It has been my long-time goal to do a wedding shoot but I was, admittedly, too nervous because I haven’t done covering any events that require me to go photojournalistic for the longest time. My shots, as you’ve noticed from the past posts were mostly posed.
There were many tips that I took to mind before clicking here and there and I say that those were helpful. Here are some of those tips which I believe is applicable whether you are going for a beach wedding, a garden ceremony, a church wedding and of course photographing everyone at the reception.
1. Expect the unexpected. No matter how you prepared, some things you thought might happen won’t and vice-versa. The weather seemed fine when you came on location but the cloud turned gray an hour later and it pours, that’s when you go impromptu. Take shots of the couple under an umbrella inspired the song, Laughter in the Rain.
What if the flower girl or the ring bearer decides they rather just sit than walk? Just keep clicking because there’s surely going to be fun shots along. These are memories worth documenting.
2. Make a shot list. Having a list of the shots you would want to do would help but jotting them down will make it easier. Include your to-dos of detail shots for rings, shoes, wedding dress and bouquet. Don’t forget the shot of the mother and father with the groom, the mother and father with the bride, the hairdresser doing the bride’s hair and all that.
3. Have a preshoot. It is best to go about the location: church, hotel, garden or beach to know where you can shoot, what the lighting would be. Talk to the coordinators and those who are in-charge to let you know where you are allowed to shoot and where shooting is prohibited. Different places, different rules…what is allowed in the hotel may not be allowed at the church.
If you can, have friends do a mock-up shoot with you. They can dress up as the couple and you can do test shots at the location using your method of lighting.
4. Have two (or more) cameras. It is always good to have a wide angle lens another longer lens. The wide angle lens (I have the 17-35mm) will be great for tight spaces while longer lens (I use the 28-200mm) would be good for your isolation shots of the couple and individuals too…it’s also good to use when you don’t want to be obtrusive during the ceremony.
5. Have a second photographer. Having someone with you taking photographs that you would miss for moving around a lot is really a good thing too. You can go like, one is at the left, the other at the right then you can go at the front while the other stay at the side, the shots and the perspective of the two of you taking the same moment would be different and dramatic.
6. Go Candid. Shoot from the hip, do ant-eye views, shoot from behind the harp, from behind the shoulder of the bride, from behind the flower girl and her lovely hairstyle. Frame the bride with a half-opened door or two people’s standing beside her.
7. Enjoy. That’s the important thing when doing wedding photography, you become a guest after all. Joke with the guests, with the bride and groom and the kids. Befriending them will make it easier for you to make them smile. I mean, no subject would be willing to smile to a grumpy photographer, don’t you think?