You are a newcomer and want to get into Shooting Weddings? Here are some tips for your first wedding shoot!
A wedding is a beautiful day and I bet you are very excited before your first shoot!
But before we start with the actual tips, here are a few things you need to have before you can get started with wedding photography.
Prerequisites you need to get started:
- Make sure to feel comfortable with your camera. You don’t have to know every secret thing your camera can do but you should understand the basics, like the exposure triangle/how to get good exposure.
- please, please shoot in RAW! I guess everybody heard this one before, at least I hope so. It is the single best way and gives you a lot of flexibility when editing afterwards.
- Have a backup camera in case something is wrong with your first camera in the middle of the shoot. It can happen and you want to make sure to have a backup for this case!
1. Pre-wedding Communication
Unmet expectations, conflicts or good shooting? It all depends on communication!
And don't think some quick messages or emails are enough! You should actually meet the couple several times before the wedding to discuss expectations and wishes.
2. Your Timeline
If you go to the wedding without a plan of what you want to shoot and when… You will probably miss out on some beautiful moments to capture, making it chaotic and stressful in the end. Nobody wants that for their special day.
Make sure to align your timeline with the wedding planner to avoid conflicts. This really helps to get all your photos in smoothly.
3. Have a list for Family Portraits
Ask your couple for a list of family photos! Specifically which combinations they want and in which order, with all the names. Make it a long list!
This helps you to keep the overview in case the crazy aunt tries to take over control and wants to have 80 different family photo combinations.
4. Use a higher f/stop
For those groups and family portraits, it makes a whole lot of sense to stop down. This gives you really sharp portraits when the people are in one plane of focus. We recommend using 2.8 or 3.2.
5. Don’t use continuous autofocus
Setting your focus menu really sounds old school since we have all of those modern auto technology in our amazing cameras.
However, if you are in the middle of the ceremony and there are a lot of faces… how would your camera know what faces to focus on? So you better move around the focus box manually in these cases.
Tip: If you have your couple walk towards or away from you, this is the moment to use zone-autofocus, not face-autofocus.
6. The background matters, too!
Rather than capturing everything as it is, you are the person in charge to make it look clean and nice. If there is too much stuff lying around in the background, either move the people to a different place or have them clean up a bit.
The bride will surely not be happy with getting-ready-pictures where the background is full of water bottles, bags and clothes. Always take your shots based on the best light and the background!
7. Stay in control
This attaches to point 1: pre-wedding communication! See how important it is?
You don't want anybody trying to tell you what to do. You are the professional here.
If you make sure that the couple is on your side and trust you, you can confidently decide on which shots to take and which one's the couple and you don't want to shoot… even if Auntie thinks this one classic pose would be so pretty.