One of the biggest challenges you will face in starting a career as a professional wedding photographer is the mammoth task of coming up with the money for the equipment that you are going to need. You should know this right out just in case this hasn’t sunk in yet but professional photography equipment can be crazy expensive. If you do not have the passion for it, you might as well forgo any aspirations that you may have of being a wedding photographer by profession. It is not an easy career choice to make.
You have a pretty good chance of failing during the first few years of your career but if this is something that you know in your guts you have always wanted to do and are willing to do for a long period of time, possibly until you retire, then brace yourself for the challenges up ahead. So again, it all comes down to the money. If you don’t have the money for it, you can’t start out as a professional Norfolk wedding photographer. You don’t have to go for everything that is high end though. There are still ways for you to go after your dreams without putting your entire life’s savings on the line for it and without practically going bankrupt for it.
You start off with the cameras of course. Cameras, as in plural form, because one camera simply will not suffice. Weddings are huge events and to be tasked to cover one can be a really huge deal that comes along with a huge amount of responsibility. This is not the kind of thing that you can just take for granted. Showing up during the wedding day with only one lousy camera on hand will not cut it. What are you going to do in the event of equipment failure? What are you going to do if you accidentally trip and break it? The show still has to go on and a minimum of two cameras are required. If you have a little money set aside, you can go for the cropped frame DSLRs. They are not as high end as the full framed ones but they will deliver the pictures just fine. They will not cost as high either.
Borrow from friends
Another option you can go for if you already have one camera and need a second one is that you can try to see if there are any of your wedding photographer friends who will be willing to lend you one, just during the day of the wedding that you are shooting. It’s for free or you can reciprocate with a favor of your own. If you can’t find any friends who can give out favors for a second camera, you can always rent it out. There are businesses out there who thrive in the industry of professional photography equipment for rent. You can always go for that in the meantime.
The rest of the other photography accessories are fairly affordable except for the lenses. The poor man’s weapon for a professional grade lens is the medium zoom lens. It is versatile and it can do a little bit of everything so it will serve you just fine for the time being.
It is important for a wedding photographer to always try to go ahead and find out as much as he possibly can about the wedding venue before he proceeds to agree to the wedding and before he moves on to the actual wedding day itself. When you are having a little meeting with your potential clients, go ahead and ask about this ahead of time. Ask your clients to describe the location for you if it is something that you haven’t really seen or visited before. A graphic visual of how the place may turn out to be will more or less acquaint you with the possibilities that might happen during the wedding event and it will give you a pretty good idea about the kind of gear that you need to bring along with you as well as the accessories that come along with it.
Know about the wedding venue.
However, as much as asking for descriptions is nice and all that, nothing beats the real thing – or actually knowing about the wedding venue for sure. Speculation can be a tricky and deceptive thing to deal with and you can’t base things off simply because someone said so. Ask for pictures, if the clients have anything to present to you. If not, there is always Google. Google the images of the wedding venue and try to see if they have comprehensive photo coverage of the place that will allow you to more or less piece things together as you go along so that you know exactly what you are up against the moment that you show up during the wedding day to cover it as the official professional wedding photographer who will be documenting the event.
Visit the wedding venue.
Try to see if you can visit the wedding venue as well, if it isn’t something too expensive or too hard for you to go ahead and check out in person. Make it a point to actually go ahead and visit the place. It would be practical if you check the venue out at around the same time of the day that the wedding is set or is scheduled to happen. This will make it far easier for you to wrap your head around the lighting situation that you will most likely end up dealing with during the wedding. Reel in few practice shots and try to see how things turn out for the photos that you end up producing at the end of the day. Technically speaking, there is a pretty good chance that you won’t really end up with the exact formula for lighting by the time the wedding is set to happen because light is extremely fickle but you will at least have a fairly good idea about how you will be able to handle it.
One thing that you can throw in as some kind of deal sweetener when you are trying to book potential clients is that you can schedule this and make it look like an engagement shoot. There’s something in it for the clients while you get to take your practice shots as well.
