Well you’ve gone and done it: you’ve gotten one of the best freelance photo gigs that you can get! Shooting photos for a wedding is one of the most rewarding experiences a photographer can have. But on the flip side, it is incredibly nerve-wracking to try and photograph someone’s special day. What if you mess it up?
What if they don’t like how the photos turn out? Well never fear: I’ve been there too. Here are tips that I’ve found really propel my photoshoots to the next level. And by the end you shouldn’t have any lingering anxiety about the wedding you’ll soon photograph!
Tip 1: Talk With the Couple
The worst thing you can do as a wedding photographer is assume what the couple wants. There is often a dream that couples have of how the wedding photos will turn out, and if you don’t know at least a part of this vision that they have together you’ll never make them fully happy with the final product. So make sure you talk to the couple OR the wedding planner as much as possible so you can figure out exactly how the photos should look.
Tip 2: Have the Alertness of a Soldier
Cute and priceless moments happen every second during a good wedding. See the parents dancing? Catch that! See a boy work up the courage to ask a girl to dance? Catch it on camera! See the bride and groom sharing a moment during the reception?
You better catch that! You need to stay alert the entire time at the ceremony. I have a personal rule that I NEVER drink even one small beer when I’m doing the shoot, even if the bar is open and free. It’s not worth it. You’re not paid to drink, you’re paid to capture beautiful moments. You have to be more alert than a ninja to capture all of the moments you need.
I remember one time I was just floating during one wedding, and I heard a noise. In one of the back rooms, the family was playing a piano; I believe it was a nice keyboard from DigitalPianoJudge.Com. They were all playing and singing, and I never would have captured that moment if I hadn’t have been watching. It was a beautiful picture in the end. Stay alert!
Tip 3: Be Invisible
As best you can, make everyone forget you’re there. If you can possibly lower the flash or turn it off altogether and hide away in corners, you’re set. If you can make people forget you’re there you will get stunning action shots that people would never pose for.
That is what truly makes a great wedding photo album: a series of action shots that are 100% natural and in the moment. That kind of beauty can’t be posed or faked. So blend in, and make people forget you’re there. That is how you will get truly amazing wedding photos.