Tips For Shooting a Wedding event When You’re Not a Wedding Photographer

If you're a decent photographer, eventually someone will ask you to record their weddings. While this is a task frequently best delegated to pros, you can up your odds of success with a little prep work. Here are 25 methods to remain friends if someone asks you « shoot my wedding! ».

« Make sure the couple understands that you're shooting as a favor and that you cannot ensure outcomes, » states New York City-based wedding professional Cappy Hotchkiss. Describe that you will record groups as they happen, » adds the professional photographer. If it's going to take you months to deliver the images, let the couple understand in advance.

Photo: Dennis Kwan/

DO N'T miss vibrant background detail. For the Brooklyn, NY, wedding pictured above Dennis Pike consisted of an ersatz NYC taxi and the Williamsburg Bridge.

DO learn the basics. Visit the websites of wedding photographers and see how they do it. « Try assisting an experienced wedding photographer as explained on this post. You will see very first hand how it's done, with zero pressure on you, » suggests Dennis Pike, the northern New Jersey professional photographer who shot the couple in the car at left. « The more prepared you are, the more positive you will be, and the people you are photographing will feed off of that. ».

DO pre-plan. « Do not walk into a wedding event believing you can go with the circulation. Weddings aren't like street photography, where you can walk around taking photos, » says wedding pro Jonathan Scott, who has studios in both New york city and Florida. « Pre-planning will make certain you do not miss out on vital shots. » Hunt the area in advance for great backgrounds and lighting. Do Google searches for the location to see how other professional photographers capture the place.

DO ask what the couple desires. Pre-planning includes discovering what photos and which guests are crucial to the couple. « Make certain you get excellent portraits of the VIPs, » says Pike.

DO understand the program. Learn in advance how the day will flow. « You need to know exactly what is going to take place and when in order to be in the right place at the correct time. Be sure you find out, for instance, when traditional moments like the first kiss, very first dance, and the cake cutting will happen, » says Dennis Pike.

DO N'T hesitate of high ISOs. It's better to take a sharp, loud image at 1/500 sec and ISO 6,400 than a low-noise image that's fuzzy at 1/30 sec and ISO 400. When processing your RAW files, you can always do sound reduction.

Instead of asking her subjects to move, Hotchkiss moves herself. She also says to be aware of the lighting. If, in your viewfinder, the lighting looks harsh on your topics' faces, it might look even harsher in the last image.

They want to be informed how and where to stand, discusses Dennis Kwan, a wedding event and picture professional with studios in New York City and Los Angeles. « It tells your subjects that you understand exactly what you're doing, even if possibly you don't, » says Kwan.

DO N'T obsess about sharpness. Todd McGaw demonstrates how soft can be romantic in the image listed below.

DO follow the smiles. The most expressive individuals will make your finest subjects.

DO capture the beauty. Orchestrate a fashion shoot if the bride-to-be is up for it.

DO preset your cam. Make sure you're capturing high-resolution JPEGs, RAW files, or both. Set auto white balance and evaluative metering, and switch on lens stabilization.

DO shoot a lot. Kwan alerts that nonprofessional professional photographers commonly err by not shooting enough. « Specifically with groups, always shoot more frames than you believe you require. It will make certain you have at least one great shot where everybody is taking a look at no one and the camera is blinking, » he says.

DO N'T shoot with unfamiliar gear. If you'll be making use of a cam that's new to you, put it through its speeds prior to the big day. You do not want to be stumbling with controls while topics are waiting. « Wedding minutes only occur as soon as, when they pass, they're gone, » states Pike. « You need to have the ability to work precisely on the fly. ».

DO get reactions. After traditional wedding event minutes like the bride coming down the aisle or the first kiss, turn your lens on the guests and capture family and friends.

DO N'T cut corners on batteries or sd card. The last thing you desire, states Pike, « is to discover you have area for only 30 more pictures on your last memory card with two hours left. ».

A typical mistake amongst nonprofessionals, states Pike, is improperly backing up wedding files. This consists of immediate Google, tough drive, and DVD backups, however also advising the wedding event couple that they, too, are accountable for backing up digital wedding images.

« Make sure the couple knows that you're shooting as a favor and that you cannot ensure results, » says New York City-based wedding pro Cappy Hotchkiss. Visit the websites of wedding event photographers and see how they do it. « Attempt assisting a seasoned wedding event photographer. Wedding events aren't like street photography, where you can walk around taking photos, » states wedding event pro Jonathan Scott, who has studios in both New York and Florida. « Wedding moments only happen once, and when they pass, they're gone, » says Pike.


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