Get your bride on board with you when it comes to the issue of the makeup that she needs to wear to the Cheshire wedding photography shoot. This may not exactly sound like something that a wedding photographer should be getting into but you couldn’t be more wrong. A bad makeup look on the bride is something that can quite easily ruin your photo shoot straight away. That is basically the main reason why this is something that you should pay really close attention to. One strategic way for you to be able to go and work around this is for you to check out the engagement shoot. Have the bride bring her makeup artist along so that you can take a look at the quality of work that she is able to bring into the equation.
You need the kind of makeup that will really last long all throughout the wedding.
Weddings take hours. There’s the ceremony, the reception, and at times, even the after party. The bride is busy or preoccupied pretty much all of the time and this is something that you will have to prepare for. Retouching the makeup is not really all that common considering this is not just an ordinary photo shoot but an actual event with itineraries that need to be dealt with all throughout the process. Talk to the makeup artist and make sure that they keep this in mind and remember this all of the time, especially when you are working with someone who is fairly new at his profession. The use of primer is extremely important so you need to advocate for that as much as possible. Not only will primer make the makeup last long, it will also make the colors stand out better without having to put loads of makeup on.
If the wedding is set out doors, you have to work more vigilantly with the makeup artist on this one.
You can’t afford to have the bride’s makeup melt off because of the humidity and sweat just a few hours into the wedding. You need something that is more long lasting and something that will be able to help the bride withstand the effects of the outdoor elements. The use of a makeup mist to help hold things in place and seal the makeup in can really make the makeup look last so much longer than it usually does and it will help keep the bride looking fresher for longer.
You also need to check out if contouring is done right.
It is a detail that you should pay the most attention to as a wedding photographer. Contouring is basically the most fascinating and magical effect that makeup can bring into the mix and it should be used if you would like the bride to come out with more pronounced features that flatter her well enough at the end of the day.
Talk to the makeup artist and try to establish a level of understanding with her.
Give her a few pointers on what to work with that will specifically impact the pictures that you are able to take as a wedding photographer.
Equip yourself with a pair of really comfortable shoes while you are attending a wedding photography coverage.
Whether it is something that you are willing to admit or be open to or not, covering a wedding event is an extremely huge undertaking. As a matter of fact, that is exactly the main reason why wedding photography is way up there in the pricing spectrum, when it all comes down to it. You will be surprised to find out that you will actually be walking way more than you ever imagined you will during your coverage of the wedding photography shoot. And it is exactly because of this why you will need to make sure that at some point or so, you always bring you’re A-game on by wearing the best and the most comfortable pair shoes that you own.
Although it may be initially tempting to go for something that look really great but may be a little uncomfortable, you should seriously take a step back and really think about whether you want to end up being grumpy and with aching feet at the end of the day. Go for the pair of shoes that both look and feel great so that you will not be compromising on anything.
Manage that person who likes to get in the way all of the time.
Guess what, there will always be that person in the wedding photography event that will try to man up and take the authority with regards to affairs related to wedding photography. You will need to remind yourself time and time again that this is basically your field of expertise and that at the end of the day, you are the Northampton photographer who was hired to document the wedding event. This is a tricky thing to balance but you will need to tell that person off in a manner that is firm and authoritative enough for him to understand that he needs to take a step back and let you do your job but friendly enough as well for him not to be offended by the manner that you conduct yourself in at some point. It will be a little but tricky to figure out at first but you will see that this is actually something that you can get to master over time and with a lot of practice. Just be firm enough to make a stand but do not be overly authoritative. That should do the trick.
Have a comprehensive meeting with the bride and with the groom.
You should take the time out of your day to really discuss things in detail with the bride and groom. Make sure that you go through the motions of really learning about their expectations and counter with whether or not you will be able to deliver all of them or if you can come up with a compromise in the event that you cannot deliver everything that they asked for. The point of the matter is that you will need to discuss everything well ahead of time so as not to have any “unpleasant surprises” in the long run.
