Last Updated on January 23, 2022
Wedding Photo -Complete Tutorial to Wedding Photography 2020
To be successful as a wedding photographer, you have to master a variety of different types of coverage. Perform under pressure, and work in a very limited time frame. No other photography speciality is more demanding.
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Wedding Photography – Complete Wedding from A to Z Checklist
Initial meeting Checklist
- Meet in person whenever is convenient
- Let the client choose the location
- Dress appropriately for the occasion
- Take sample photo albums
- Take a calendar updated with all previous obligations
- Provide a price list for the client to take home
- Discuss expectations, between you and the client
- Take a laptop or notebook for notes
- Don’t expect or require the couple to make an immediate decision
Why Engagement Photos are Important
While not part of the wedding day celebrations, engagement photos can and should be an integral part of your wedding photography services. For the couple, an engagement photo is the perfect memory of the time they decided to get married. It traditionally accompanies the engagement announcement, and as a great portrait of the couple often finds a special place in their home for years to come.
For photographers, planning and shooting engagement photos support one of the tenets of my wedding photography philosophy; the personal relationship and trust you build with your clients allows you to get the best images possible on their wedding day.
Spending more time with clients before the wedding and getting to know them increases their comfort level with you and making them more relaxed during the photoshoot.
Pose Suggestions on Weddings:
- Looking at each other
- Holding hands
- On bended knee
- Stagger the couple
- Couple really laughing
- Back to back
Camera to use at Weddings
One of the main features to look for when selecting a camera is reliability. At weddings, there are no second chances. It is important to make sure you have good working gear.
I doubt the bride and groom would be very happy if you asked them to stop and “re-do” their first kiss as husband and wife because your equipment malfunctioned and you missed that special moment. So, therefore, a good working gear is a must.
Camera Feature Checklist
- Rugged construction
- High ISO quality
- High resolution
- Strong image quality
- AutoFocus capability
- Frames per second
- Vertical Grip
- Extra battery pack (+1+2)
- Fast memory card
A good lens will last a lifetime, and it really pays to get the best lens possible.
Canon uses L series lenses. The L stands for luxury.
Nikon has the same lenses, but they do not have an easy way of identifying them, look for:
- AF-S means the lens has a silent wave autofocus motor built-in
- DX – designed for a cropped sensor only
- IF means the lens has internal focusing and doesn’t change the size
- ED is the good glass
- VR is vibration reduction technology
Whether you choose Canon, Nikon, or another manufacturer, when it comes to DSLR cameras, having the best lens is the best investment you can make.
- Maximum aperture for use in low light
- Protective filter for the front element of your lens
- Focusing speed for capturing important moments. Lenses with large maximum aperture actually let the camera focus fast as they let in more light
- Overall quality because of the better quality of the lens will mean better image quality
Further Readings: Photography Courses – Best Online Classes
Light is the most important part of photography, there are times when flashes come into play. Speedlite (Flash) can be used on the camera or they can be used as slave lights on their own light stands and triggered by a master flash located on the camera. This allows you to add the light where it is needed and control how much light is added to the scene.
The most important thing about memory cards is to make sure you have enough space to cover the whole wedding ceremony because you don’t want to lose time during the wedding to do any editing to make space on a memory card. With memory card capacities available from 8GB to 64GB and now even 128GB to 256GB, you can never go wrong. So make sure all of them has been properly formatted and make sure to double or even triple-check that you have downloaded the images from your previous shoots before going to your next job.
A good camera bag let you keep all the gear close by and accessible so you are not searching through your bag at the last minute when you need something important.
Pre-Wedding Gear Checklist
- Clean main camera body
- At least one backup camera body
- Reset all cameras to initial settings
- Check and charge batteries
- Extra batteries (+1+2)
- Battery bank.
- Clean lenses
- Lens cleaning cloths and lens list
- Formatted memory cards
- Check flash units
- Reset flash units to initial settings
- Light stands
- Lights modifiers
- Business cards
- Water bottle and snack bar for extra energy on long days
- One extra dress shirt, in case of stains (backup clothes)
Learn more: Online Course – Wedding Photography: The Romantic Portrait Session By
Wedding Photographer Guide
Investing in high-quality equipment will give you the reliable tools you need to make great pictures. With a variety of camera bodies, lenses and flashes you will be prepared to shoot in any location and can be as creative as you and your clients want. Remember to check and clean equipment before each shoot, and be sure to carry back-ups in case you need them.
Wedding Photography Guide for Brides
When it comes to wedding photography, knowing the location and layout of the wedding ceremony and reception is essential to picking the best angles, the best backgrounds, and knowing what gear you need to use. If possible, I recommend scouting out the locations of both events ahead of time.
