wedding photography

Essential Gear for the Working Pro

As a working photographer, the center of the universe is your camera bag and its contents. Your cameras and lenses are the tools of your trade. As you may have noted, both are mentioned in plural because just as you wouldn’t jump out of an airplane without a backup parachute, you shouldn’t attempt to photograph an emotionally spiked, non-repeatable event armed with only one camera.

Brush Up on Your Skills

Wedding photographers have at their disposal a variety of training tools ranging from show-and-tell DVDs to book-based tutorials. Whether you’re an amateur looking to cover the basics or a professional eager to apply more sophisticated techniques, there’s a disc or book ready to help.

Be a Pro: Be Prepared

You've signed a contract and the date is set, so how does a savvy wedding photographer proceed? Photographing a wedding involves more than simply showing up on the big day with a camera, lens, flash and a set of charged batteries.

The Shot List: Who's Who

The shot list is the list of all the photos you will be expected to produce on your clients’ wedding day, including portraits of individuals and groups.

People, Get Ready! Pre-Ceremony Photos

Making pictures of the bride as she prepares for the wedding requires spontaneity while catching the decisive moment with a tactful attitude. A wedding day generates tensions on all sides—and as a neutral third party you should be an understanding, positive force for the duration.

Capturing the Main Event

You’re about to enter the arena: the wedding ceremony. Everyone is properly dressed, coiffed and mentally prepared (keep your fingers crossed). The coming aftermath of dining, dancing and escape to blissful marriage shimmers in the hazy future. This Is It. Just be certain that you’re ready. Have a plan, and follow it.

Making Portraits that Dazzle

Here comes the bride!  And the groom.  And the bridesmaids, groomsmen, bride’s family, groom’s family, assorted friends, and former classmates—all anxious to return to the celebration. Your mission? Make glorious portraits of each and every one of them, individually and in groups.

Photographing the Reception Hall: Perspective and Light

Before a swarm of guests descends on the reception hall and disrupts the carefully arranged environment, be sure you’ve captured it in its exquisite perfection.  Most halls are tastefully appointed and designed with visual impact in mind. With the exception of the occasional fluorescent-lit VFW hall, the reception venue is best shot in available light.

The Reception: Where The Action Is

The wedding reception is where you win your battle stars. Events unfold quickly and sometimes simultaneously. You have to be very organized to stay on top of the action here. Enter the arena armed with cameras, lenses and battery-powered, on-camera or handle-mounted flashes.

Working the Tables

The guidelines for shooting tables full of guests are fairly straightforward. You’re going to politely ask half the table to rise and stand behind the luckier half that gets to remain seated. Then you’ll line everyone up evenly, being careful not to lose anyone behind a plant, bottle or tall guest.

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