Wedding photography is a special niche that requires a lot of hard work and preparation. If this is something that you would like to launch into anytime soon, then you have to know ahead of time that the going will be a bit rough starting out. However, what you can be rest assured of is the fact that things will eventually work out for as long as you are willing to follow through. The key is really in the preparation process. You need to make sure that you are well equipped for everything before you even head out and attempt to get clients on way or the other.
As someone who is just starting out, you are probably losing your mind over what kind of gear to invest in. Wedding photography gear does not come cheap and that is the main reason why you would need to make your choices wisely. You have to understand that the fact that you are skating on thin ice here since you will not be a seeing a return on that investment within the next few months but you will get them back if you work hard enough. So, on to the gear you need to get together.
Primary camera with Backup
You need your camera and your backup camera, of course. Normally, wedding photographers south wales will tell you that you need three cameras and they are right but for an absolute starter, two will get the job done. The first one is your main camera while the second one is your backup. If you find yourself a bit strapped for cash and having issues with the second camera, you can rent it out or you can borrow from someone you know who might have a spare camera that they will not use during the date of your wedding photography gig.
You need an assortment of lenses. The most basic one of them all is a medium zoom lens. This lens is probably the most versatile one out there. It will let you shoot high quality portraits and will even be great for filming people always on the move. It has wide aperture that makes it perfect for night shots or for areas that have limited lighting. You will also need a telephoto lens that will let you shoot close ups from a comfortable distance so that you do not get in the way especially during solemn moments like ceremonies, and so on. And lastly, you need a wide angle lens to make those group photo shots much easier for you to shoot.
You will need a tripod and some light stands for when you are shooting during sunsets or during night time. Tripods are also really great for providing you with stability and for minimizing camera shake. And of course, you need quite an assortment of memory cards and extra batteries. One battery for one camera will not last you for an entire event. Get yourself covered by buying a lot of spares and making sure that they are all fully charged in advance.
If you are a Hampshire wedding photographer who is just starting out, then what you need to understand is the fact that at some point, you will be shelling out more money than you are bringing in; at least during the first few years of your career. That is the main reason why you need to get things running well and set up for you first before you actually decide to get out there and start doing this for a living and doing this full time in the beginning. However, what you need to keep in mind and understand is the fact that a tripod is actually one of the best possible additional investments that you can ever make – even if you will be slightly a bit strapped for cash at some point.
Durable and High quality
You need to make sure that you get something that is durable and high quality enough to last you for quite a long time. A tripod is something that will really serve you well. You get stability as well as great looking pictures in the process. You need to know what the most common mistakes are in using them so that you will be better equipped in fixing them and in patching things up if ever you do make the mistake of doing them.
Level shoulder of tripod
Do not ever forget to level the shoulder of your tripod. A lot of all of the other tripods in the market these days have a sort of leveler built right into their shoulders. This is something that will more or less enable you to see whether or not the legs are balanced and stable enough. Check out if the spirit is level enough at some point. The gist of all of the fuss about the leveler is the fact that you should seriously make it a habit to use the legs and adjust them accordingly in order to make sure that the tripod head as level based on the built in spirit in the shoulders. It is absolutely important for you to make sure that you get a tripod that is well balanced. What you need to understand is the fact that if you do not balance it well enough, just a slight change or angle or a slight breeze will end up tipping the tripod over and it is something that will technically bring your camera crashing down at some point.
Carry with the camera
Another common mistake that wedding photographers do when they are using their tripods is that they carry the tripod along with the camera still pretty much attached to them; it is not safe thing to do and it is also something that is very wrong. You cannot risk photography equipment that is practically worth thousands of dollars. You have your very career on the line, figuratively and quite literally. You run the risk of bashing your camera against a wall, someone walking by or just about anything and everything that gets in the way. Do not be lazy and set it up and take it down if you have to.
Talk to the bride and ask her what her favorite features.
Ask her what she likes most about her wedding dress. Time and again, wedding photographers who are new to the job should be reminded that the bride is the star of the wedding. If you would like to run any hopes of succeeding in covering the gig at all, you need to be the bride’s next best friend. Pose her appropriately. Make her come out looking great in the photos. Do a little coaching for her and help her bring out the best of her features and sort of conceal the features that are not that flattering. She may not appreciate this just yet but she will thank you tremendously and will be grateful to you for the extra effort that you put in.
Learn how to manipulate your lighting options.