Take note of the fact that bridal dresses are white
As a wedding photographer, one of the most common issues that you will ever get to come across would have to be the fact that the bridal dress is a lot of white. This may not cause too much of an issue to you and to basically anyone else looking at it but from a photography standpoint, this can really be a serious issue. What the human eye may see as something that tends to have a lot of white, the camera sees differently. What the camera sees is a giant spot of light or of brightness that can pretty much ruin the rest of the photo.
The camera will technically attempt to save the rest of the photo by dulling out the bridal dress. This is not something that the bride will get to appreciate at the end of the day and something that you will definitely regret not addressing if you just ignore the problem at some point or so. This is something that can more or less come with a quick fix though. All that you will basically need to do is to make sure that you are able to dial up some positive exposure compensation and that can take care of the problem right then and there. Try to keep this little trick up your sleeve the next time that you are filming bridals.
Get a second shooter
Getting a second shooter means more expenses for the Bristol wedding photographer who is basically just trying to get his feet wet in the wedding photography niche but when it all comes down to it, it is basically one of the most important things that you will need to set up and pretty much get out of the way. If money is an issue when it comes to hiring out a second shooter, there is a pretty smart way for you to work around it. Reach out to all of the new wedding photographers in your area and offer them your services as a second shooter in the wedding gigs that they book and then in return, they can be the second shooter in the wedding gigs that you book as well. It is technically a service in exchange for another service. And when it all comes down to it, the best part in all of it is the fact that it will cost you next to nothing and still get your second shooter issue given a solution for one way or the other.
Do not ever run out of memory space or batteries.
Make sure that you are able to prepare your memory cards and batteries well ahead of time. First and foremost, you need to bring in about twice the amount of memory space that you will ever need. You also need to make sure that you are able to wipe all of your memory cards clean before you heard out to any of your wedding gigs.
If there is one thing that you will need to understand about the concept of documentary wedding photography, if would have to be the fact that the pictures should look natural or candid and beautiful as well all at the same time. Believe it or not, this actually requires far more planning and effort than it actually looks. There are so many different contributing factors that you would need to consider and more than that, you will need a good lineup of planned poses that look natural. This sounds ironic, at best but when it all comes down to it; it is how things work and you should embrace it other than fight it because it will make things so much easier for you at the end of the day. One of the most uncontrived looking poses that you can go for is the walking routine.
Walking is something that occurs naturally to everyone and thus, can make the people you are photographing a little less conscious of the fact that there is a camera following them around. Ask the bride and the groom to talk about their plans for the next day, something light and maybe a little funny to make the photos look authentic. Take photos of them walking away from you and do the same for the part where they are walking back. This is one of the oldest tricks out there but something that still exists up to this day because of the fact that it actually works.
Learn how to use the art of complimenting. Complimenting can really bring out the best in people.
If you are having a hard time in capturing the most genuine looking smiles, try to pepper out a few well placed compliments and watch the magic unfold. Documentary wedding photography is all about the unplanned and the candid moments and it is usually particularly effective if the people you are taking photos of are left a little taken aback by the compliments. You need to make sure that you keep the compliments appropriate though and make sure that you never go out of line, unless you want to deal with awkward and uncomfortable reactions to your compliments. This is something that works more on the women though, and not so much on the mean so make sure that you are able to tread this carefully and proceed with caution.
Learn how to identify social cues of interesting conversations or meaningful moments.
As a documentary wedding photographer, you need to be able to position yourself before the meaningful moments actually happen. This is something that requires a lot of work and experience but if you seriously commit to it and spend a lot of time practicing it, you should be able to pull it off without that much difficulty. Learn how to identify the usual cues such as laughing, some light banter, and the like and you should be pretty much on the right track when it comes to figuring out how and when to start documenting the moments in your pictures.
