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Wedding Photography Tips

Wedding Photography Tips

When I’m photographing a wedding, I’m often asked for tips and ideas, so I’ve put a few thoughts together, I hope the list below helps.

    • Pre-Wedding Preparation Get you camera kit ready well in advance, lots of memory cards, lots of new or fully charged batteries, clean your lenses, check your camera sensor, and chack your list. ‘What list?’ I hear you cry. I feel it’s wise to gather a list of everything you ever need to photograph a wedding, and make sure it’s ready to use in your bag (or bags if you carry as much kit as me). You should also carry a few items you probably won’t need but are handy to have, wet wipes, headache tablets, and my favourite the Swiss Army knife, so when your bride cries out for a pair of scissors to cut a thread from her dress, you’re at the ready like a good little Boy Scout (or Girl Guide)!
    • Recce the Locations You must be familiar with the venues and routes you’ll be travelling. Visit the location/s before the day, find the best areas for photos (in all kinds of weather conditions) and time your journey/s so you know how long it’ll take on the day. Preparation, preparation, preparation!!
    • Wedding Photo Checklist Make a list of everything you’re going to photograph on the day. Ask the bride and groom if there’s any shots they particularly want, and any group photos they’d like captured. It’s easy to forget things when your rushing during the day, write them down, refer to your list, and you won’t forget anything.
    • Group Photos This is the bit that seems to terrify the amateur wedding photographers. Ask the bride and groom (and their parents, they’re quite often paying so deserve a shot or two) if they’d like you to photograph any family groups. Try to keep the list short, group photos can be very time consuming. Weddings can be quite chaotic, so it may be useful to have the bride and groom nominate a guest (one from each family?) to help round up those required for the photos.
    • Details Capture all the small details of the wedding, the rings, shoes, flowers, table decorations, order of service, signs, anything and everything.
    • Candids I love capturing shots of the bride, groom and their guests, when they haven’t spotted me. You’ll get some of your best shots when your subject isn’t aware of the camera. Now I’m not suggesting camouflage clothing, bird hides, and remote control cameras, but a long lens is a necessity here, a short telephoto lens at the very least.
    • Poses When posing the bride and groom, be confident, work quickly, and keep them happy, relaxed and comfortable. I’m not going to go into what poses to use, there’s books aplenty for that, just practice before the day so you can work quickly with your bride and groom
    • The Unexpected If it can go wrong, it probably will, you need 2-3 cameras, 2-3 flashguns, basically 2-3 of everthing that’s important for the day. If you a keen amateur who’s shooting a friends wedding, I don’t suggest you spend £1000s on back-up equipment, but if you only have one camera body, lens or flash, then borrow or hire a spare, you absolutely MUST have a back up camera if nothing else.
    • The Unexpected Part II It’s not just the photographer who may experience the unexpected. I’ve seen rings forgotten more than once, registrar’s missing, hundreds of different reasons for people to be late, roadworks, car crashes, Rolls-Royce’s breaking down, dresses not fitting, flowers not arriving, sat nav not working, and even big volcanoes (that one in Iceland with the long name). Don’t let any of this effect you, don’t get stressed, don’t panic, rush, or start drinking spirits, none of this will help (well maybe one small Scotch?). Stay calm, enjoy the day, and capture the images. In years to come the bride and groom will cherish that amazing photo you took, the one of them stood hand in hand next to the burning vintage Jaguar, smoke billowing in the wind and rain.

That’ll do to be going on with, any questions regarding wedding photography, don’t be shy,  just ask.