another photographer) can help ensure that the day is as smooth for you as it is for the wedding party.
4. Capture the emotion
There’s sure to be spontaneous reactions at a wedding, after all, it’s an emotional event. Be ready to capture these unstaged and authentic reactions. Prepare for the unexpected – it could rain, things could go awry or arrangements could change at the last minute. Be prepared to adapt and keep your cool. You should be able to bring a professional and warm approach, no matter what the circumstances are.
5. Check out the location
It’s absolutely necessary to know as much as you can about the location, so that you can bring the appropriate gear, but also so that you can think ahead of time about the type of photo’s you will be taking. Where will the sun be? Are there any specific landscape features? What is the lighting like? Do your homework ahead of time.
6. Have a discussion
Keep it simple, but have a discussion with the bride and groom about their expectations for the day. Perhaps they have certain ideas about the types of photos they would like. There may be timeframes that you need to be aware of, but also you should take this moment to discuss how you will be approaching the photography on the day. It’s also a good time to identify who is important to the pair so that you are shooting the right people!
7. Turn off sound
Don’t forget to turn off the sound during any important moments as it’s highly unprofessional and embarrassing to interrupt the flow of events.
8. Eye on the details
No doubt a lot of thought and energy has gone into the preparation of the wedding, so be sure to capture the finer details. This includes the dress, rings, flowers, decor, menu, location shots, and anything else that adds character to the day.
9. Bring your A game
If you haven’t already, it’s time to brush up on your photography skills. Make sure you know how to work with lighting (indoor, outdoor, day and night), exposure, different locations, composition (colour, symmetry) and more. If you have never taken a professional photography class, maybe now is the time. Take what you know, refine it, and work on perfecting your craft.
It goes without saying – shoot in RAW format. Yes, it’s a little extra overhead and might require more time to process and edit, but consider the wide variety of lighting that you are likely to encounter during a wedding. Having the flexibility to easily make adjustments when tricky lighting presents itself is a necessary insurance.
11. Mix it up
Of course, not every photo should be from obscure angles or ‘alternative’, but be sure to mix it up a little and take a few interesting or unusual shots.
12. Keep smiling
Adopt a friendly persona (hopefully it’s natural for you anyway) and keep smiling! It’s a tried and tested way to build trust and make people feel relaxed around you. Have a bit of fun and engage with the guests, create a relaxed and enjoyable mood and it will make your job far easier.
Hopefully these tips will help you to create a positive atmosphere and bring your A game on the big day. Being a consistently great photographer is much more difficult than most people think, so when it comes to taking photo’s for a couple’s special day – it pays to be prepared.