Being a wedding photographer involves a lot more than just showing up with a camera. Ideally, you’ll be creating a visual family heirloom so that the wedding day will be remembered fondly for years to come. It’s a tall order- you’re capturing a couples’ special day, and you only get one chance to do it. So here are some do’s and don’ts of professional wedding photography.
Learn how to expose a bridal gown correctly
To keep the gown white in the bridal portraits, you’ll probably need to overexpose just a little over the camera’s recommended exposure, but not so much that the gown becomes a mass of white with no detail. Check the exposure after the first shot, and adjust it accordingly. A very slight amount of underexposure can be corrected in post-production, but at the same time, you don’t want to lose detail in the groom’s dark suit. Many cameras have a highlight warning so that overexposed areas flash at you once the image is taken, allowing you to shoot it again.
Get a second shooter or an assistant
It’s always a good idea to have backup on a big job like a wedding photoshoot. And if the couple wants to hire a videographer, it’s very important that two different people shoot still photography and video.
Meet with the couple in advance to determine a shoot list
It’s important to know what they want you to photograph during the wedding photoshoot. Generally, they’ll want you to capture events like bride and groom’s first kiss, the bouquet toss, the first dance, and carving of the wedding cake at the reception. Spend some time to get to know the couple in advance of the big day. It’s important that you learn about their wishes and what’s important to them.
Draw up a contract
It’s important to have a written agreement that both you and the couple agree upon, so that nothing is in question, such as your prices or hours of shooting.
Visit the church and reception venue in advance
This will help you to plan camera angles and potential photos. It will also help you decide what equipment you’ll need to bring. You may find, for example, that you can get a great view of the ceremony from the choir loft, but you’ll need a long lens in order to get a good-sized image of the subjects.
Don’t jump in too soon
Don’t take on the responsibility of shooting a wedding until you feel confident about doing the job. It’s important to be realistic about your abilities and experience before committing to shooting a wedding.
Don’t assume that you can use flash everywhere
Find out in advance what restrictions that the wedding venue may have. Very often, churches don’t allow flash during the ceremony because it’s very disruptive. Be prepared to shoot at a higher ISO setting with your Sony camera from Beachcamera.com if this is the case.
Don’t Shoot only posed photos of the bride and groom and their attendants
Keep in mind that wedding photography is part photojournalism, part posed portraits. Sometimes the strongest images are the ones that weren’t pre-planned. Look for opportunities like the emotion on a proud father’s face as he walks his daughter down the aisle, or a spontaneous kiss between bride and groom.
Don’t overlook small details
Details like the bridal bouquet, the couple’s rings, the lace details of the bridal gown, or the groom’s boutonniere will help contribute to the unique quality of the wedding. Along with the more traditional photos, they can be an important part of the wedding album.
Don’t rely on just one camera
You must have a backup camera like the Sony a7III Full Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera from Beachcamera.com in case your primary camera breaks down. It’s at times when you have only one camera that problems tend to occur.
For those who enjoy shooting special events, wedding photography can be one of the most lucrative photographic specialties. Because you only get one chance to capture a bride and groom’s special day, be prepared!