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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Essential Wedding Photography Tips for Shooting Your First Assignment


It happens to every photographer at some point in their journey. If it has happened to you, you will remember the moment as vividly as you remember other major events in your life.
You have just agreed to photograph your first wedding!
After it sinks in, and you realize it's not really a day of dressing up and pretending, you will have doubts race through your mind, and your pulse will try and keep up.
There is time. Even if the event is looming, there is a lot you can do to increase your chances of keeping everybody happy, and load the odds in your favor. It all starts with preparation. This article will get you started on the process of preparing for your first wedding photography assignment.
The first thing you should do, is make an opportunity to preview the locations you will be shooting in, so that there are no surprises on the day. The bride may think she is getting married in a cute little church on a hill. You get there and it's a cathedral capable of seating a thousand guests. Your lens list did not include a telephoto lens, because photographers don't reach for telephoto lenses in cute little churches.
Once you have scouted all the locations, determine the absolute minimum equipment list for the day. Ideally you should have one camera with a mid-range zoom as your primary shooting rig. A second camera with your preferred creative lens should be close by- within an arm's reach at all times. Don't mount an extreme telephoto or wide angle lens on the backup camera. If the backup camera becomes your primary workhorse, you need to be able to cover group shots as well as portraits. Keep flexible with your equipment.
Study websites and speak with the bride about her expectations. Look at the work of other wedding photographers. Make a note of what grabs your attention and the pictures the bride comments on. Don't promise to imitate these, as it would be an unlikely outcome, given the fickle nature of light, and peoples' emotions. Most photographs contain a uniqueness which can never be repeated.
Know your equipment backwards. A good test is being able to operate all the controls and buttons in total darkness, and doing it accurately. Turning dials, rotating knobs and flipping levers should all be intuitive to you with predictable outcomes. Don't take chances by hiring or using unfamiliar equipment on your first wedding.
A great starting place is a professional wedding photographer web site. Search for these online, and don't hesitate to enroll for a short course in wedding photography.
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