25 Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographers

25 Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographers

Weddings are magical, beautiful events of coming together of people in love, together. And their families, and their friends, and you- the camera person, the videographer, etc.

Something as beautiful as this calls to be cherished and preserved in the hearts and minds of the people for long & long. And that makes the job of the photographer very essential & pristine. To be able to cement a memory forever & forever.

Let’s start with some tips and tricks to help you seize the day-

1. Hunger leads to anger

Please make sure to eat before arriving at the venue. You probably won’t have the luxury of time to eat so well, simply because you’ll be photographing all the key moments.

Hunger leads to anger and lots of anger. Even research says so.

To quell bouts of hunger, carry a small bag with you- fill it with your favorite munching snacks. Also, bring some mints or gum with you so you don’t smell.

Credits: pexels

2. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike

Have a list of the best poses, with you beforehand. This can help.

It’s a great idea to involve the couple as well- maybe they have certain idiosyncrasies to share, some special intimate poses that are unique to their relationship.

Maybe you’d need some props as well to paint a story through pictures. Do your homework properly.

3. As many people, as many a culture

Pay attention to the type of wedding you’ll be covering. Different symbols and traditions are used in cultural weddings and do some research on them beforehand to avoid missing significant moments.

Obtain a copy of the reception program so you can organize your photographs accordingly.

4. ‘Two Are Better Than One, For If Either Of Them Falls, One Can Help The Other Up- The Bible

You won’t be able to be in all areas at once, so enlist the assistance of a second. A second photographer also provides perspective to your photographs.

Maybe you feel the same setting needs to be shot from two different angles or maybe you need to rush to the loo during the ring ceremony- etc.

5. Rent it

As an amateur, you can rent gear so you can invest prudently, in the future, in the gear of your choice.

6. When in Rome, do as the…

It is essential that you dress according to the theme of the party. You don’t want to stand out simply because you don’t want the extra attention or be identified as the outside person.

Be a part of the celebration, build a repo with the people- and blend in. Positive energy is contagious and you might earn good friends or even bookings, with the right attitude.

7. Early bird catches the worm

Scout the venue beforehand, spend a day or two there- to understand the lighting and how it shows on your camera.

You might realize you need extra lighting equipment for making the pictures beautiful.

8. The Dress is a subject

The dress is a subject. don’t treat it as an object. Get beautiful shots of just the dress, at first, and then of just the bride.

Learn appropriate metering techniques to help you achieve the right exposure that lets you capture the brightest tone of the clothing without sacrificing the vital details.

9. Everything has value, no matter how little

When you arrive, the couple, family, and wedding party may be just getting started with hair and makeup. This is an excellent opportunity to photograph details such as:

  • Images of the rings, cord, and veil in close-up.
  • Flower arrangements such as bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres
  • The Invitation
  • Suits and dresses
  • Perfume, shoes, jewelry, cufflinks, and other accessories

Perhaps the bride’s bouquet was made by the bride’s grandparents. The groom’s tie could be an heirloom or a hand-me-down. Perhaps the couple bonded over the fact that they designed their invitations.

While they appear to be simple items, they may have deeper sentimental value. These items serve as important reminders of the wedding’s details.

10. Build a great rapport

It wouldn’t hurt to memorize the names of the extended family, and friends of the couple. Calling them by their names will make your job easier- you will be able to direct them for photographs and they’ll also love it.

11. Show them how it’s done

Want the couple to do something contrived, show it to them- always. Your second photographer can be of help here.

12. Bride coverage

The bridal coverage focuses on the bride’s preparations for the wedding day. It’s also about spending time with her special friends. Set aside at least an hour to photograph the following:

  • Hair and makeup for the bride and bridesmaids
  • The bride’s parents are assisting her with her accessories.
  • The maid of honor and bridesmaids are sharing a laugh.
  • Bride putting on her gown Group photos with her family
  • Shots of the bride in front of a large window, on the staircase, or in other beautiful areas of the venue.

