Weddings… they are a one time deal and no two are exactly alike.
Different cultures have different traditions and each couple strives to personalize their day to represent themselves as a couple and individually.
So many factors play into this day that it is considered to be one of the most important days of a persons life.
As a wedding photographer, my job is to capture and preserve each moment for the couple to look back on the rest of their lives. No pressure, right?
I often get asked how I am able to handle such responsibility and ensure that I don’t miss anything without comprising the art of photography.
Well, it’s taken years of practice and experience and it changes constantly.
A few key tips to capturing authentic moments without distracting from the main event would have helped me when I was first starting out.
So, if I were to go back and have a talk with myself before I started shooting weddings, I would tell myself these few things….
- some pre-wedding prep is necessary. when you first meet with your couple, encourage them to use a planner or at minimum, a day of coordinator. It’s always helpful to have someone running the show and keeping you in the loop on the weddings main events. this also prevents you from having to constantly interrupt the couple to find out when the next event is going to happen. could you imagine walking up to your couple to ask what time the cake cutting was going to happen just as the father of the bride was going in to give the groom a sweet and endearing hug?
- having a second shooter is a great way to have another set of eyes during the wedding day. since you can’t be everywhere at once, it is so helpful to have another experienced wedding photographer to partner up with and cover you while you are shooting other aspects of the wedding day. while you are photographing the family portraits your second shooter is at cocktail hour capturing all the college buddies toasting to the newlywed couple.
- get in the habit ofchecking your camera settings often and doing test shots before major things happen. its not uncommon the ceremony to be in a setting that is half in full sun and the other half in dark shade. having to deal with two completely different exposures can make it challenging to capture the bride coming down the aisle. if you preplan your shot before the ceremony starts you’ll be able to get that perfect photo of her smiling at her groom when she sees him for the first time.
- know how to read your subject. as an artist we all want the perfect shot and a good amount of romantic portraits of our couples. it’s easy to forget the emotions and nerves they are feeling. sometimes it feels like we are just getting started and they’re completely checked out. i always check in and communicate to them what my next ideas are so that they have an idea of when they will be able to go and visit with the many people who have come to celebrate them.
I’d love to hear if anyone out there has additional tips and tricks to share! Feel free to comment below.
In the meantime, enjoy a few of my favorite moments from a recent wedding.