Weddings require a huge amount of preparation, not to mention cost. Thus, many couples nowadays opt to have their wedding photographs done in the most sensible and economical way. If you are one of those who are asked to help photograph the event for a family or a friend, here are five (5) helpful tips to jumpstart your career as an amateur wedding photographer.
- Have a “shot checklist”. Talk to the pair which important parts of the affair they want documented and start coming up with a “shot” list. Confirm if there’s a limit on how many pictures they need and if they have any special requests like a formal entourage photo shoot outside the church perhaps just before the ceremony starts.
- Visit the locations beforehand and assess how the timing will go. This pertains to the nuptial location and the wedding catering venue. Head over in advance to test the lighting and backdrops. Read and research thoroughly for technical photography tips. For instance, if the occasion will be in a historic place like Our Lady of Remedies, what are the secrets behind making it look as if the newlyweds are traveling through time. Evaluate the timing too so you’d know how the photos will appear an hour before the wedding, 45 minutes, 30 minutes and so on.
- Conceptualize. Create a concept that jives with the overall wedding scheme. Know the tricks to maximize the shots to make it extra memorable and special. If they’re having a Star Wars theme for example, maybe a picture of the new husband and wife along with the bridesmaid and groomsmen running for their lives with alien domination in the background might have a creative appeal.
- Prepare the equipment and get ready with backups. From a second camera of the same model that you’d be using, extra and fully-charged batteries, memory cards to the equipment and the person who will assist you, ensure that you have them all available anytime. Have a contingency plan in case something goes wrong such as bad weather or blackout.
- Coordinate with the people in charge. This refers to the maid of honor, DJ, wedding coordinator to the wedding caterer. Communicating with them will make the task easier for you. Ask right away if there are possible restrictions to the area where you plan to take pictures. Some churches disallow picture taking on the altar. Other sites do not allow flash enabled during the entire service. Orient yourself where the key people are seated. Have a family photo coordinator, someone from the bride or groom’s side who knows everyone and would take care of calling family members when it’s time to take the family shots.