13. Groom Coverage

This entails documenting the guys preparing for the event. Set aside at least 30-45 minutes to capture moments such as:

  • A ‘cheers’ shot made with beer or scotch.
  • The groom is putting on his jacket, tie, and cuff links.
  • Photographs of the family
  • Photographs of the groom alone
  • Photographs of the wedding party that are out of the ordinary

14. The list that can’t be missed

Just some added insights compiled from the web, in general-

  • Walking down the aisle as a processional for the wedding party
  • When the bride walks in, the groom’s expression changes.
  • The bride is walking down the aisle.
  • The opening remarks and address to the couple by the officiant
  • Rings and vows are exchanged.
  • Marriage announcement
  • Front and center angles of the first kiss (do not miss!)
  • Reaction shots of family, friends, and visitors
  • The confetti-filled exit or the recessional exit
  • The ketubah or other marriage contract is signed.

15. Be as quick as a cat

One of your goals during a wedding is to move quickly so you don’t miss anything!

Also, if your camera has a silent shutter mode, use it to reduce noise when taking pictures. This will make sure that the guests are left undisturbed and beautiful candid moments just shine through!

16. Before the event, practice

Practice shooting before the big day, especially if you’ll be using a new camera or lens for the first time.

Watch wedding photography videos or read wedding photography articles.

17. Make friends

Their wedding vendors will be your most valuable partners at the event. They can either make your job easier or more difficult, so you must treat them with respect throughout the event. You can continue to build a relationship with them after the event for future weddings!

Develop positive relationships with vendors such as:

  • Videographers
  • Makeup artists and hairstylists
  • Florists
  • Bakers
  • Officiants
  • Coordinators of the venue
  • Wedding organizers
  • DJs, caterers, and bands

18. Social media tagging

When you post the clients’ images on social media, make sure to tag them as well as the vendors. Vendors may share your actual post in some cases, which can increase page engagement and views. In some cases, they will request permission to upload photos to their websites and will include a backlink to you. In either case, it may lead to new client inquiries and partnerships.

19. Have an emergency kit ready

An emergency kit can help you streamline the photography process and provide a better experience for your clients!

Most minor crises can be handled with bobby pins, a stain stick, a small sewing kit, and baby wipes.

Rain ponchos, first aid kits, bug spray, crochet needles (for dress buttons), makeup basics, spare bow ties, lighters, a list of emergency phone numbers (backup vendors and photographers), and other items may be included in larger emergency kits. The only limit is your imagination!

Don’t overpack, but bring only what will make you feel prepared and comfortable. Your assistant can assist you in managing this extra bag!

20. Backing up all Images

Losing photos is a photographer’s worst nightmare, whether due to inadvertently deleting files or a corrupted memory card. Make it a habit to immediately copy images to your computer and an external hard drive after the shoot. Yes, making two–or even three–copies is ideal, and doing so as soon as you get home from the wedding is ideal.

21. Cull Faster

The process of separating the good photos from the bad photos is referred to as culling. It’s not about deleting unwanted photos right away because you might need them later. The goal is to narrow down thousands of images into a few that you can edit and share with the couple.

The quickest way to accomplish this is to use FilterPixel, which is an AI-powered culling app. It will help you cull smarter, faster & easier.

22. Post Teasers

Make it a goal to post sneak peeks on social media within 24 to 48 hours of a wedding. These are usually a few photos that show the client how their images will look. Teasers, on the other hand, provide them with something to look forward to sharing with their family and friends.

The couple, family, and guests will still feel the excitement of the event, which will make them eager to see the photos. You’ll most likely gain new followers, likes, shares, and comments at this point.

Part of your job as a photographer is to give your clients the best image-viewing experience possible. The benefit of creating an online gallery is that customers can have their photos delivered in a professional and high-quality manner. This also gives them the option of where to save and download their files.

24. Give Referral Incentives

Some customers automatically provide feedback about a service provider. They will occasionally share a post on their social media accounts. You can’t, however, be certain that everyone will find the time and energy to do so.

Actual customers provide the most trustworthy feedback. Offering a referral incentive is one way to encourage a review. For example, if they leave a review within a week, you can give them a discount on their next booking. If they post a review with pictures, they might be able to get a print credit.

25. Be Real

Forget what the magazines have to say. Forget the fanfare, pomp, and circumstance.

Brides and grooms, as well as their families, are just human beings with feelings. Treat them with respect, humor, and empathy throughout the wedding planning process.

Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Also, don’t try to persuade your clients to be someone they aren’t.

Clients will love you, refer you, and hire you again – not only because you take beautiful photos, but also because you are a wonderful person to work with.

I hope you have a lot of fun playing with your camera and lighting, capturing those wonderful tiny details, and preserving these precious days.

Make sure to check out our Ultimate guide for family photographers.

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