If there is one particular aspect in wedding photography that wedding photographers out there are always looking out for, it would have to be the quality that the photos come along with. Quality is everything or nothing at all. There is no compromise in between. The reason why RAW is so much more preferred than the other formats out there is because of the fact that RAW files technically record all of the data captured directly by the sensor of the camera. This means that you have all of the information intact. The reason why RAW is so comprehensive is because it does not compress the information on the file in order to minimize the amount of memory space that it consumes. It keeps all of the original data and does not allow the camera to tamper with any of it so you are able to come up with the purest data possible for the images that you take.
You get greater levels of brightness.
RAW files give wedding photographers like wedding photographer milton Keynes the highest possible levels of brightness out there. In a nutshell, what levels of brightness basically means or refers to is the number of steps that it will technically take to bring a picture from black to white. Just so that you can put things into perspective, the higher the levels of brightness is, the smoother the transition is for the pictures. And when it comes to image quality, the smoothest transition will always come out being the best in quality at the end of the day. If you need a more mathematical approach to things would be to basically compare JPEG file formats against RAW file formats. JPEG files can only get you 256 levels of brightness.
RAW file formats, on the other hand, can offer you something up to 16,000+ levels of brightness. That is a tremendous amount of difference when you get to think about it. The quality difference is more than substantial. You really cannot deny it and once you are well acquainted with how the differences are, you will always have the highest amount of regard for RAW file formats.
You will be able to easily correct exposure flaws in your images.
What most wedding photographers out there are actually looking out to do would be to get the best possible kind of exposure for your pictures. This can be a bit of a challenge if you are in the middle of shooting a wedding event. People and things tend to move fast during the weddings and they cannot be very friendly for the exposure in your images. If you are able to come up with over exposed or under exposed images while shooting in RAW, what you can be rest assured of is the fact that those images are something that you will be able to easily fix without having to drastically jeopardize the overall quality of the images.
You can adjust the white balance quite easily.
All of the white balance information is recorded along with all of the rest of the other info related to the images.
One of the very first things that you will need to understand and really get the hang of when it comes launching a wedding photography business is the fact that you will need to have some kind of formal training in order for you to gain that competitive advantage over the other wedding photographers in the field. You have to understand that wedding photography is a competitive field and is something that a lot of professional photographers out there are actually looking into starting out so you need to get the benefit of a formal training.
Research the wedding photography courses out there.
Check out how you will be able to enroll yourself in one. You have to tread carefully though and proceed with caution because enrolling in a photography course is not cheap. It is extremely expensive and it requires a whole lot of investments at the end of the day. Look for a photography course that will really fit in with the kind of photography style that you are aiming to have as well as something that will really fit in with the schedule that you may currently have. If you do not have a very wide window to go with so that you can allot for the photography course, then perhaps you should check out some online options instead.
You should also be wise enough to bank on the things that you are good in and to be honest with the things that you are not so good in. You should know how to really be pretty hands on with the things that you have already mastered such as the photography side of things along with all of the other technical skills and knowledge out there. On the other hand, you should know how you will be able to hire out the things that you do not know how to do. For example, if you know for a fact that you are not good with bookkeeping, advertising, and so on and so forth, then you should hire it out to the professionals out there who really know what they are doing at the end of the day. This may seem like something that can turn out to be a bit difficult at first but something that will really get to pay off for you in the long run.
Do not be afraid to network.
Practice how you will be able to get the conversation running even when you are trying to chat with strangers. This may seem like something that can be a bit nerve wracking for all of the introverts and all of the other people who are quite shy out there, but it is something that you will have to do in wedding photography.
Make it a habit to go around during the actual wedding event and introduce yourself to all of the other vendors out there and tell them about what you do and what your business is all about. Be ready to go around and give out crisp and neat looking business cards so that they can reach out anytime if they have a need for your services or if they have any referrals.
Get a second camera, second lens, and a second shooter.
For as far as wedding photography is concerned is that you should always work in the principle of twos or more, if you can afford it. You need to back things up twice or more to make sure that nothing will ever go awry or that if ever something does, you have a good enough backup set in place to help you see things through. A second camera should be set in place to make sure that you get to have something to take the place of your main camera in case it breaks or in case something happens to it that will cause it to malfunction. You should get a second lens mounted on your second camera for variety.
