Wedding Photography Basics

wedding photography basics

Tips For The Amateur Wedding Photographer

Want to learn how to photograph a wedding, but have no idea where to begin? This post is perfect for the amateur wedding photographer! You're not alone, in fact a lot of people with the same interest of learning a little bit more about wedding photography have the same question. So, in this post you'll discover some of the most basic but essential photography tips that will help you on your way as an amateur wedding photographer, wanting to enter the trade and need a little guidance with their first gig.

1. Create a Shot List - One of the most helpful tips I could give about photographing a wedding is to let the couple to think ahead about the shots that they’d like you to capture on the day. This just makes your job easier, so that you know what your client expects from you. With the information that they give you, compile a list so that you can check them off one at a time throughout the event. This is particularly helpful where family shots are concerned. There’s nothing worse than getting the photos back and realizing you didn’t photograph the happy couple with grandma! Yikes, that will never make it to the album...

2. Family Photo Coordinator - The family photo part of the day can be quite stressful for the average amateur wedding photographer if you go at the task alone. People are everywhere, you may be unaware of the different family dynamics at play and people are in a festive spirit, which usually means they've been drinking a few spirits to the point where it can be quite chaotic nightmare to get everyone to stand where they're supposed to be. To keep the event flowing and to make your job a little easier, try to get the couple to nominate a family member (or one for each side of the family) who can be the ‘director’ of the shoot. They can round everyone up, help get them in the shot and keep things moving so that the couple can get back to the party. That way, you won't forget to get that photo of grandma!

3. Preparation is Key - So much can go wrong on the day and this isn't to make you nervous, but it'd be just your luck if something happens to throw you off guard that you didn't prepare for. That's why it's important to be well organised and think ahead. Have a backup plan in case of bad weather, batteries dying, memory cards maxed out and all that really annoying stuff that could disrupt your ability to photograph the couple's special day.

You should also think about the route/ journey time that it will take to get to the venue. The last thing that the Bride wants to hear on her big day that the photographer is running late or can't make it. You really will be branded as the amateur wedding photographer and that's not a nickname that you'll appreciate in the business if you want to be taken seriously. It's a once in a lifetime moment and you have to get it right the first time. If you're super organised you'll know what the itinerary of the full day is so that you know what’s happening next. If you can, attend the rehearsal of the ceremony where you’ll gather a lot of great information about possible positions to shoot from, the lighting, the order of the ceremony e.c.t

4. Be Invisible A beeping camera during the Best Man's speech, the vows and the Bride & Groom's first kiss doesn’t add to the event in a good way. As you're in charge of capturing the couple's special day, your job is to be a fly on the wall without being a hindrance by disturbing the ceremony. Switch off the sound on your camera beforehand and keep it off throughout the event.

5. Scout the Location Many professional photographers with years of experience don't usually do this just because they have a much better idea of what they are doing compared to someone who is newer to the photography game, but as an amateur wedding photographer it may be a good idea for you to visit the locations of the different places that you’ll be shooting before the big day. I'd personally find it really helpful to know where I was going so that I had more of an idea what will happen on the day itself. You can use this opportunity to get an idea for a few positions for shots and to know how the light might come into play. You could even take a couple of test shots, who knows they may make a nice page filler for the photo album.

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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. 

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