Looking at getting into wedding photography?
For starters, here are some of the basic things that are good to know before shooting your first wedding:
1. Decide on what equipment to bring
It’s common for wedding photographers to bring at least two cameras with varying lenses. As for which kinds of lenses, it’s advisable to bring lenses with wide apertures because it compensates for low-light environments. A quality zoom lens is another good choice for discreetly taking photos of wedding guests from a distance.
2. Create a shot list
You need to coordinate beforehand with the couple on what shots they would like you to take. Compile these in a list and refer to it during the event. This is especially important for group photos or formal shots. Your shot list keeps you on track with your photos, making sure you don’t miss any important moments.
3. Do test shots on location beforehand
Being familiar with the venue helps you adjust easier in terms of the best spots to take photos. You can also get an idea of what camera settings you will likely need. As part of your preparation, visit the location beforehand and experiment with some shots.
4. Shoot in RAW
To bring out the best quality in your wedding photos, shoot in RAW format instead of JPG. Here are 5 reasons why (thanks to this article from PetaPixel!):
- RAW provides the highest quality possible, thus yielding the highest quality edit
- RAW tends to allow exposures to be adjusted by more stops, allowing better recovery in shadows and highlights
- RAW allows you to go a lot further in sharpening and noise reduction
- RAW makes artifacts in a shot (such as banding) more easily smoothed out
- RAW files are more future-proof, allowing you to return and edit again later with improved software
5. Get moving
Interesting perspectives make for great wedding photos, so go and have fun experimenting! As mentioned in this article by TechRadar, Get down low, shoot straight up, photograph from a high position, twist the camera, exaggerate features, or shoot from the hip. Doing anything other than the usual can create more drama in your photos, which your clients will surely appreciate.
6. Look out for candid moments
Candid photos are all the rage in wedding photography these days, because couples like browsing through a photo album of real, impromptu moments. In this regard, you should always have your camera ready, because you never know if a great photo opportunity is about to happen. If you are constantly keen and alert, you may be able to capture even the funniest wedding moments. These are often priceless moments that people want frozen in time, so if you are able to photograph some of them, you might even get an additional tip from your clients! Candid photography may require advanced skills, so be sure to practice beforehand. You can start with people on the streets, for instance.
7. Don’t think too hard about it
It’s your first wedding, so try and have as much fun as you can! Mingle with the guests, enjoy yourself at the reception, and stay relaxed. By being calm, you might take better photos. Smiling photographers are also more approachable, so be prepared to get your cheeks aching from all that beaming! Mistakes may be unavoidable, but don’t beat yourself up too much because that’s how you will improve in new fields of photography.