Photographing a Wedding

Photographing A Wedding

Here are some tips to help you prepare for photographing a wedding with confidence if you are new to the game...

1. Assist a professional first

If you are photographing a wedding, even it is for a friend, it's a great idea to assist a seasoned professional first. Reach out and offer free assistance. When choosing a pro to assist, be aware of their style, you want to learn from someone you aspire too. The experience will be extremely valuable and you will learn a ton. Assist as much as you can until you are ready to do your first one alone. After assisting free a few times, you can negotiate with the photographer for paid assistance, this way you will get paid to learn. But don't be afraid to go for it, we all have to start somewhere.

2. Photo equipment

First thing’s first when photographing a wedding, you need to know how your gear works. Never used your external flash? Invite a friend over so you can practice shooting portraits with it, and test different ways of positioning/bouncing the flash. Work on how to get a more natural look with external lighting. Dont be afraid to try new things, remember, practise makes perfect and it will make a big difference when you are assisting and eventually shoot your own wedding. Does your camera make a lot of beeps and chimes as you turn it on, find out how to silence them. Are you familiar with all your camera settings? spend some evening experienting and getting more familiar. There are a lot of resources, outside of your camera’s manual, that will help you know your camera better, and be able to solve issues as they arise.

Also important to know when photographing a wedding, how many batteries and memory space you might need for a longer shoot. So that you won’t run out of either. If getting to know your camera seems like an intimidating task, try just looking it up one function at a time, or grab yourself a laminated cheat sheet (these exist for most DSLRs) that will give you all the necessary knowledge without getting overly technical. You can find excelent tutorials online, that have great wedding photography tips for beginner and pro’s.

3. Photo shot List

When photographing a wedding, it's a great idea to have a shot list. When the big day comes, things can be somewhat let's say, hectic. You may have shots in mind, yet in the moment it might be hard to make sure all are remembered. We all set out to get every shot we you intend to. So Make a list (with your clients or just for yourself) of all the shots that you absolutely need. This will help you to stay on track. This will also help you be sure you don’t miss anything. Think about the wedding day in sections, and list out what you’d like to capture. In each section: Include the shots you want while the couple and the wedding party are getting ready, at the ceremony, formal group photos, portraits and the reception, etc. This will help a lot throughout the day.

4. The Wedding venue

Every venue is unique, and it’ll be good for you to be familiar with the wedding venue. Are there designated indoor or outdoor areas for portraits and group shots? Is there a beautiful park just across the street? where you could shoot some beautiful portraits? Are the venue’s grounds themselves gorgeous and good for outdoor portrait work? Answer all these kind of questions ahead of time. This will help the shoot go smoothly and you’ll feel more confident. Be prepared going into the job. Preparation is key in most things when photographing a wedding.

5. Camera equipment checklist

Along with knowing how all your gear works, make sure you actually have everything you need.  A shoot can last nearly an entire day. Extra batteries, chargers, and memory cards are a must. Make a list of all the gear you want to be sure you have before the day of the wedding, and be sure to double check that your bag is ready to go and all your batteries are charged before you head out to photograph a wedding.

6. Second shooter

Number 5 in our wedding photography tips for beginners is find a good second shooter. A lot goes on the day of a wedding, and it can feel like you need to be in two places at once. If that’s the case, working with a second shooter might be the best solution. Finding someone with similar photography gear to yours can make wedding photo editing easier as your  collective photos will be merged into one cohesive gallery much simpler. And if editing that many images seems intimidating, Weddit has great editing services available at reasonable prices. Their professional team of editors can help to get your editing style off to an awesome start.

7. Should I shoot RAW ?

Our last point in our ‘wedding photography tips for beginners’ is the question we hear so often, should I shoot RAW? The answer is yes!..  You should take every advantage of being able to should raw, a lot of people ask ‘ should I shoot RAW?’ we think you should, and here is why. The beautiful thing about shooting with a digital camera, is that you can break away from the shooting limits that film set. Now that you can take thousands of RAW images without even having to change out your memory card, you should absolutely take advantage of that fact.

Take more photographs than you think you need, and wait until the night is over before you start deleting “mistakes”. You never know when that “oh, the bride and groom looked at each other in this group shot” or “everyone ended up laughing in this” photograph will turn out to be one you really want to include. Capturing those real moments is something that gives your wedding photos more personality, and they’re moments that your clients will love to see included with the more standard shots. RAW images are more forgiving with mistakes, you can easily change the white balance in your images, and your exposure has a lot more room for error than a standard jpeg image.

Wedding photo editing service

To get started with our wedding photo editing service, you can create an account here. 

Photo + editing credit: All images in this blog post edited by the team here at Weddit and photographed by Lukas Griffin. 

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