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12 Wedding Photography Tips For Amateur Photographers
From portraiture and action shots to landscape photography and even underwater pictures, wedding photography can be a very daunting task. After all, the responsibility of capturing the life-long memories of a couple will be in your precious hands.
Especially if you are an amateur, then wedding photography is going to be a nerve-wracking experience for you. To get you started, here is a round-up of 12 wedding photography tips for all the budding photographers out there.
1. Know The Couple
Use the initial meetings to know the couple. Put them at ease by casual friendly conversations. Ask them about their childhood, their meeting, their families, their relationship, their likes and dislikes, and so on.
Such conversations will help you draw inspiration for your photographs on the wedding day. You can also take some pre-nup shots to make the couple comfortable.
2. Create a Shot Checklist
This is one of the most important wedding photography tips. Firstly, you need to plan out the different stages of the wedding that you have to capture and jot them down in a checklist.
Next, you need to think of creative ways in which you are going to capture each stage. Your skills are tested by how efficiently you can document the wedding, down to its little details. Also, do not forget to ask the couple’s specific needs before preparing your shot checklist.
3. Hire Or Be A Part Of A Team
Working as a team, is one of the most common wedding photography tips for amateurs. Undoubtedly, a wedding is a huge affair. It is impossible for a single photographer to capture everything on his own.
Normally, couples prefer to hire a team of three to four photographers so that every precious moment is captured. Furthermore, the team members can share their pictures amongst themselves so as to incorporate a lot of variety and ensure better editing in the wedding album.
4. Bring The Right Gear
This is one of the most important wedding photography tips for you to remember. You must invest in the latest and the best equipment. Get high quality cameras and lenses within your budget to enhance the quality of your photographs.
Choose your equipment wisely to ensure that it does not attract too much attention and captures the wedding moments perfectly without any fuss. Be very skilful in choosing the right lens, going for the right aperture and zoom, and in using the flash creatively.
5. Know The Program
No couple would want a photographer who does not know anything about the day’s plan. You must familiarize yourself with the kind of wedding that you are going to capture. Every culture has its unique wedding rituals and traditions.
As a photographer, you need to capture all the symbolisms and customs of the wedding so as to make the wedding album very interesting and happening. Knowing a little about the nature of the wedding will help you figure out the exact moments of taking your shots. You can even consult the couple to know the needful about the wedding rituals.
6. Figure Out The Lighting Situation Beforehand
Acquaint yourself with the venue a few days prior to the big day so as to see the kind of lighting conditions that you will be working with. Observe the venue inside out and check out the kind of natural lighting that will be available on the different spots.
This will also help you in figuring out the tools and equipment you will need. You can even take some sample shots to check the lighting situation which will save you lot of time.
7. Get Accurate Exposure For The Bride’s Dress
Here is one of the most important wedding photography tips that is often overlooked. Every photographer must make sure that he accurately exposes the bride’s dress. Observe the colour combination, the accessories and the entire ensemble to think of creative techniques to capture the bride’s attire in the best possible manner.
8. Stay Alert And Be Prepared For Anything
Moments won’t come to you; you need to look for them and capture them at the right time. You must be keenly observant of everything that should be captured. Look for interesting reactions, expressions and emotions of the attendees, and then go for your click.
Apart from taking loads of pictures of the couple, move around to look for interesting shots with the guests. Remember to whip out the camera instantly for capturing the spontaneous and unplanned shots.
9. Be Authoritative And Professional
This tip requires you to be firm and confident. Even experienced photographers sometimes fail to be authoritative. You need a lot of confidence and practice to fearlessly take the centre stage in the middle of all the merry-making and celebration to get the best shots.
You will have to tactfully squeeze your camera in every important ritual or emotional moment. Always remember that you are being paid to be bossy about telling your guests to pose. Be respectful but prompt and non-hesitant.
10.Know Your Proximity
You should know when to get close and when to keep a distance from the attendees. It must not look as if you are overdoing your authority over the guests. You should only step in when you are needed; otherwise keep your distance.
Do not be annoying or creepy while taking pictures, especially during important rituals or speeches. Instead of causing discomfort by hovering over the guests, just use a zoom lens to shoot. You should know the right time when you have to direct the wedding party for shooting; on other occasions maintain your distance.
11.Don’t Manipulate Your Subjects
This is one of the most talked about wedding photography tips. Always look for natural pictures. The modern day couples prefer candids over posed pictures; so you should just go with the flow. As a photographer, your job is to take nice pictures and not to conduct the course of the wedding.
So, let things happen at their own pace and adjust accordingly. Do not disturb the celebrations or rituals and do not cause any kind of inconvenience to the guests. Basically, never ‘ask’ your subjects to work according to you and do not interfere with their proceedings.
12.Learn From The Experience
One of the best wedding photography tips for you to keep in mind is to learn from each wedding that you capture. Do not expect the best at your first gig because that is quite impossible.
Every wedding gives you some lessons to remember for the next one. Make the best out of every learning opportunity and keep on working on your mistakes to improve the quality of your work. Also, learn to tackle all the peripheral work such as negotiations and technical issues.
Apart from all these wedding photography tips, you must keep one thing in mind- to relax and have loads of fun. Do not get so immersed in your job that you forget the happiness of the occasion. So enjoy yourself and let your client’s wedding be picture perfect.