Top 5 tips for shooting your first wedding
So you decided it’s time to shoot your first wedding. Having shot over a few hundred weddings, let me give you some tips that can make a huge difference for you and your clients.
Dual memory card slot
First of all, you don’t need the latest camera on the market, but rather a camera that is capable of shooting on two memory cards at the same time for instant backup. If one memory card gets corrupted, all of your weddings will be gone, and you won’t be able to reshoot it and trust me – your couple will be not just a little stressed, but most likely, they will do their best to let everyone know that you’re a sucker and maybe even call their lawyer. You don’t want this if you want to grow your business, and all it takes – is a dual card slot on a backup. It matters more than any megapixels, crop or full frame, primes and so on.
Since you never know what kind of situations may happen on a wedding day, I suggest having a variety of lenses with different focal lengths to capture portraits, reportage, and some wide shots if you’ll have a tight place to shoot at. My setup consists of 16-35 for wide images in tight rooms and dances, 35 50 for reportage and some casual portraits, and 85 for classical portraits with good proper compression. I prefer fast primes since they produce much better picture quality than zoom lenses, give better bokeh and allow me to shoot on lower ISOs when there’s not enough light. Still, if you don’t care as much about the quality and want something that will be more comfortable – 24-70 2.8 is the best compromise that you can use to shoot pretty much everything using only one lens.
You need to have and know the schedule of your wedding before it starts, so ask your clients to send you a FINAL schedule days before the wedding so you have enough time to check it and discuss any details you have questions about. This schedule has to include the starting time, addresses of preparation, ceremony, photoshoot and reception locations. It’s always good to double-check the starting time and ask if your clients have any specific requests for the photos to make sure that you’re on the same page with your clients.
References for the location
At the beginning of your career, it is crucial to check the locations where you will be shooting ahead of time and understand what kind of photos you can get there. Instead of trying to figure out everything on the spot, you can go to Google or Pinterest and search by the location’s name to see what was done there before and save these photos to your phone. These references will help you to understand what kind of light you should expect during the ceremony, what kind of spots are there for your portrait session and what type of environment you will have during the reception, which will make your job much easier.
Submit on time
When the wedding day is done, it is not the end of your work with a couple. The next step is post-production, and I would recommend submitting at least ten photos as fast as you can, preferably the next day, to make your clients happy. They will share these photos with their family and friends and most likely post your pictures on their social media, which could lead to some new leads and potential bookings. Also, when your couple has some photos from the wedding, they won’t be calling you asking about the photos, which will give you peace of mind to finish editing their wedding.
These are my top 5 tips for beginner wedding photographers, which can help ensure your wedding will go as smoothly as possible, and you’ll be able to make your clients happy to grow your business.
See you soon!