Location Shot List
- Bride Dressing area
- Groom dressing area
- Relaxed pre-ceremony portrait location
- Ceremony site
- Pre-reception portrait location
- Reception area
- Toast location
- Cake cutting area
A good background can make an average photograph into a great one. One key to being a great wedding photographer is the ability to pick out areas that will make great backgrounds. As you scout the wedding and reception sites before the wedding, look for fun and interesting background locations.
Knowing beforehand where you plan to take the photographs will really increase your chances of getting great images instead of average ones. The background is important, but I also believe sometimes you can make an ordinary background into something extraordinary when you start editing the images. You may not always find the best background when working at some venues, but use that obstacle to challenge yourself to create interesting opportunities.
The wedding schedule is a formalised plan designed to keep the wedding moving. As the wedding photographer, you need to be involved with the creation of this timeline so you know when and how long you will have to capture each and every part of the wedding.
Likewise, the wedding planner will need to know how long you need to capture the portraits before and after the ceremony.
- Guest starts to arrive
- Photograph candid of guests
- Flower girl
- The bride walks down the aisle
- Photograph bride and groom first look
- Ceremony begins
- Special Readings
- Ring bearer
- Ring exchange
- Special ceremony moments
- Ceremony ends
- Bride and groom walk up the aisle
Learn more: Online Course – Wedding Photography: Posing the Family By
Wedding Photography Top Tips
While not a very common practice, photographing the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner presents some fantastic photo opportunities. Where the wedding can be a very formal event, the rehearsal usually has a much more relaxed and informal tone, allowing you to capture a set of images that can show fun and playful side of the wedding party. Attending these events also gives you a chance to get to know the bride, and the groom better before the big day.
The Bride Getting Ready
Capture the bride having her hair and makeup done, including before and after shots. Always remember that during this time the bridesmaids and other family members are watching. Be professional, friendly and courteous.
Many weddings shots are of the bride reflected back in a mirror. It might seem bad but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good shot. You can be creative and capture some really unique feature, and fun moments when you plan the shot carefully.
Get in Close
Using a longer lens, like the 70-200mm lens, can help you get in close without actually getting in the way. Or use a 50mm or 80mm, which can create some great details shots if the lighting in the room is not bright enough.
The wedding dress is an integral part of the wedding day and it needs to be photographed. The bride likely spent many hours choosing the perfect dress to reflect her taste and style. She will appreciate an overall shot of the dress, a shot of herself looking at the dress she picked, as well as several shots capturing the details of the dress, such as intricate lace, buttons and ribbons. Speak with the bride to learn why she chose her dress and what she likes most about it.
This would be a good place to make a joke about a woman and their shoes, but the truth is brides are spending a lot of time picking out their shoes. Try to get at least one nice detailed straight photograph of the shoes, once you have the straight shot, you can also get creative in different angles. Sometimes you can incorporate the shoes into the dress shot, and try to check out some fashion catalogues to get ideas and inspiration for the shoes and the dress shots.
There is something very symbolic about a mother, a sister, or a best friend helping the bride get into her wedding dress-helping with every last detail: button or zipper, straightening the veil or tucking a stray piece of hair back into place. While it is mainly symbolic and somewhat old-fashioned, it will make a very strong and compelling image.
The bridesmaids are the bride’s best friends and closest confidants. It might be her sister, cousin, best friend or college roommate. Regardless, the one thing you can count on is that these are the most important women in her life, and they need to be captured as such.
Learn more: Portrait Photography for Beginners
Don’t forget about the groom
- Putting on the Tuxedo/Suit
- Help with the tie
- Help with the cufflinks
- Straightening the jacket
- Dusting imaginary lint off the shoulders
- A relaxed moment when the boys are just being themselves
- The Groomsmen
- The rings
Photographing the bride and family
The wedding is an important event not only for the bride but for her family as well. It is the day their little girl is starting her own family life. So you can expect that most of her family members will order prints from the wedding. In some cases, family members could even become future clients when they get married.
Photographing the groom and his family
Photographing the groom and his family is very similar to shooting the bride and her family. They will be equal partners in their life together and should be treated as such, even if you do spend more time with the bride. In fact, the same concept applies when shooting the groom with his family. Start with the biggest group and work your way down to the groom with his parents. Remember, if the couple doesn’t mind seeing each other before the ceremony, the bride can be part of these images.
Last Photographing Tip
Of all the advice I can give, not just to wedding photographers but to all other photographers, two things come to mind: First is to be willing to give before you receive. Lifeworks is a cycle, so whatever you invest in, will come back to you tenfold.
Many people are willing to give IF they will receive, but sometimes it takes sacrifice to reach out first. We may not get the results we expect, but often, good things will surprise us in return.
The second is to treat each client and each shot equally, it makes no difference if the subject is not a well-known person. Treat them as if they are the most important people on that special moment, and in doing this you’ll get better images and develop a good reputation.