Wedding photography captures the most significant moments of a couple’s life. The couple takes vows to spend the rest of their lives together and shares their happiest moments with friends and family. Wedding albums make people go back down memory lane. People want to visit the big day of their life again and again. It makes people nostalgic and passes it down to the children and grandchildren.
That’s why wedding photography also needs a lot of planning, preparation. Read this article if you are passionate about wedding photography and learn bits and bobs you need for it and also the tricks that you can take in all the best wedding shots.
Table of Contents
What is Wedding Photography?
Wedding photography is a complete package. People nowadays want a wedding that resembles the one in the movies, whether it is a simple one or a grand one. Moreover, they want their wedding photos and cinematography to be perfect. So that they can put pictures on their social media, show off to their relatives and reminiscence on them later in their life. What makes wedding photography great is when all the images tell an epic story about the couple and their journey.
Moreover, people want their wedding to be epic or something that everyone can talk about after it is long over. Therefore, they plan a destination wedding, hire convention halls or places of heritage so that their wedding will be enjoyable and memorable. Wedding photographs are an important part of it.
In fact, wedding photography involves taking pictures of wedding ceremonies and all the guests. But for a professional wedding photographer, there are more things to capture than this. Apart from the posed moments, they also have to capture raw and original images which reflects emotions.
In order to capture the couple’s biggest day in the most heartfelt way is the job of a wedding photographer and their team. As a result, a photographer has to capture those moments by using many tricks and techniques, and styles.
Besides, wedding photography is a mixture of portraiture, family and group photography, documentary, boudoir, event, and closely shot images. For example, engagement rings, gowns, cakes, alter or the religious place, wedding vows will take place and more things like this bare sentiments.
In your job duties as a wedding photographer, you have to take pictures of all aspects of the wedding ceremony and celebration. Therefore, taking pictures of couples and their friends and families on the wedding day is a part of wedding photography. But it also includes engagement, bachelors party, bridal shower, reception and pre-wedding shoots where the couple shares their experience of getting together.
Furthermore, wedding photography is one of the profitable lines among all other types of photography. But it also needs the skills of different types of photography- time-management, a great level of planning and organising skills. Most importantly, as a photographer, you need to have excellent interpersonal skills and a trustworthy personality that will help people comfortably pose in front of you without being shy. Along with being great with taking portraits and group photographs, you also have to be handy with taking candid shots and shooting landscape, documentary and conceptual photographs.
If you want to be creative with your wedding photography, you will need more than just taking clicks of weddings and related events. Firstly, you can take inspiration from the landscape, architecture, interior designs, event planning and storytelling. In addition, wedding photography may mean you have to click through small different meaningful processes of the wedding like recording small ceremonies, bridal portraits before the wedding or boudoir, thank you cards and so on. In the end, all the pictures need to tell their stories in the best way possible.
What are the Qualities of a Wedding Photographer?
As a wedding photographer, you need to have a few sets of qualities. You have to deal with many sorts of clients, work in different locations. Moreover, you also have to be tech-savvy and great with photo editing software.
Above all, you will get many clients from word of mouth and among the guests attending the wedding. So you have to be at your best to showcase your talents professionally and charmingly. Taking amazing stills with your style and interacting with guests will get you a long way. So here are some skills and qualities you need to keep yourself updated with as a wedding photographer.
1. Creativity and Imagination
Firstly, as a wedding photographer, you will need to have good creativity and imagination. As a result of good imagination and creativity, you can take pictures with better perspective and dimension. It will help make ordinary setup and poses extraordinary. Therefore, you give your client the best images they deserve. You are not just the person behind the camera. You have to see the moment that is unfolding in front and capture them.
2. Photos must Tell a Story
Every wedding has a story behind it, and in today’s date, the best wedding photography is considered when all the best images and shots tell that story when assembled. They want their wedding to be like a fairytale. So well-done wedding photography will highlight the event in the best way possible. From taking shots of the bride and groom and their emotional, happy and bitter-sweet moments of the big day, your story must tell a beautiful story.
3. Attention to Details
In wedding photography, it all comes down to capturing the beautiful small instances. These will make people laugh, cry and become nostalgic about it later on. In order to capture those moments, you have to be alert to catch the small details that can become a great shot. You also should have a greater understanding of what might be wrong in a shot and fix it before clicking the camera. Finally, every element of an image must fit in place, from the subjects to lighting, composition.
Timing is an essential factor when you are taking photos at a wedding. All the other qualities discussed till now can go in vain if you do not get your timing right. When you are taking candid shots, every second can make the difference between a good or a bad shot. The emotions and moments that unfold in front of you may disappear in a blink. So you have to prepare yourself for that.
