For the newbie photographer we offer our top 5 wedding photography tips. Whether you’re just beginning your professional photography career or are simply photographing a wedding for a friend, here’s what you should know before you go.
1. Education – Even if you’re a seasoned portrait, sports, children or pet photographer, weddings are a different beast – the Superbowl of photography shoots! Get some wedding photography specific education. Does this mean enroll in classes at your local community college? Heck no! There are several great on-line resources dedicated to wedding photography be it e-books, forums or videos. Another way to get some real life training is to tag along with a fellow photographer. If you’ve been shooting long, you probably know at least one profession wedding photographer. Perhaps the one that photographed your wedding! Ask if you can accompany them on their next wedding. Many photographers are happy to exchange some great wedding photography tips in exchange for free labor!
2. Lighting – One of my favorite photography professors said ” Ignore the light and people will ignore your photographs”. So true! Take some time to practice with a friend or two, placing them in typical ‘couple’ like poses. Practice in all types of lighting conditions – full sun, shade, indoors etc. If you have a flash, experiment extensively with popping in a little light. While I’m a firm believer in a little fill flash to eliminate shadows under the eyes and noes, there are many new photographers that prefer the ‘natural’, non flash look.
3. Equipment – My next wedding photography tip is one of the big questions for new timers? What do I REALLY need to photography a wedding? At the minimum you need a mid level hobbyist Digital SLR. In simple terms, if your camera doesn’t allow you to change lenses, you need a better camera! If possible have a flash other than the one built into your camera. And of course, plenty of flash cards – more meg than you think you could possibly use!
4. Posing – On the wedding day, everyone will be looking to you to tell them what to do – where to stand, how to stand, what to do with their hands, etc. You need to be able to make posing decisions quickly and efficiently. Again, many great resources are available on-line from videos to posing guides. Find a guide you like and study it. By all means don’t be afraid to experiment!
5. Back-ups – When it comes to weddings, there are no do-overs! For every piece of equipment you bring, try to bring a back up even if you have to rent a camera or borrow a friend’s. You don’t want to find yourself in a positions where a piece of equipment break and you are unable to continue photographing. Have back ups with you and you will sleep much better the night before!
By following these top 5 wedding photography tips, you will be much more prepared for the wedding. The more prepared you are, the more you can concentrate on taking great photographs!