Weddings can be a stressful day for any couple and it is often the job of the photographer to eliminate many of the logistical problems from the day. The key to this is to communicate with the couple or wedding planner in order to have atleast some type of strategy. While many experienced photographers will prefer to take the day as it comes this does not mean simply winging it and hoping things work out. Knowing whats happening, when its happening and where can have you prepared for the day and not feeling rushed when the moment comes.
1. Not getting to know the bride and groom
One of the most important things for any photographer is to ESTABLISH A RAPPORT WITH THE BRIDE AND GROOM, so that they feel comfortable with you and so that you know how they will pose. A great way to do this is to have an engagement shoot or pre wedding shoot. Not only is this a great selling point for your package but it gives you a chance to learn how to communicate with the couple and build a level of friendship and trust. Spend this time not only getting some great shots and building a buzz for the couple but getting to know there sense of humour and learning just how to get the most from there photography.
2. Being under prepared
It goes without saying that having the proper equipment needed for the day is vital. While a great photographer will still get some good images with basic equipment it is important you do not have to be hit with the limitations of your camera or other equipment. Fast lens are a must have for any wedding photographer. Often you will be dealing with very low light situations without the use of flash and the right lens can really be a life saver.
3. Not having a backup
Always bring a BACKUP CAMERA. We have heard from so many photographers who do not carry back up equipment with them at weddings. When asked what they would do if there camera broke most simply reply that its never going to happen to them. The problem is it does happen and at some point in every photographers career it will happen and being able to carry on regardless is vitally important. How would a bride feel if an hour into their wedding your camera broke and you couldn’t carry on shooting?
Now we are not saying you should take 20 shots of each pose or 5000 shots from one wedding but in the digital age you are not limited to the amount of frames on the film. Bring plenty of memory with you and shoot away. Once you have all the elements right then take a few exposures and pick the best one later.
5. Going Solo
Ok, so shooting a wedding solo is doable. Infact it’s totally fine and some photographers will always do this. However having an assistant even if just to hole lights and carry great will make your life so much easier. Choose an assistant that understands your work and how to use your equipment. This way when your setting up group shots they can be getting your lights ready or vice versa.
6. Slow turn around times
This is especially important for photographers who rely on reprint sales for their income. After the wedding there will be a buzz of excitement. Strike while this is still fresh. I try and proof all of my weddings no later than 2 weeks after the date if not sooner. This way when the guests see the images they are still thinking about what a great day they had.
7. Not keeping up with trends.
Wedding photography trend are always changing and as a photographer it is important you keep up with fashion. This does not mean totally changing your style just adapting to the customers needs.
We are sure there are plenty of other common mistakes that wedding photographers make. Feel free to share them in the comments.