The most ideal basic lenses for someone who is new to wedding photography ought to start with should be a telephoto lens for those close up shots that you will need to take from a distance and a wide angle lens that will let you take group shots with ease and without that much difficulty. It will save you time from having to mount and dismount the lenses. You can just switch back and forth in between cameras for variety in your shots.
You should also get a second shooter by all means.
You will be better able to follow through on your important shot list if you have someone else to share the load of your coverage with you. Understandably, this is one thing that a lot of wedding photographers out there struggle with at some point. After all, hiring a second shooter costs money and that is something that not a lot of newcomers can pretty much afford right off the bat. There is an easy and relatively cheap solution for this, though.
Approach any fellow friends and acquaintances who may also be starting in the wedding photography industry.
There is a pretty huge probability that they are also struggling with the issue of getting a second shooter as well, much like you are. Offer them your services in exchange for their services as well. You can be the second shooter in the weddings they book and they can be the second shooter in the weddings you book. It is a perfectly mutually beneficial arrangement and something that a lot of reasonable new wedding photographers will be having a hard time to pass up one way or the other.
Do not run out of camera batteries.
Ideally, you should buy about two extra camera batteries per camera. Make sure that they are fully charged and ready to go. Bring an AC adapter for good measure so that you can simultaneously charge them if the venue will allow it.
Do not ever run out of memory cards.
Most wedding photographers, like this Hampshire wedding photographer, shoot in RAW file format. This brings in a unique challenge when it comes to the memory space being consumed because of the fact that RAW files eat up about twice or thrice the amount of memory space compared to other formats. Bring more than enough or far more than you need and make sure they are wiped clean before every coverage.
Have a good and long talk with the bride and the groom.
If there is one thing that supersedes pretty much everything else in the world of wedding photography, it would have to be the fact that you need to always be on the same page as with your clients. You need to manage their expectations and really clearly line out what they are getting and what they are not getting in the process. Make sure that the end of the day, you are able to lay everything out in black and white and make sure that there are no confusions in between. Confusion is the poison to every kind of agreement out there.
Make sure that you nip this problem right in the bud by taking care of it early on.
It will help if you are able to lay it all down on paper. It is so much clearer when things are itemized or listed down. This is also a pretty effective way of keeping things in check so that you can technically make sure that you are holding up your end of the bargain at some point or so. Your clients come first above everything else. Really listen to what they have to say and clear everything up with them before you agree to a certain agreement.
Learn about the basics of playing around with lighting.
Lighting can technically be your best friend when it comes to being able to produce great looking photos but it can also be your biggest foe if you are ill equipped in making it work for your advantage. Learn about the basic lighting settings and figure out how you can manipulate them to churning up the photo effects that you are aiming for at some point. There are basically three settings: ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Try to read up as much as you can and practice a lot until you are comfortable enough to really say that you know your lighting like the back of your hand. Learn about them and learn how they interact with each other because this is the only way for you to make your images pull through.
Scout the area well ahead of time.
Again, in wedding photography, preparation is everything. As a matter of fact, it is so crucial that is can really make or break a certain photo shoot, when you get to think about it. Visit the wedding venue roughly around a few days before the scheduled event and take your practice shots. As the Nottingham wedding photographer, try to feel your way through things so that you are more or less able to get a good grip about how things come into play at some point. If you can bring the couple along, that would be even better. You can set it up in a way wherein it will basically come across as an engagement photo shoot of sorts. This is also the perfect time for you to really help get the bride and groom more comfortable with your presence so that you get better chances of shooting really authentic looking expressions and moments during the actual wedding day event.
Wear comfortable and sensible shoes to the wedding event.
If there is one thing that you should know about wedding photography, it would have to be the fact that as a Los Angeles wedding photographer, you will have to move around, walk around, and at times even run around a lot in order for you to be able to get the best possible shots for the bride and the groom.
