Photography is one of the most involving things to get into. As a hobby, it is extremely enjoyable. As a profession, it also becomes a hugely responsible work. Whether for yourself or someone else, you’re directly affecting emotions. If it leaves something to be desired by the smallest bit, it may not be good enough. Photography has to be perfect, quite literally.
There are so many situations and occasions that are worthy of being captured inside a frame, and a wedding is one of them. One of the most important days in people’s lives, a wedding gives a thousand moments that can be cherished forever. Suffice it to say that photographing such an event may not only be a fun-filled experience, but it is mostly about delivering on the expectations of the people getting married.
Weddings throw a number of challenges for the photographer, mostly related to capturing the right moment at absolutely the right time, while often remaining discreet.
And before you even get to that stage, it is interesting to ponder over the thought of becoming a wedding photographer. Capturing those candid moments is a different challenge altogether regardless of how experienced you might be as a photographer. If you aren’t used to shooting weddings, it could be quite a journey before you are entrusted with capturing some of the most special moments in two persons’ lives.
Think about it, will people feel comfortable taking a chance with a novice wedding photographer? Only your friends and family could be your best bet!
You can probably start by shadowing an experienced wedding photographer, or simply do your own thing without being the designated one to shoot. But once you are there, you’ll always have to overcome a few challenges:
- Technical aspect of lighting
- Mobility, as there are no second chances
- Maintaining discretion
- Always bringing something unique to the table
- Overconfidence due to familiarity with a venue
- Always keeping your equipment ready
- Seasonal availability of work
Technical aspect of Lighting
You would imagine that as a photographer, you’d like to keep things, like lighting, in your control. But this isn’t a studio photoshoot, so proper lighting while photographing a wedding becomes a natural challenge, especially in open spaces. Depending on the time of the day, the light could either be too much or a bit too less. You and your camera should be able to handle such situations.
Even in closed spaces like a hall, the artificial lighting from bulbs and other decorations could create a challenge in taking a desirable shot.
Consider it essential to have a camera with a wide range of aperture settings. Larger aperture sizes take more light in, while smaller aperture sizes do the opposite. There are other aspects as well, like the shutter speed and ISO, but the aperture size is like the most critical feature.
Mobility, as there are no second chances
You will get your own time with the bride and groom when you can have them pose for yourself and in locations of your choice. But weddings are about capturing the moments as they happen. It is about being natural. It is not too hard to tell a pose from natural behavior.
You will also have to be inventive with your shots by continuously trying out different angles and locations to shoot from.
For these things to happen, you will have to be mobile, regardless of the equipment you might be carrying, like a tripod, gimbal, etc. Otherwise, you may miss a few important shots, and there are no second chances in an event like this.
Weddings are made up of a number of rituals and ceremonies. It is your responsibility to capture them at their pace. You cannot define the terms here. Be discreet and not invasive. It is one of the best wedding photography tips to abide by.
Be people-friendly as well. Develop a rapport with the family, and with the bride and the groom. Allow them to be comfortable with you as a photographer. The more comfortable people are with you, the easier it becomes for you to do your job.
Always bringing something unique to the table
The factor of being unique is part of the overall quality in your work. People not only expect you to capture the happiest, most candid, as well as the most emotional moments, they also want to be surprised by your work.
Especially when you get time to spend with the bride and the groom (you will), try and make the best possible use of that opportunity. For example, use stairs and other elevated platforms to experiment with the angles. Get creative with your vantage point. Allow the bride and the groom to stay natural while you suggest them some unique wedding photography poses.
You can even use various decorative objects to enhance the depth-of-field effect. Think of the venue as your playing field! Try and study the entire location as much as possible to come up with interesting wedding photography ideas.
Overconfidence due to familiarity with a venue
When you shoot different weddings at the same place, you naturally become familiar with the location. You get to know the best spots for the perfect shots, especially if there are fixed areas for certain rituals or activities.
You risk becoming complacent and overconfident, that can actually ruin your progress as a wedding photographer. Each wedding is different; the people involved are different, and so are their expectations. What works for one family may not work for the other.
It can also become a bit boring to shoot at the same location repeatedly. You need to keep an open mind. Keep your creativity alive. Even the difference in people’s personalities and dresses can conceive photography ideas in your mind.
Always keeping your equipment ready
Goes without saying! You can’t surprise yourself by looking at your kit at the last minute and find it incomplete. It cripples your own ability to photograph perfectly while threatening the quality of the whole shoot. Bigger hardware like tripods and gimbal are obvious to the eye, the things that are usually ignored are batteries, and that happens a lot. Always carry an extra set of batteries with you, while ensuring that your primary set is fully charged.
Seasonal availability of work
Before you decide to take wedding photography as a full-fledged job, understand that weddings are largely seasonal. You can have a lot of off-days in between weddings. It is not something which may bring you a regular income. It is like a business which has its peak season and the off-season. If you’re a struggling photographer, wedding photography may not be the brightest idea for a career. Irrespective of that though, you need to continuously enhance your skills and be the best photographer you can be. So when the opportunity strikes, you make the most of it.
Photography is a highly creative work, irrespective of what kind of photographer you intend to be. It is important to research about your work as much as possible. There is a lot of information online that you can dig out, ranging from the info on equipment to shooting techniques. You can even form a community or become a part of one on various online forums and Q&A websites, so that you can interact with fellow photographers regularly for tips and tricks. Doing this also exposes you to the latest trends in photography while giving you the chance to share your own knowledge with others.
Samuel Alfie is a blogger at ProProfs Discuss, the #1 Q&A website with millions of wisdom seekers collaborating to ask questions and get the best answers. He loves reading and writing about a variety of topics including Wedding, Relationship, e-commerce, science, philosophy, pop culture, travelling, digital media, and more. With a knack for writing, enthusiasm for research and an editorial mindset, he loves creating content that resonates with the audience.
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