As a photographer, you have to be present in the right place and at the right moment. So you have to know the wedding schedule, when and where all the ceremony will happen. Keep a stock of all the right gears that you need to take all forms of shots.
5. People Person
When you are a wedding photographer, you have to interact with all kinds of couples and people. You have to speak to them and see the best in them. Because it will help you direct them to pose according to their comfort and yet look good in the photograph. Therefore you need to have the ability to get the best out of everyone, even with one’s who are hard to work with.
Moreover, with your personality and interactions, you have to make your subjects comfortable, make them pose freely. Some couples may come out stiff or camera-shy. You have to direct them and motivate them to pose while you take the shots. This is because people will cooperate with you more and give you more raw emotions when they are at ease with you.
6. Working under Pressure
A wedding can go on for long hours. Expectations of the couple will also vary from wedding to wedding. You also have to work with huge crowds, and the guest list can go on forever. Moreover, there will be times when all the lighting is just not working. Things might not go as planned. You have to keep your cool throughout all the situations. You will need to have patience and be flexible to develop alternative ideas to take all the right images.
7. Stay Up-to-date
Wedding photographers have to stay updated with the latest trends, styles, poses, technology and software. You have to be aware of all the best and modern couple poses and understand the angles with which the pose will look best in the picture. Fashion magazines, movies and media are continuously setting expectations in people’s minds. Couples may want to take images that resemble those expectations. They may also want you to guide them to give poses, so you have to be at ease to provide them with that.
Nothing may work when you do not work with passions. If you’re just doing wedding photography for the money and without passion, it might not take you a long way. You can easily take the pictures, but you will easily lose motivation after a while and find it difficult to add value to your photographs.
Which Camera Equipments are Necessary for Wedding Photography?
Camera or Cameras is the most important thing that you need for your wedding photography, without being said. But there are many other compulsory pieces of equipment that you need to have to take snapshots of all kinds of big days. Furthermore, having the right sorts of equipment will help you become a professional wedding photographer. So let us see the lists of things necessary for wedding photography and why you will need them.
The most compulsory thing you need is a DSLR Camera. For high-quality photographs, handheld and portable DSLR is the most suitable cameras for your wedding photography. A full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera can handle almost everything a wedding function brings to your plate.
Select a camera carefully with high resolution, fast autofocus, and High ISO abilities. Many high-end DSLR also have the video feature, which can take your wedding photo albums to the next level. For a good DSLR, you will need to spend above £800 to £2000. Furthermore, your wedding camera must have interchangeable lenses, manual modes, raw shooting mode and also have the option of a hot shoe for flashes. Try also to have backup cameras in case of emergency.
If you want to avoid shaky hands to ruin a good click, turn on image stabilisation and up the ISO. You can take sharper images with high ISO settings like 3000 or more. Of course, if the pictures become too sharp and noisy, you can always edit them using the noise reduction option in photo editing software like Lightroom.
For wedding photography, you will need lenses. Lenses usually depend on the photography style of the photographer. It also depends on the body of the camera. When some wedding photographers prefer bright primes with two bodies for fast access. Some like the ease and range of a zoom lens.
You have to keep with you a long lens and a wide lens. With the help of a long lens, you can take captures moments of the wedding ceremony from afar. Also, you must avoid interrupting any intimate moments while you are taking your shots. On the other hand, a wide lens will help you capture group pictures in tight spaces. It is also handy when you want to capture the people along with the whole scene behind them.
As a wedding photographer, you cannot overlook this equipment. Tripods are very handy when you are taking a group photo. It is also helpful when you are working with a large stage and a single backdrops for a long time.
A tripod will also give your shoulders some rest when the event is running long and on full flow. When you are taking continuous shots of the guests, set up a tripod so that people will spot and come to you when they want to take a picture. This will make your work easier. But keep in mind that you still have to move around a lot to get all the best and unique shots.
4. Memory Cards & Batteries
You cannot ever guess the amount of image the wedding party needs before they are fully satisfied with the photo sessions. You might not, but your best friend gadget might run out of space or energy. Therefore, it is always better to keep extra memory cards and batteries so that they have your back when you need them.
You need to shoot in RAW mode a lot, as it gives you space to play and edit the images a lot. Also, taking photos is in RAW means your camera doesn’t auto-balance the highlights and shadows of the picture. As a result, it gives you more realistic shots.
RAW mode helps to take pictures with all the details in it without sacrificing the image quality. But it creates pressure on the Camera system and fills up the memory faster. Therefore, you will need high-quality memory cards and batteries in order to capture images in RAW.
