What I've learned in Wedding Photography

by - 11:16 PM

I've been going through editing my images from a wedding last week, boy I have a lot of images to get through! I'm really quite new to the wedding photography business (having done less than ten weddings in the past year), and being quite new I learn loads each time I go. My hope is that I will continue to learn loads at each one for as long as I am able to shoot them. I've learned a few things while shooting them and thought I'd share for any of you aspiring wedding photographers out there. Remember, I'm new too, this is just my two cents on the learning curve I'm having.

Tip 1: Slow Down! My first wedding I shot thousands and thousands of images. If anything happened I'd just hold down the shutter button and fire away! I filled up four 32gb SD cards during the day. First, you don't NEED that many images, nor does anybody WANT that many (even the bride!). Second, you're just wasting more time later to go through and edit out the THOUSANDS of bad ones. Third and most important: you're better than that! Slow down, THINK, frame, light, walk around, change the angle you're viewing form. Ya know, be a photographer, not Uncle Joe with a high speed DSLR. Each wedding I've shot I've slowed more and more and shot less images and been much happier with them. Calm down, you'll get all the images you need, take your camera off burst mode. Now.

Tip 2: Communicate: I recently was at a wedding and I knew the bride very well before the wedding day rolled around. I'd shot engagements, bridals and been in contact with her (and the groom, of course) over months of time. This has a lot of advantages: the couple is more comfortable with you and will relax in front of the camera;  you have a better relationship on the wedding day so they trust you when you give them directions, but most of all, you know what THEY expect and want. This day sure as heck ain't about you, it really isn't even about the images -though they are very important. This day is about the couple, make sure you what they need of you. Back to this wedding I was at, they had hired a videographer to shoot the day as well.  I showed up to the reception an hour early to shoot with the couple (which is quite common for me), and the videographer wasn't there. They asked me if I had spoken and knew is (s)he was coming. I unfortunately hadn't, so we began shooting with the bride slightly flustered the videographer wasn't there. Over an hour later the videographer walks in after the reception had started and just starts shooting. Nobody said anything to him/her but they immediate family was not very happy with the lack of communication and knowledge on the behalf of the videographer. Talk with them, know where you need to be, WHEN you need to be there and what they expect at each location they have hired you for.

Tip 3: Be sociable. One of my favorite things about wedding photography is the people you meet. I love portrait photography because you meet so many people, but at a wedding you meet LOADS of them! Each person there is great to talk to. Work the crowds and family members and get to know their names so you can get better images of them. Know the parents and family and make sure you include them in lots of the images.

Tip 4: Details, Details Details. Girls, you already do this and can stop reading. Guys, girls want this. The cake, the shoes, the cookies, the bows and ribbons, the lace on her dress, the flowers, the presents, the lights, the hair, the ties and tuxes, the table cloths, the dress, the sign in booklet, the chair backings, and centerpieces and drinks and bar and car decorations, food, dressing room, pictures, yard, inside, outside, under and around. Get everything. They bought or rented all those cutesy little thing to put EVERYWHERE. Capture it all. I don't know why they do it, but just save it for them.

Yep, in my VAST experience in wedding photography, that's my top 4 things for you (with little things inside). Maybe I should give tips on light painting next time, I'm a lot better at that.

Well the image from today is one of those little things at a wedding, well... it's a big little thing from last week.

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  1. This is a great article Mike and very awesome picture for any bride . Thanks for sharimg your tips they are very useful.

  2. Thanks Mandy! I figure we're all learning and should give each other some ideas now and again to keep the positive thinking up. Like I said, maybe I should do light painting next since I actually know a little about that.