Updated: Oct 16, 2021
I get asked most often by budding photographers for tips to be a better wedding photographer and be successful in their work. Being one of the Best Wedding Photographer not only involves shooting good pictures but many other things which we are going to list out below. Hope its going to be helpful.
1. Do an internship with a pro: Before going totally independent it's always better to intern with a good photograher. Work with someone who will allow you to learn as well as permit to build your portfolio. Having a Guru and being a good student helps as your guru will recommend you whenever he is not able to take up a particular assignment.
2. Get some Inspiration online: Mostly when we are starting off its a good idea to look online and study some weddings of your favourite wedding photographer. Instagram is a good medium for that. Look up on Quora for some articles for beginners like some do's and don'ts.Youtube is another best teacher
3. Insist for a client meeting with the couple: Meeting up with the couple either through a zoom call if you are in different locations or meeting personally helps you to understand what your client is expecting from you.
4. Be Punctual: Leave your home well before time so that any issues which cause delay can be overcome. Like if your car breaks down on the way or if there is a traffic jam. Also shoots at certain venues involve security checks which will cause delays in reaching on time.Carry proper ID cards to identify yourself at security checks.
5. Dress for the occasion: Dress right for the occasion. Do not dress up as a wildlife photographer or someone who looks completely different from the crowd. As a candid shooter your attire should blend with the crowd.
6. Use a Deodrant: Wedding photograhy is a tiring job and some weddings you shoot for more than 15 hours at a stetch.This will make you sweat a lot and smell like crazy. So keep a Deodrant handy.
7. Do a recce if the venue is an unfamiliar one: Seeing the place before hand will make it easier to plan your shots.Also the couple will be more confident on you as they feel you have been there before.
8. Have an experienced freelancer to shoot along with you: Although you have hired him don't boss over him. Instead observe how he shoots and learn from him.Having an experienced shooter will make sure you are backed up. Also if you screw up in your first wedding then you will never get more work as the word spreads fast in the industry. Never ever shoot your first weddings without enough backup.
9. Budget to hire for an excellent kit in your total quote: When you quote your price please budget for an excellent camera kit with a couple of great lenses to be rented out so that you are not using midrange equipment to shoot the wedding.
10.Always Shoot in RAW : Always shoot in the RAW mode while doing professional work. Shooting RAW can help correct underexposed or over exposed images so you don't suffer incase of accidental exposure or underexposure.
11. Assign a friend of the couple to coordinate on the family pictures : Always request the couple to have a friend coordinate the group shots. Ideally one fro each side of the family.They are aware as to who are the ones who need to be shot for sure. It's easier for them to pull the grooms brother from the bar to get his picture taken.
12. Use a dual card slot Camera: Use a camera that has dual slots so you get a backup immediately.Also incase you card gets corrupted by any chance you would be in safe territory.
13. Shoot on silent mode and use little or no flash: Shooting in silent mode is recommended as shutter noise can create disturbance to the audience and your fellow videographer.Its a pain and almost impossible to edit shutter noise.Same goes with flash. Use minimum or no flash as the video footage will look terrible if you use flash during the exchange of wows.
14. Shoot the small details: Shoot the small details of the wedding like the names on the rings, the groom's cuff link, the bride's accessories, the groom's watch etc using a macro lens. The couple must have collected them with so much care and would love to see those in the wedding pictures.
15. Avoid back ground clutter: While shooting try to avoid back ground clutter. Sometimes you are in a church and you can't avoid shooting if theres someone behind the couple. In such cases you can bend your knees so that the person is hidden behind the couple.
16. Don't move around too much:Priests or wedding conductors do not appreciate photograhers moving around and causing disturbance. Decide the best location and stay there most of the time.You can move around when the priest is not speaking or when the hymns are going on. Know the rules of the place you are shooting and respect them.Once I saw a photographers lying down in the church as if he is in war zone.
17. Experiement with Angles: Images look the best in different in different angles. When you experiment with Angles you may end up getting a completely different perspective. Learn to bend your knees to make an unfavourable shooting condition favourable. For example if there's a strong light behind the couple during the first dance bend your knees and suddenly the bad light will turn dramatic and work as a backlight.
18. Continuous shooting : Use continuous shooting only where needed especially if you have limited memory in camera.I have seen photographers getting their card full in the middle of the wedding and then deleting shot images.
19. Have enough memory: The first investment that a photograher has to buy after purchasing a camera is in memory cards. If you are going to shoot raw you are going to need a lot of memory.Also having 2 sets of card for two different weddings is a good idea.
20. Do not join the Party: The bar at the wedding is not for you. It's for the benefit of the guests only. It would be very unprofessional to drink at a wedding unless you are invited by the couple for a couple of drinks at the end of the day which will rarely happen. Never drink at the wedding as you have to take care of packing your equipment and sort out memory cards and backup once you get to your room.
21.Shoot it right: Getting it right in the camera itself is one of the best trait of a wedding photographer. Do not shoot every thing that moves and tell yourself that we can edit it later in photoshop.
22. Do not chew gum while shooting: It's really irritating to see a photographer moving around among guests like a cow at the wedding.
23. Have enough backup: Having enough backup like memory cards and hard drives is of atmost importance. These days you can also purchase cloud storage. Do not connect your hard disk or your working editing system to the internet as spyware like ransomware can give you lots of pain.
24.Do not shoot people eating: It's bad manners to shoot people when they are eating and it makes them really uncomfortable. So please do not shoot people eating and mention it to the couple that it won't be done in the beginning itself. You can shoot a wide picture of people seated and enjoying dinner just to convey the story.
25. Do not hit on the guests : There may be plenty of cute girls and hot looking ladies at the wedding. It's not a dating place so be professional and do not hit on the ladies or socialise with them.
26:Not knowing how to work with a fellow shooter: Sometimes there may be more than one team at the wedding. Respect the other team. It's not a competition and you are not going to win an Oscar here. So learn to work together amicably.
27. Deliver on time: Deliever you services and finished products on time when the excitement of seeing the pictures and sharing still exists. This is when your work travells to all their circles and allows more business to come in.
About Me: My name is Sudhir Nair and I am the founder of My Shaadi Story & Chasingdreams Films.
Copyright@My Shaadi Story
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