Lighting is everything in wedding photography and that is why it is extremely important for you to make sure that you know what your lighting situation is all about. You need to know what kind of lighting situation you are pitting up against. You need to make sure that you are able to prepare for the worst. Lighting can make or break your photos and if you would like to end up with really mind blowing ones, then you need to seriously step up your lighting options game as much as you can, if you can manage it.
Don’t make too much noise with your camera.
Weddings are huge celebrations and they involve a lot of people but they are also solemn sacraments regarding the union of two people who fell in love. It sounds mushy and all that but the point of it all is the fact that the focus and the attention should all be about the couple getting married. Try to minimize the noise coming from your camera and try to be as unobtrusive as possible.
Take advantage of a tripod.
A tripod is one of the best accessories that you can ever put your money in when it comes to wedding photography. It stabilizes your camera, reduces camera shake, and basically just frees up your hand so that you get to have more room for creativity and other things other than just holding the camera up at some point. A tripod is also something that has multiple uses. If you are resourceful enough, you can have it hold up anything to everything from a camera, a camcorder, a lighting fixture, and so on and so forth.
Bring in some shots filmed in black and white.
Sometimes, photos that are devoid of color tell the most meaningful of stories. Black and white photos are elegant and mysterious and should definitely be included in your shots. See examples here http://www.carlglanceyphotography.com/.They depict something that is timeless and something that will really get to bring in that artsy factor when it comes to how the photos are produced. If there is anything that will bring in that extra oomph in your wedding photography job, it would have to be putting in the black and white photos.
Wedding photographers should understand the fact that their gear is one of their most prized possessions and should take very precious care of their gear. Not all wedding photographers understand this though but as a newcomer to the industry, this is one of the basics that should be understood by one and all. You need to clean up your cameras after every use. Invest in great cleaning kits because this will make your gear last for a long time and that’s what you should be going for if you want to be in business for a long time.
They do not go through the motions of properly backing up their images and safely storing them.
This should be the kind of habit that you need to get into after every single gig. Memory cards are absolutely notorious for getting corrupted or for corrupting the files that you get to save in them and that is why it is not advisable to keep your images in them for a prolonged period of time. Get a pair or so of external hard drives or some other forms of memory bank that lets you save your images in bulk. You can start off with a couple or so of flash drives if the external hard drive proves to be too much of an investment for you in the beginning.
They do not bother to visit the wedding venues or locations a few days ahead of time.
Although this is amenably not a requirement for professional photographers, this is something that should be done in order to prep up for the event accordingly. Visiting the wedding venue well ahead of time will make you more familiar with the place so that you know all of the best spots to photograph during the actual wedding day. This will also enable to you be able to better position yourself so that you do not have to have those awkward moments wherein you are trying to figure out where you should be planting your tripod in once the guests start coming in for the wedding event.
They shoot too many pictures per person and end up trashing most of the files that they shoot.
Due to the somewhat unlimited memory space liberties brought on by technology, wedding photographers in general seem to be under the impression that they can take as much photos as they can just because they can. The best rule to follow here would be to take three clicks per frame and that should be it. Keep it minimal so you don’t have to worry too much about trashing too many shots.
They do not learn how to edit their own photos.
You want to invest in a high quality photo editing software and you might want to teach yourself or get some classes so you can learn how to edit the photos professionally. This is what our wedding photographer essex did. You want to learn the basics so you can go about this quickly and efficiently.
You are probably wondering why there is even an article about this because wedding makeup is usually very simple, neutral and light but the truth of the matter is the fact that this kind of look can actually be harder to pull off than it actually seems. It should be the kind of makeup that will really last all throughout the event. You need something that can withstand a lot of crying, kissing, hugging, and pretty much everything else in between. There are times when getting makeup done professionally for a wedding would be the best way to go and if so, it pays to be specific about what hues and shades to work with at some point.
Facials or any other kinds of facial treatments can leave the skin a bit reddish and irritated. These red spots do not look great and will not work out fine for wedding photography. Try to make sure that you schedule any treatments at least several days ahead of time so your skin can heal and will be able to come out looking fresh and clean and without any red spots during the wedding day.
If you like getting your brows threaded or plucked, follow the same rule and make sure that it is done well ahead of time because it can also cause redness and irritation. Try to go through the motions of conditioning your brows as well. Olive oil or coconut oil is perfect and mild enough for something as sensitive as your brows.
Make sure that you use face primers to fill in your pores. It also works great for making sure that your makeup will last longer that it normally will. Huge pores do not look appealing in the photos. If you are going after a look that is seamless and smooth, you best prime your face well ahead of time before coloring up with any of that makeup. This can help you look fabulous when your essex wedding photographer takes photos of you.