You will be walking like you will not believe is possible during the wedding day event. Make sure that you are able to prepare for all that walking and running around by wearing really comfortable shoes. Your feet will thank you at the end of the day for being considerate and for pre-empting the kind of abuse that they will be getting. The temptation to whip out those killer high heels or feet squeezing brogues is quite understandable, at best. After all, you will be attending a wedding.
Weddings are formal and quite black tie in general so the aim to blend in is quite natural.
You will have to keep tabs with the reality though that you are not there as a guest. You are attending as a service provider and your aim to deliver high quality service should trump any vanities or aesthetics at the end of the day. Wearing comfortable shoes does not have to mean that you will have to disregard style altogether. There are a lot of shoes out there that offer both style and comfort at the same time.
Mange the crowd early on and take control of the situation.
Whether you are willing to admit it or not, the over eager and over zealous family member has ruined far more wedding photos than you will dare to believe. There will always be that one person out there who thinks he is actually helping out but the truth of the matter is the fact that he is only getting in the way of the wedding photographer. If you get to come across this particular kind of personality during the wedding event, you must muster up enough confidence and courage to really talk to them and take charge of the situation. That person will tell people how to pose, where to pose, who should be part of a group photo and who should not be in the photo, and so on and so forth. Thank them for the help that they are offering but insist that you have got everything pretty much under control.
Tell them that you appreciate their inputs and will make sure that you keep a mental note of that for the rest of the event but that you will highly appreciate it if you can go through with your scheduled shots first. Be firm enough to command attention but not too firm to the point where they will think you are being impolite.
Talk freely and openly with the bride and with the groom.
Really sit the couple down and discuss the wedding photography details with them at length. Make sure that they know exactly what they are signing you up for and make sure that they know exactly what they are getting. Do not embellish anything. Do not over accentuate with adjectives or flowery words. Be straight to the point and really be concise and give it straight to the clients.
One of the most common mistakes that people commit in the field of wedding photography is that they mimic or go after the style of the most recent big success. Whenever a wedding photographer stumbles upon something that is technically considered “in demand” or lucrative, everyone seems to more or less follow after him. That is not the greatest way to go about with it. Instead, you should seriously bank on or capitalize on your strengths. Figure out who you are in the world of wedding photography.
Find out what makes you different and what makes you stand out from the rest of all of the other competing wedding photographers out there. What makes you unique or different actually makes you pretty marketable for as long as you are able to work your way around it. Do not be afraid to stand out from the crowd. There is nothing wrong with being different. After all, that is how the rest of the other successful wedding photographers out there were able to cement their places in the wedding photography world.
Brace yourself for failure in the beginning
You will not succeed in your first few tries. As a matter of fact, it will perhaps even be quite fair to say that you will not really be going anywhere successful just yet within the first two years of you starting out your wedding photography business. Prepare yourself for the first few years of not succeeding. Instead, work on building it up slowly but surely and that is certainly something that will even more or less keep your eyes on the prize. The harder you work for something, the sweeter the victory will turn out tasting like.
Get a job on the side
Again, we technically go back to the fact that you will not succeed in your first few tries while you are starting out your wedding photography business. It is highly important that you build yourself some sort of support system of finances so that you do not get too pressured just yet when you do not get any paying clients right off the bat. Having a job will help keep things busy for you and help keep your mind occupied while you are still waiting for your next big break. It is also something that is highly effective in helping you ward off that “desperate” vibe. You will get to choose clients or assignments accordingly and making sure that this is actually something that you will be able to follow through with one way or the other.
Get some feedback for your work
Having some sort of feedback for the quality of the work you do is crucial in making sure that you are able to improve on your trade by all means. Seek for constant feedback from your peers and from the other wedding photographers south wales out there and you should be able to improve your skill more and more.
Dress to impress
Dress appropriately. You have to remember that in a way, you are representing your clients. You might also want to make sure that you blend in to the formal setting that the wedding events go with.