Ten Photography Mistakes That Every Beginner Should Avoid
Shooting a wedding is one of the toughest assignments that a photographer can take on, there are lots of potential issues that could occur and the stakes are incredibly high on this particular type of gig. So, to help you out here at Weddit, we have compiled a list of the most common wedding photography mistakes that photographers make when shooting a wedding, along with some of the best wedding photography tips for how to avoid common photography mistakes.
Tip #1: Inexperience Is Your Own Worst Enemy - It's important to be realistic about your capabilities and experience before you commit to shooting a wedding, especially if you are to be paid for your time and work. A wedding day is considerably one of the most important day's in someone's life and it's your job to ensure that there are no photography mistakes and your side of things flows smoothly. The worst thing that you can do is agree to commit to a paying gig (of any kind, especially a wedding) if you have no idea what you are doing. Our best advice is to be honest with the couple about your experience and don't allow anyone to talk you into taking on a job that you are not confident that you can carry out without a problem. There will be plenty of opportunities to get out on the field, just make sure that you level up per say before advertising your services professionally.
Tip #2: Familiarise Yourself With Your Equipment - It's absolutely crucial that you know your equipment inside out and are confident using it! A wedding is not the time to be trying a setting for the first time, you should be familiar with your equipment's capabilities and variations and you are in charge of your own equipment. If you decide that being the main photographer at the wedding is too big a step, you could always offer to take on the second photographer duties, shooting from alternative angles, getting background shots and duplicating some of the pro's shots, it's all good experience and it'll be like learning on the job for a promotion, but it shouldn't be learning altogether for the first time.
Tip #3: Poor Lighting Exposure – There's a lot of pressure for the images to look spectacular, after all, it is someone's wedding day that you have been entrusted to capture. The bride's white dress is one of the most important aspects of many weddings and it can be a real headache to photograph correctly. Every wedding photographer's worst nightmare is overexposing it so that it's turned into a uniform mass of bright white with no detail, but the opposite (underexposure) makes it look grubby and grey, also making the brides skin look dulled, just to bring out the details on the dress. This aren't the kind of photography mistakes that the Bride and Groom will want running throughout their photo album, so you've got to get the balance right.
Fortunately, a little underexposure can be corrected post capture, but it needs to be a little underexposed to avoid losing the detail in the groom's dark suit and bringing out noise in the shadows. This is one area where digital cameras offer a huge advantage over film cameras. You can check the exposure immediately after taking a shot and adjust it accordingly.
Tip #4: Think About The Backdrop - Some professional wedding photographers usually check out a wedding venue before the big day so that they can identify the perfect location for the essential shots of the couple and their families. Sometimes going into the gig blindfolded in terms of the best angles and where you can capture the best shots isn't the best idea unless you are confident that you know what to look for and you can pick those locations out easily on the day. Anyhow, some spots may be a request from the Bride and Groom. Photography spots usually have an impact on the venue that the happy couple choose. In terms of taking the photo and within the image itself, a nice, clean background can make a huge difference to a shot, but don't make the mistake of thinking that it needs to be plain or uninteresting. Shooting the couple in the doorway of the church, for example, gives context as well as creating a frame around them and it looks much better than photographing them in front of the hedge in the churchyard.
Tip #5 Learn How To Compose A Group Shot – We hate to break it to you, but if you're not great at managing groups of people when it comes to photography, this should be an area that you start to focus on, as weddings are a prime place that are filled with groups of people. There is going to be a lot of chatter and a lot of jolliness, but as the photographer you need to cut through all of that and capture the images that you've been hired to take without putting a bummer in the atmosphere or breaking up the party. Large group shots aren't especially easy to arrange, first of all you've got to corral all the people you need together, then you've got to make sure that everyone is visible, smiling, looking at the camera and not blinking. The ushers can usually be relied upon to help find everyone that's supposed to be in each shot, but it's up to you to arrange them. Put the most important people towards the centre of the group around the bride and groom and have the taller one's towards the back of large groups. Bring a stepladder and tall tripod, or find a high vantage point for shooting very large groups.
Photo + editing credit: All images in this blog post edited by the team here at Weddit and photographed by Lukas Griffin. To get started with our wedding photo editing service, you can create an account here.