Wedding photography is the nuanced art of capturing one of the most important days in a person’s life. Wedding photographers create unique, everlasting memories that families treasure for a lifetime. Wedding photography is also one of the most financially rewarding artistic professions in vogue today because it is indispensable to the newlyweds’ grander theme of romance. Many photographers, who are starting out, prefer to take the wedding photography route as they feel this niche has a lot of potential to make good money.

As a prevalent part of commercial photography, wedding photography encompasses several branches of photography. It may include portrait photography, concept, documentary, and candid photography. A creative wedding photographer will not just document weddings and related events. He/ She can also borrow conventions from landscape photography, architecture, interior design, event planning, and storytelling. A wedding photography assignment can include capturing records of elaborate ceremonies and bridal portraits before the wedding, including the preparation of announcements, thank you cards, etc. It may also include post-wedding activities such as the reception. Your timing is crucial and you have to ensure that even the most subtle or minutest of details, emotions, and events are captured. Your margin for error is practically zero as a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Keeping these things in our minds, we have come up with a few photography tips on how to take photos at a wedding ceremony. These tips would help you prepare adequately to capture a big wedding in style.

1. Take your time to recce the venue

From the time your client reaches out to you, start your personal research on their intended venue. Find out if you can use the outdoor space at the venue for a post-wedding shoot with the couple. Check Google to get the details about the location, the environment, the climatic conditions, etc. Visit the venue at least once before the wedding day. Scout the venue and list down the potential shots you would like to take, the various spots available to take them, how the lighting changes during the day and night, the electrical backup, and the capability of the venue.

2. Check your gear twice before heading to the event

You wouldn’t want to take a chance with your photography gear on the wedding day. Hence, make sure that all your cameras and lenses are working perfectly before you start your journey to the venue. Have the lenses cleaned the previous day, ensure you are carrying enough memory cards, additional lighting, weather proof gear in case it rains, and a comfortable bag to carry your gear. Also, remember to pack all the essential accessories you need for the shoot at least two days prior to the event.

3. Always prefer to have an assistant photographer

Weddings, especially Indian weddings are a carnival of colors where a lot of things happen simultaneously. Capturing every detail would be challenging for you if you are covering the whole event all alone. Hence we suggest you get an assistant photographer with you. He or she can focus on many other parts of a wedding while you capture the main events.

4. Know the couple well

Remember, you are not just capturing random moments of a couple on their wedding day. You are narrating their story; the story of their love, hopes, etc. Mingle with the couple and their family and find what is unique in their story. Also, try to get an idea of what the couple is looking forward to seeing in their wedding album. If they have a checklist of all photos they need, go through it and memorize them. A wedding photography shot list will make your job easier. We suggest spending time with the couple in an informal setting prior to the event to really get to know them.

5. Never miss out on the small details

Couples flip through the pages of their wedding album to see the moments from their special day once again. They look for moments they must have missed noticing amidst the rush. They expect to see shots that talk about the small details from the wedding. However, these small details make an album quite lively too.

6. Have backups ready

It is better to have backups for all your photography gear as well as for the images, ready. If you can’t afford two cameras on your own, get the second one as a rental. Also, remember that you are capturing a big wedding. Hence, there will be plenty of photos. Once you finish capturing the event, make sure that you create two copies of the images. Who would like to take chances in affairs like weddings?

7. Take lessons on lighting

No matter how creative you are while capturing a wedding. If the lighting is not right, the hard work you put in will be wasted. But we don’t recommend huge lighting setups as it would affect the setting of the wedding. Instead, use lenses with a fast aperture. These lenses will help you get the most light out of the wedding scene. Moreover, Speedlites are an option that works in darker areas at the wedding venue. Or else, you can try reflectors that will bounce and redirect the light. It is inexpensive and needs no batteries or charging.
A photographer who knows the best camera setting for a wedding ceremony, or with creative wedding photoshoot ideas can create absolute magic.

8. Delivering the Latest Look

A great wedding photographer has to keep up with the times and read up on ‘fashionable poses’, bridal hairstyles, makeup, and wedding gowns. Couples tend to demand specific looks they saw off Bridal Guide or Modern Wedding. Bridal magazines are continuously pushing barriers, advertising exotic locales, extravagant dresses, dramatic and entertaining themes. A photographer is expected to be conversational with a throng of different magazine-style photos that clients are likely to demand.

9. Observing Carefully

A critical part of the wedding photographer’s job is to anticipate the fleeting moments and rare expressions that are likely to come up during the wedding. It is her job to make sure they become a beautiful part of family history. Because a wedding is an emotional and joyous occasion, there will be a lot of these special moments that photographers can latch on to. As the photographer gains inexperience, she will become better at predicting candid outpourings from emotional couples and their kin.

10. Telling the Story

Photographers, through their pictures of the special day, chronicle the story of the wedding couple. They see a pattern and form a compelling narrative. When the client sees the final album, she should be able to recall the experience and emotions they went through, as well as connect to the event with the help of photographs.

11. Dealing with Pressure

Since a couple wants their wedding day to be documented in the most comprehensive manner possible, they would want to invest in hiring a good wedding photographer. Because of this, there is pressure on the photographer to perform exceptionally well.
Photographers are expected to provide clients with visually creative images, which appear larger-than-life. Photographers need to be aware that there will not be second chances if something does go wrong. They, therefore, need to practice several photography skills and abilities to deal with issues in a short high-pressure environment. However, to insulate themselves from legal disputes, photographers should insist on a formal contract.

12. Perfect Timing

Observation would be useless if the photographer is not able to capture the moment. Photographers, therefore, have to be prepared and be present at the right place and time. Photographers must know the event schedule by heart so that they can prepare beforehand. Do your homework in terms of being in the right place before time. Get the right gear based on the type of shot that the situation requires.
Another skill that photographers must practice is to be able to react and not overthink. They will miss the shot if they wait too long. Emotional expressions or actions have peaks and lows, and a photographer has to try to capture those peak moments.

13. Seeing the Best in People

What differentiates a good photographer from a great one is the latter’s ability to see the best in a person. Instructing a person to pose and adjust the situation and lighting to capture that best side is an integral trait of a great wedding photographer.
Photographers should strive to conceal the imperfections that they notice in a person, especially in wedding photography. There may be clients who want to document themselves as they are and the event as it unfolds; photographers then may have to go for the documentary wedding photography approach.

Another skill that photographers must practice is to be able to react and not overthink. They will miss the shot if they wait too long. Emotional expressions or actions have peaks and lows, and a photographer has to try to capture those peak moments.

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