Friday, February 27, 2009

"Click Tips": Aspiring to be a Wedding Photographer?

Oh yes. It is a quench that can't not be soothed by anything other than shooting people in love and wedding cake. I totally understand.

Everyone has to start somewhere. I receive emails from aspiring photographers wanting to know "Tips" on how to shoot a wedding. Of course I can't explain exactly how that nervous feeling starts in your tummy the night before to its' complete understanding , but I can try.

There is nothing more exciting than when you first knock on the door to where the bride is getting ready and you get to see all the wedding hustle and bustle. It is probably the single moment, I can officially say "I am excited about your wedding." Because I truly am so excited and elated to be there, seeing her gown come out of the garment bag, and making memories with photos.

So when talking to someone about shooting a wedding, I can only give them my experience and "Click Tips" to make a more successful wedding photographer. I can't teach them what I have learned in five years, but I can give them 7 key points to make it that much more exciting and wonderful.
1. Get inspired. Look at wedding photography sites that you like the style, and try to figure what
setting they were using, or how the light was. It is important not just to look but to really think
about how to create that same image through your lens. or also Joe Bussink is a personal favorite site of mine
to go to get inspired. There are lots of resources online, and they are ready and it should be easy
to be inspired.

2. Organized. Make sure you have lots and lots of batteries, charged and ready.
Check your gear all works. Format all your cards. Check your driving directions.
Make sure you have all the information of the wedding/location/names/family's names.
You know, don't come unprepared or your shots will suffer because you aren't thinking about the
wedding you are thinking about something else. Keep your head in the game, and cake.

3. Stay calm. Just shoot. They hired you cause you have a good eye. You are not the coordinator,
nor are you the reason why they are running 30 minutes behind schedule.
Pose your groups fast, make it good and move on. Try to give the bride and groom lots of
time to be romantic after the wedding before the reception. Just capture them being them.
Those are the images that they will appreciate. Just make sure they are romantic somewhere
with a pretty background and nice light.

4. Shoot. Make sure you shoot shoot shoot. Get a full length of both the bride and groom.
Get detail shots. Make sure that you don't crop out feet or hands in your group shots.
Never crop at a joint (ankle, knee, elbow). Try to get in close, and then back off and get
those establishing shots.

5. Give it your all. If you have to stay later then the time says to get that shot of grandma
doing line dancing, then just get the shot. If you decide that you really need that sunset photo,
make sure your assistant is confident to be alone in the reception.
And just shoot. Even if you think it might be blurry or not the right timing.. try to get the shot.
It is digital and you can only learn from your mistakes if you aren't afraid to make mistakes.
When shooting groups and you have someone who is pesty wanting shots with their cameras..
just ask them to wait until after you flash and put your camera away from your face and
then they can shoot away. Usually they respect that you are the professional, and they will

6. Change it up. Get low, stand up on chairs, make sure you don't block people or the videographers.
If you need more tips.. happy to help. Experience is the best way.

7. Enjoy yourself. You are going to have to be your best, for 8 hours or more.
Make sure you shine, but don't stand out.

Good Luck

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