We’re going BTS of the wedding photographer. It’s no surprise that keeping up with the hustle on a couple’s special day is a huge task so we’ve collected some insights to the tips and challenges involved. How do you capture those memorable moments, without becoming the creepy camera person who’s always there…
As wedding photographer you must feel like an ‘old friend’ at the event. This is to connect with both the couple and guests, get to know their personalities a little so you can take relaxed and genuine photos. It’s good to start slow upon arrival at the wedding, with photos of the venue and non-people details like flowers as you slowly get acquainted.
A wide lens can be used to start capturing scenery and candid, ‘getting ready’ shots. Sometimes the photographer may be invited to the first look, and other times this is kept private. It’s up to the couple.
The key is using a camera you are comfortable and experienced with. Some weddings have been beautifully caught on an iPhone. Don’t fret over not having the latest gear ‘all professionals are using’.
Those at a wedding won’t want to spend too long being directed around and doing re-takes. There are usually small windows of opportunity throughout the day to hit the couple’s brief of what photos they want…
So the photographer must know how to gesture quick simple poses, and do the best they can given the lighting. The ceremony nor reception are designed to optimize photography conditions. It may for instance be hard to avoid direct sunlights in an outdoor weddings.
You have to be on the ball and be ready to capture natural and spontaneous moments. For example, if you catch the couple walking under a tree gesture them for a quick snap so to not miss a soft, even lighting op. For family photos, the photographer generally gets everyone in a line, ensuring mostly that no one’s looking awkward.
At the reception, take fewer but sharper snaps. Candids during speeches and the first dance, and macro shots of decorations and the catering. You don’t want guests to feel like you’re around too much, so relax when the formalities are over. Set up kicker lights around the room to make things easier.
No two weddings are the same and the photographer is always going to have unexpected challenges, but hopefully these general tips point you and your camera in the right direction.