5. Rain Equipment for an Outdoor Wedding
Keep with you some safety measurements when you are working outdoor. Weather can be unpredictable so keep these with you – raincoats, rain sleeves for the camera, Ziploc bags and also an umbrella. Also, bring a towel to dry out your camera immediately in case it gets too wet. In a bad case, the wedding will shift indoor.
6. Flash Diffuser for Indoor Weddings
When you are doing indoor wedding photography, there has to be a flash to fill up the lowlights of indoor. But flash sometimes creates harsh light and cause discolouration of the subject in the picture.
A good flash diffuser can help you avoid that. A diffuser helps to soften the light and reduce glare and harsh shadows. They cancel out unattractive contrast and even out the tonality while taking the photo. Try to use natural light over flash as much as possible to avoid discolouration. However, you will require flashes in the churches, as they tend to have dimmer lights and few sources of natural light.
Explore the Secret Tricks for Taking the Perfect Wedding Photograph
Now for the main wedding events where you flourish the best of your skills, techniques equipment and give the wedding party to talk about. Remember, wedding photography requires lots of planning. Here are some tips and tricks you must follow to become a professional wedding photographer.
Pre-Planning the Event
Making a plan before the wedding is very important in wedding photography. You have to be in sync with the couple and the estimated guests and time you have to work with them. The location also plays a major role in wedding photography. You also need to set expectations for your client, for which you will need to meet, tell them how you work. So you need to have a clear idea of everything you need to work with at a wedding.
1. Talk to Your Client
To be professional, a good wedding photographer starts by meeting their clients. Use a portfolio to display your style. Always keep something with you to take notes and to create an action plan with your client. Ask them what their expectations are, how many shots they would like, what are the main things they want to see in their albums and records.
Also, do not forget to ask them how many guests you will have to work with. This is an important part. A wedding is a large gathering of friends and family of the couple. Maybe the couple will wish to see these people in one frame during their wedding. Keep a list or know who will be the important guests of the wedding. As a result, you can take pictures of the couple’s moment with the people and the people with whom they are most attached.
2. Know the Wedding Schedule
You must get a thorough understanding of the wedding schedule. Get over what ceremonies and events will happen when and where. Then, discuss and make an approximation timeline when the bride will walk down the aisle, the vow, the first kiss, the dinner, cake cutting ceremony, dance and the bouquet toss.
When you are shooting outdoor, make sure you are using the golden hours. Golden hours are the time of the day when the natural light is at the warmest. It is after sunset or sunrise. You can take some great natural shots at these hours of the day. So know and plan what the wedding party will be doing at these hours.
3. Visit the Wedding Location
This is important because you want to make sure how where you can take the best shots from. You can decide what kind of difficulties you might face due to the location and environment and prepare for it ahead of time. If you visit the location with the couples, you will know their point of view as well and what sort of pictures they are expecting in that location. You also can explain your own ideas, that you want to work within the wedding location.
4. Create a Shot List
A wedding is a big event, so you have to keep a shot list ready, even if it may go beyond during the actual event. It will initially give you a map to work on, and you and your company do not have to wonder where, to begin with. The couple is your main subject. Close family members, friends, bridesmaids and best man are some people you must always count on the list. Based on the details you have gathered from the wedding party, you should make a shot list depending on the couple’s expectations, schedule, and the most important moments you will need to capture.
5. Note all the Things you will Need
According to the location, clients needs and from your personal experience, note down all the equipment that you will need to take with you to the wedding. You might skip over something if you keep it for the last moment and won’t get the things you need at hands rich. Therefore, it is important to make a list of equipment you be needing during the event. Additionally, you can keep with yourself, lens cloths, wipes for oily skin, duct tape, cloth pins and headache meds as well. You can always have a backup of all the important gears you need.
6. Make a Contract
As a professional wedding photographer, you must write a payment contract. This contract will have all the information. Such as how much proof the clients will receive, the time they will receive by, the important moment where shot must be taken, time, address of residence and venue. It also must have the time and address to other wedding events where they expect you to be. For example, rehearsal dinner, after-party, multi-location weddings. Additionally, the contract must have contact info, copyrights and detailed payment plans. You and the wedding party must have a copy of the contract. Consider the following factors in your contract
- Travel time
- Editing time
- Running costs:
- Average wedding photography rates in your area
7. Suggest the Couple Pre-wedding Shoot
A wedding can be a long event full of people and rituals. The time just flies by through all the greetings and interaction between the hosts and the guests. For this reason, you can suggest your client for a pre-wedding photoshoot. If the couple wants a good deal of single stills, a pre-wedding photo shot help you and them to get time for it. A pre-wedding shoot will give the couple to pose for some intimate images, which will otherwise be ignored during the wedding rush. Ask if the couple if they want to dress casually for it or want to wear the wedding attires.
