Thinking about becoming a wedding photographer? The field is one of the fastest-growing photography specialities, with demand growing as couples increasingly return to traditional wedding ceremonies. But photography isn’t just about snapping great pictures; it’s also about creating lasting memories for your clients. As you develop your skills as a wedding photographer, you need to be able to make your subjects feel comfortable and natural in front of the camera so that their true personalities shine through in every photo. If this sounds like something you’d like to pursue, read on for tips on how to become a wedding photographer at home or outside of an established studio.
Plan and research before the big day
Even though you’ll be photographing an event, it’s important to remember that it’s a working event. You’ll be attending to the needs of a large group of people — your clients, their guests, the venue staff, etc. The first step to planning your wedding photography is to make a list of all the people and places you’ll need to interact with. First, you’ll want to identify the hosts of the event — your client and his/her partner. Next, list the key people who will be attending the wedding and reception, such as family members and close friends. You should also include any staff members you might need to interact with, such as the wedding planner and venue manager. Finally, include the names of any vendors who will be providing services at the wedding (such as a caterer, florist, etc.).
Develop your skills as a wedding photographer
For beginners, the best way to develop your wedding photography skills is to start shooting at home. That way, you can practice with friends and family members while you learn the ropes of wedding photography. Here are some tips to help you get started: • Practice posing – Posing is one of the most important aspects of wedding photography. To get a feel for how different poses and positions affect your subjects, get your friends together and practice posing and shooting. Try different things out, like different framing and lighting, to see what works best for you. • Create a portfolio – When you’ve gained some experience, start putting together a portfolio of your work. You can create a wedding photography portfolio on sites like SmugMug or Flickr, or you can create a website specifically for wedding photography.
Capture the ceremony
During the ceremony, you’ll want to capture moments both big and small. However, you’ll want to be careful not to interrupt the flow of the ceremony in order to get pictures. To stay inconspicuous while still getting the shots you need, try the following: • Stay out of the way – The best way to stay out of the way is to get low while using a zoom lens so that you’re not seen. • Get wide shots – It’s great to get close-ups, but you’ll also want to get wide shots of the whole ceremony so that you can include people in the background. Wide shots can give the photos more depth and emotion.
Be prepared for reception shots
After the ceremony, your first priority should be to get the bride and groom’s photos out of the way. These are often what guests remember most from the day, so it’s important to make sure they’re top priorities. After those photos have been taken, the rest of your reception photography should focus on capturing beautiful wide shots of the event. Try to find ways to incorporate both the bride and groom’s personalities into the reception photos.
You’ll only get one chance to photograph a wedding, so make sure you’re prepared for any situation that might arise. Make sure you have a contingency plan for any issues that may arise, whether that’s a sudden change in weather or your client getting cold feet. And most importantly, have fun! Wedding photography can be a challenging and stressful career, but if you love what you do, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself even when things get hectic.