Wedding Week 2017 is just around the corner, and we hope you're as excited as we are! We've got tons of great content planned on top of some amazing product highlights on our top tools and resources for wedding photographers. Get ready!
Maybe you’ve just booked your first ever wedding and you’re equal parts excited and nervous for the big day. Or perhaps you’re a few years into the game and you feel like you’ve got it down. No matter how long you’ve been in the biz, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 tips that will help make wedding days a breeze~
Create a shot list. Wedding photography is nothing like street photography - you can’t just wander around and shoot as you please. There’s so much happening in a short amount of time, and having a game plan ensures you get all the images your clients want. After all, you are documenting their big day! There’s nothing worse than realizing you didn’t photograph the happy couple with their favorite Great Uncle Patrick.
Set clear expectations with your clients. Be sure that both you and your clients understand what each party will be receiving. This could be as simple as what style of album you’ll be delivering or if a hot meal is provided for you at the event. Lay out everything - from what time your job starts and stops, to how the images will be presented, and the payment schedule.
We recommend our Complete Legal Wedding Contract for any wedding photographer, new or pro. Our robust legal contract features clear and concise language that protects both you and your client and plainly expresses expectations of both parties. This comprehensive contract ensures weddings will always come together beautifully and without complications. A bonus interactive/paperless version is also included.
Scout the location. Looking at photos of the venue will only get you so far. By visiting the location before the big day, you’ll be able to walk around the space and discover the best spots for photographs, how natural light interacts with the space, and start imagining the shots you’ll be capturing.
Expect the unexpected. You never know what’s going to happen at a wedding, so it’s always better to be prepared for the worst. Pack along those extra CF cards, spare batteries, and all your backup gear. If you can, we recommend attending the rehearsal dinner to help you get a feel for the whole event, key players and personalities, and leave you with a better understanding of how the event will flow.
Consider a second shooter. No matter the wedding size, there’s always an inordinate number of photos to capture. Having a second shooter is an ideal strategy to help you tackle events - it means less moving around, and it takes some of the pressure off you being the one to get every single shot.
Thinking of adding an associate shooter to your business? Or maybe you just need help on the one gig. Regardless, our comprehensive Associate Wedding Photographer/Second Shooter Contract provides an all-inclusive agreement which addresses everything from clarifying services rendered to heading off potential legal hang-ups.
Be bold. Especially during the formal shots - you’re running the show during this time, so don’t be scared to pose the guests and ask for what you need. During quiet moments, photographing without being obtrusive is key. Try your best not to disturb the event, but remember, you’re there to do a job. So if you need to crouch down and get up close, do it.
Anticipate moments. Weddings are going to be an emotional event and it’s important to capture emotions as they happen. You can never fully anticipate everything, but you can take steps to ensure that you’re there when moments happen. For example, you know there will be emotion when dad goes to give the bride away or when the groom sees the bride for the first time, so be 100% ready and get the shot.
Shoot it ALL! It’s always better to go overboard with the number of images you capture. It’s easy to purge the ones that don’t make the cut, but you can’t go back and take an image that you’ve missed. For formals, take extra images just in case. There’s nothing worse than shooting a family portrait and finding out that someone’s blinking, talking or looking off camera.
Backup everything x 3. The very first thing you should do post-wedding is to upload all of your images onto your computer, cloud storage service, and onto an external hard drive. It’s critical to backup your weddings to multiple places just in case. This is part of being a pro. Enough said!
And last, but not least:
Have fun. Weddings are all about celebrating love - they should be fun. The more you relax and enjoy yourself (or look like you’re enjoying yourself), the more likely your subjects will relax, and that makes for better photographs. So smile and have fun. After all, you have a pretty incredible job!