Tips for Photo Shooting The Wedding Event
We have already discussed that you need to know some poses. This will help you to guide the couple, bridesmaid and the best man and everyone who wants to take the picture. There are many other major things like this you will need to take care of while photographing a wedding. Here are some necessary tips you must know.
1. Shoot RAW
To capture all the details without compromising the quality of the image, take a photo in RAW mode. It will leave you space for editing during post productions. You can add your own editing touch when you are doing you are formatting the images later on.
2. Continuous Shooting Mode
Turn on the continuous shooting mode. This will help you take several shots of the same frame. As people tend to move a lot, they might not have the right expression or pose in a single click. Taking continuous shots will take several pictures of the moment in front. You can then pick the best one, add it to the gallery.
3. Give Clear Instructions and Feedback
Give instructions and feedback to the posers so that they know how they are looking or how they must be in order to appear flawless in the picture. Encourage them to pose freely, smile brighter, turn a bit right or left, or scoot closer. Most importantly, they must be at ease to pose in front of you and understand what you are trying to click with them.
4. Make Sure the Photos are Backed up Safely
The photos should be like treasures to you. You need to save them at all costs because you will never get a second chance to shoot for the same wedding. So keep your photos backed up as fast as you take them. Carry small size SD cards so that you can spread out the images in different places and won’t be at risk of losing all the images at once if things go wrong.
Back up the images of the SD cards to a laptop, hard drive or even better option transfer the files to the clouds as soon as it is full. Here an extra hand can be beneficial as you may not have the time to back up your files frequently.
5. Find Someone to Coordinate Guest and Family Photo
As someone close to the wedding party to gather people around for the group photo. Do this right after the ceremony. Otherwise, everyone will scatter around. Ask some family members to bring all the people to choose a location for the family picture. Ensure that everyone comes one after the other when they are taking pictures with the bride and groom.
For a large group, the image takes your picture from the top. It will help you get everyone inside the frame. You can use a ladder for this purpose.
6. Capture Small Details and Also of the Setup
Wedding photography is not all about the couple and the people. It is also about the small details. A lot of preparation is done to create the ambience of the wedding. Therefore, you can take aesthetic pictures of the altar, church, the entire setup and even the dining hall and the dance floor.
Do not forget to take pictures of minute details like the wedding rings, brides bouquet, the veils etc. take pictures of all the emotions that come in front of your eyesight.
7. Be confident but Invisible Cameraman
Do not disturb the tender family moment or intimate moments. But it does not mean you should not capture them. You must take the images of intimacy and togetherness without interruption. Just do it from afar.
Use a long lens to take an emotional picture from a distance, silence your camera and all kind of sound it may make, and turn the silent shutter setting on. These are where we think it would be great to have an invisibility cloak, but you to do without it. There are instances where you need to be close to the subject, Squat or choose an angle that will not disturb them.
Work with different angles and perspectives. This will help you add elements to your picture. It will also help you avoid when something comes in front of your camera.
8. Take the help of a Second Wedding Photographer
If you get a help of a second wedding photographer, it can be life-saving. Wedding events are big. Therefore, it can be tough to maintain and take every picture on your own. While you attend to the couple and the guests who want to take pictures with them. Another photographer can go around the location and take pictures of the guests and other family members.
Moreover, during a wedding photoshoot, do not hesitate to experiment. Try out different angles and perspectives. Use different lights and flash diffusers when the light around is not working properly.
Post Production of Wedding Photographs
The big day is over; now it’s time for the long hours to select the perfect stills, do, correct, edit, and put your brand logo to the pictures.
1. Do not Delete the Mistakes
One of the habits many photographers have is to delete a picture that they think isn’t good or was a mistake, do not do that. Instead, save this image to edit and sort through later on. You can extract great moments and still from these mistakes and error images.
2. Do not hand over the RAW File
Do not hand over the raw images. It may impact your reputation as a photographer. Always make sure to edit to make the best out of an image and live a trademark of your wedding photography brand.
3. Work With things you are Comfortable With
When it comes to editing, it is vital to be comfortable with the photo edit software you are using. Do not use software that people think is the best, but select the software that works for you.
Focus and Click!
A wedding is a festive event, and it is all about having a memorable time. As a wedding photographer, you have to enjoy the wedding. The more fun you have, the more relaxed you will be, and it is very important in wedding photography you stay relaxed. Remember, a laugh is contiguous and if you smile people will smile. And if you are searching for in-depth knowledge about wedding photography, you can always sign up for our Wedding Photography course.