“What should I do?” “What I must not do?” Dozens of questions swirl inside your mind and you feel very nervous. You get just one shot to capture the precious moments and the couple expects a fabulous wedding album from you.
The first thing you need to do is calm your senses. There is a first day for everything and anxiety can only lead to professional blunders. You may not have attended any wedding as a professional photographer before, but since you have taken proper training in photography; everything will seem familiar once you enter the venue. Besides, taking photographs is not the only quality that makes you a professional. To be a good wedding photographer, you need to be a good communicator as well. Communicate with the guests and the couple so that you can capture them in an artistic and professional manner. Here are a few tips that will make any novice wedding photographer’s life simpler.
1. Be polite and know that it’s not possible to capture everything When you have a SLR in your hand and people know that you are the official wedding photographer, they will ask you to capture everything and give lots of unnecessary advice. Be polite and don’t argue with the guests. If they want a photo, even if the setting is not good, take it to keep them happy. Always smile and try to capture the best moments by roaming around the wedding venue. Be ready to capture the small but priceless moments like the mother helping the bride to wear their ancestral necklace that was hers till now, or the father embracing his princess before entering the church for the wedding. However, you may not capture all the important moments as different things may happen in different parts of the venue at the same time. Don’t feel sad or self-critical for missing something special. It’s a part of the job. One man can’t be present everywhere.
2. Talk with the bride before the wedding You may know the bride, but it’s important to talk with her prior to the most important day of her life. You must know the people closest to her because she will love to see them on the wedding album, not the “never-seen-before uncle,” or “annoying neighbor.” Ask her how much time the couple can afford for portraits, because when it comes to portraits, you are the boss and can arrange the background and lighting as per your preferences. It’s also better to know about the relationship between the family members to avoid uncomfortable situations. For example, if her parents are divorced, they may not like to stand next to each other in a family photograph.
3. Your presence must not be felt A good wedding photographer moves all over the wedding hall like a ghost and his omnipresence results in some wonderful photos. You can capture natural moments by not asking people to pose. Sometimes, a cheerful laughter of the bride and her friends is more real than made up smiles in a group photo. Just make sure that your presence doesn’t interfere with people having genuine fun.
4. Pay attention to details Every small item used for decoration is a part of the wedding and can tell a lot about the ambiance. If the bride made some decorative items personally, you must take their photos. You should also take photographs of the centerpiece, wedding cake and the bride’s ring. These close-up shots speak a thousand words silently and make the album extremely special for the newly married.
5. Carry everything you need This is the last but most important suggestion. You should make a list of things necessary to cover a lengthy wedding and carry them with you. Camera, SD card, batteries, chargers, laptop, flash, extra lenses and anything else that you may need should be there with you. Always carry an extra camera because if due to any reason, your regular SLR does not work, the backup camera can save you from angry guests. Final Words Covering the first assignment as a wedding photographer is certainly a thrilling experience. You may make a few mistakes early in your career but the more experience you gain with time, the more you will know how to take the best photos and create an unforgettable wedding album.