Highlight in all of the right places. The best clue would be to go for the highest points in your face. These include the T-zone, the upper cheeks, the chin, and the brow bones. One great trick would be to make sure that you apply it in swift upward strokes. Do not apply the highlighter in circular strokes, it will make the highlighted zones confusing and less pronounced.
Contour appropriately. Contouring may seem like a bit of a challenge to those who are new to it but one trick would be to pretty much follow the hollows of your face. This is great in making sure that you are able to more or less put in some kind of dimension to your face. It works well with the highlighters and can really accentuate your facial features well enough. Wedding photography is all about the subtle play between light and shadows and should be something that your makeup can capitalize on. If you have any problem areas, contouring is also really effective when it comes to sort of creating an illusion and playing down the areas you do not want to accentuate that much.
This may sound odd to you at first but usually, for as far as Indian wedding photography is concerned, the photographer doesn’t even get to meet the couple who is about to be married until the actual day of the wedding. This may put you at a disadvantage given that they do not know you and may not feel comfortable being photographed by you. Fix this problem by breaking the ice. Try to see if you could get the chance to meet them before the wedding festivities so you can talk to them and so that they can become more comfortable with you taking their photos.
Plan the couple shots ahead of time, preferably before the festivities.
You have to plan out an Indian wedding photography differently from other kinds of weddings because of the obvious cultural differences that come along with it. Indian weddings usually last longer and are usually jam packed with throngs of family members and friends. You might not get to have the chance of taking couple photos with just the two of them in the photo. It would be wise if you plan this ahead of time, preferably before the wedding. They might be too exhausted to do it after the festivities.
Recruit a wingman for the event – preferably a close relative of the bride or groom’s.
It would be every photographer’s nightmare when there are too many family members attending and all them think that they are close enough to the couple to make them feel entitled to squeeze in to all of the photos being taken. This might be total chaos. Arrange for a go-to person / coordinator ahead of time to avoid this kind of mess. Go with someone who is close with the couple and who knows friends and family members well and who will be able to more or less schedule the shots and point out who goes in the picture and who goes out.
Get with your clients and list down the must-have moments that they absolutely require.
Indian customs may not be something that you are familiar with and that’s OK. You don’t have to know everything that goes on in the wedding but you should be well versed with at least the sequence of events. Talk to your clients well ahead of time and try to get a list together about the moments which they think are of particular importance in the wedding. This puts you in a safe zone because then you are surely not to miss out on any moments that they might be particularly looking for in the wedding photos.
Get an extra hand, by all means.
You are going to at least need another man / photographer so you can stick to your list of must-have shots and he can opt to cover the less important or the miscellaneous ones. This will enable you to cover enough ground in order for you to be able to string it all together post shoot.
Get some experience first before even thinking about launching a career in wedding photography
You simply can’t do something professionally if you’re not competent enough for the job and experience will give you that so-called competence. If someone asks you to cover their wedding and you know full well in your heart that you cannot promise excellent results simply because you have not done anything like that before, just say no. Timing is everything and there is always a right time and place for that. Get yourself trained and get some real world experience first before you even go through the motions of launching a career in wedding photography.
Invest in all of the right kind of gear to arm yourself for the job
Your gear is your main money making machine. Make sure that you invest in it and make sure that you are able to invest well. You need to start off with a pair or so of really great DSLR cameras. And we say “cameras”, and not “camera”, because you are going to need more than one if you are ever going to make it in this industry. You will thank us for this precious piece of advice when you are in the middle of a wedding shoot and no good reason, your main camera decides to bail out on you. You are welcome, in advance.
Always initiate constant communication with your clients
You need to make sure that you are really able to manage the expectations of your clients and talk things through with them. Ask them what they expect out of your service and at the same time, tell them honestly the things that you will be able to provide for them. Do away with the sugarcoating and the flowery words. Clients prefer it when you give it to them in black and white and when you go straight to the point. Beating around the bush when it comes to client communication will get you nowhere.
Bring a team together to help you push the project through
You need a great team of people (preferably professionals like yourself) to really help you pull off a huge wedding photography job. It requires a lot of hours and tasks to cover and it is simply too much for one man to do all by himself. If you can’t afford a team on your payroll just yet, make it projects based and pay them only per gig.
