Some call it the most important and the most beautiful day of their lives. Surrounded by their loved ones, two best friends in love bond for the rest of their days. For better, for worse. In sickness and in health. To love and to cherish. Just reading the words of the marriage vow can give you goose bumps and bring a tear in the eye.
No wonder that talented wedding photographers are in constant demand, and that there are more and more fraudtographers on the wedding market — swindlers using someone else’s work for their portfolios.
Wedding photography is a continuously vibrant part of the business world. If you want to keep your photography business afloat, you have to keep developing yourself. Wedding trends are changing with every year but also each couple has its very own dreams and expectations. To make it easier for you to organize a draft plan, we’ve put together this humble guide to wedding photography.
Take the Responsibility
Besides running around with a camera, changing lenses, and later — improving the results of their work with lightroom wedding presets or some other photo editing software — photographer’s mission is to take proper care for the couple’s memories. Believe it or not, it’s a great responsibility. It’s your pictures that the couple, their family and friends will be browsing for whole generations.
It can sound obvious for you now but only taking to heart the importance of your mission as a photographer you’ll be able to sacrifice yourself to this special even fully and create something absolutely wonderful. Your commitment is just as necessary and significant as your photography gear.
Make Friends with the Bride and Groom
You all need to feel comfortable with each other, gain each other’s trust. Only in such a candid and friendly atmosphere, it’s possible to get the most natural and intimate shots. You have to show the lovebirds your honest interest in their story and discuss their expectations thoroughly. Don’t be afraid to object and confront their ideas with your artistic vision, though. After all, you’re the photography specialist of the event!
The Right Photography Equipment
To brace yourself properly you have to gather as much information about the ceremony as possible. Only this way you’ll know exactly what photography gear to bring along.
You just have to know what the spot of the wedding and the number of guests is. You can even ask the bride and groom to show you the place (or two if the ceremony itself takes place somewhere else than the party afterwards).
If the wedding venue is huge, you might even need a lens of focal length 70-200mm for your own comfort. Even though good reflexes and being in constant motion are the distinguishing qualities of a professional event photographer, sometimes it’s fine to make your life a bit easier for the end results’ sake.
Don’t worry though, if you don’t have the 70-200mm lens — try to rent it! Lens rental’s price is usually ranging between $20 and $90 even for 7 days.
Another lens that is a wedding photographer must have is the one of focal length 40-150mm. If the wedding is going to be really small and casual, you can consider not to rent any additional gear. The best way to clarify your doubts is to do a test photo shoot on the spot!
You’ll probably need to browse your speedlight collection, as well. Usually bringing a hot shoe flash along is perfectly enough. With hot shoe flash, you’ll be able to modify the light intensities and direction with off-camera nad on-camera flash.
With off-camera flash, you can work remotely with a trigger and transmitter, although we wouldn’t advise the remote use at such an important event. Instead of using a remote that can possibly fail, use a hot shoe flash with a sync cord.
Camera Tripods are mostly useful during planned photoshoots. Using one at a hectic and bustling event doesn’t seem to be the best idea. Although it might be helpful just for the ceremony when there’s a low light risk and there’s not that much movement all around.
And finally… The Photojournalistic Approach
Wedding photojournalism is a photography method that doesn’t accept interference from the third party — the photographer. You want to capture the very essence of this joyful milestone in someone’s life. You won’t get this if you’re ordering the newlyweds and their guests around. Don’t take it wrong, it’s ok to ask the bride to look into the mirror while her bridesmaid is buttoning up her wedding dress if you can feel that the shot will be a masterpiece.
But your main task is to stay invisible in order to capture the spirit of the event. People’s emotions, involuntary emotions and reactions, small and funny accidents. You have the most amazing honour to turn all the charm into photographs that will become a precious family heirloom.