Being asked to photograph or video record a wedding is a huge leap of faith. You are being asked to capture the most important day of someone life to have as a memory forever. Take that honor seriously and make sure to do everything you can to shoot pictures that convey the love and joy being expressed at the event.
I recently spoke with a great group of Calgary wedding photographers who offered me some wonderful advice on how to shoot for weddings. One of the first things they mentioned was that if at all possible, you should offer your services as the couple’s engagement photographer as well. This gives you time to get to know them under less stressful circumstances and see what their personality is all about.
Besides being an engagement photographer as well, the Calgary wedding photographers also offered me the following tips:
Have a list of shots: Plant this seed in the bride and grooms head as early as possible so they have time to think about it. Couples always have certain shots that must be included, like the cake bite or first dance. Make a list and mark it off as the day progresses so that you don’t miss any.
You need a family member on your side: Preferably of the mom variety that everyone is going to listen to. There are lots of group photos and shots needed where you are going to need an ally to get the players all rounded up and into position.
Know the locale: A day or two before hand, check out the location to find great areas and backdrops to stage your shots. Make sure to go at the same time as the wedding so that you will see how the spots look in the same lighting.
Have backups of EVERYTHING! The wedding photographers from Banff could not express this enough. This is a once in a lifetime event for the couple. Don’t mess that up by not having a good memory card or dead batteries.
Small details make a big difference: The rings sitting on top of the cake, a shot of the back of the wedding dress as it is lowered onto the floor. Even the tiny berets used in the flower girls hair. These are the small details that the couple will forget about unless you capture the moment. Plus, these types of non-people shots help to round out the wedding album.
Don’t Delete as You go: You might be getting rid of photo gold if you delete before having the chance to see it up close. Remember, you can crop and manipulate during processing to create an interesting shot from one you thought was garbage.
Most Important – Have fun! The people are going to react to your image when you shoot them. A wedding is a joyous event, if you are showing that in your face, your subjects will show it in theirs.
I learned a lot from the Calgary wedding photographers and would love to talk more with them in the future. They offered solid advice and tips that I believe can help make any amateur photographer a great wedding photographer.