Look for windows of opportunity wherein you can up-train yourself
Always look for ways for you to be able to improve your skills whether it is in the form of being a protégé to a more established photographer or attending a photography workshop that arms you with new tips and tricks that you can try out in your career. Never turn down an opportunity to learn.
Get a contract drawn up for you by a lawyer
Get your business covered legally at all times. Have a standard contract drawn up to cover you enough so that when risks do happen in the off-chance, you will be able to more or less mitigate them and you won’t end up closing shop because of it.
Initiate rapport and small talk with the people you are filming. People look better in their photographs when you talk to them instead of just clicking away silently and not acknowledging their presence. It also makes the entire shoot so much more enjoyable and less tedious when there is a certain rapport between the people being filmed and the photographer. It’s just like any other industry out there. People skills are required. Just be friendly and amiable and things will flow quite naturally. Chat them up in between takes. Who knows, you may even be able to network new clients through them. Keep your options open at all times.
Play around with the composition and angles to add variety to your shots
Wedding photography requires a certain level of creativity and affords the photography certain levels of artistic liberties to actually be able to try new things that he may never have tried before. Read up on blogs of other professional photographers and look out for the ideas that may inspire you to do better and to try new things in your photo shoots. Also see if you can have the bride and groom outline the perimeters of your artistic liberties for you.
Make the bride your priority above all else
The bride is your top client. You need to pose her beautifully and make the photo shoot work in her favor. Try to keep this little rule in mind at all times and you should be just fine. Your bride will thank you profusely once she sees the pictures you will be submitting post shoot.
Give out well-placed compliments to help boost confidence in people you are filming
Women love it when they are complimented while having their pictures taken. Learn how to do this properly and time this accurately and you will be gold. This isn’t such a hot idea among male subjects though so remember to proceed with caution if you are venturing towards that territory.
Have groups come closer to each other during the photos
Gaps in between people during the group photos may come off looking weird and a bit awkward. A seasoned wedding photographer will usually encourage the guests to play around and “harass each other” (this is just in a playful sense, nothing lascivious or anything like that) to make the photos look more casual and interesting when they come out. This is perfect for all kinds of groups, large or small, too.
Do not film people when they look uncomfortable
Uncomfortable people look weird when they come out in the photos. Do not continue filming if you sense any kind of discomfort. Take the time to have them acclimate to their surroundings first and to the fact that they are being photographed. Make them feel at ease and the rest should come easily.
Minimize the usage of flash as much as possible
The sudden glare coming from the camera flash can be distracting and a bit disorientating so if you are going for more natural looking photos, it would be much better for you to make use of a lot of natural light instead.
Your gear is your first line of defense. Without it, your career in professional wedding photography is just not possible in any way, shape or form so this is the most significant starting point in everything. Start off with a nice and steady DSLR camera that will be able to deliver high resolution photos without having you going bankrupt just yet. You are still starting out, after all. Regardless, this is probably the wisest investment you will ever get to make to help kick start your professional career.
2. Scout the wedding and reception venues two days or so in advance
It pays to familiarize yourself with the wedding landscape so that come event day, you are able to get it all figured out. You will know how and where to position your subjects and you will get to know where the best spots for photographing are. Know the venue like the back of your hand and everything else should come along easy as pie.
3. Have a long and meaningful conversation with your clients before planning anything out on your own
Sit down with your clients and take time to really list down the things that they would like to get out of your services. This will also be the best time to ask if they will be able to allow you any artistic liberties and where the perimeters lay with regards to the things that you basically decide on your own.
4. You need to have more than one camera
You need a secondary camera for when things go awry with your first one. It is an absolute requirement and there is just no negotiating out of this one at all. Having a secondary camera that takes pictures just as well and as high quality as the first one will ensure that you will be able to continue filming the event even if something happens to your primary camera of choice. It also makes it easier for you to switch in between lenses because you can just mount them on different cameras and swap in between cameras instead.
5. You need to have more than just one lens
And speaking of lenses, you need to have at least two to start off with. A wide angle lens is required for this group photos that is just an absolute must for wedding photography. You’re also going to need a macro lens for the more romantic and close-up shots that are also quintessential to wedding photos.
6. You need to have another person to assist you in covering the event
An extra pair of hands is needed for all the equipment that you will be lugging around with you. This holds particularly true if your client has signed up for both wedding photos and videos. You just can’t do both at the same time throughout the event.
7. Make sure that you are able to back up your files
Store your files in different places and using different mediums. Files are oftentimes corrupted when stored solely in memory cards so invest in great hard drives and computers that you can transfer them in as soon as you’re done filming.