“Most people don’t realise what a complicated and precise science wedding photography can be. In 40 years of taking photographs, it’s the nearest thing I know to news photography: it’s the only thing you cannot do again.”
“We LOVE your photography. We wish we had known about you when we got married as our wedding photos were horrible”.
We have heard this a number times, the latest from a couple who came to us for some newborn photographs and it’s truly gutting to hear as you could really tell they were upset about it.
A wedding is a once in a life time event. It’s a time for the couple and all their family and friends to get dressed up in their best outfits and celebrate! There are rarely second chances. It’s one of the most important days of a couple’s life, a serious lifetime event and as a photographer you’ve got one time to capture those important shots…you can’t re-run it which is why it’s important to book a professional company with a proven reputation.
From our point of view we love wedding photography. We feel you have to really love them in order to deliver the passion that’s required to capture the essence of them. We love meeting all the new people, the energy of the day and the fact that we’re documenting a couples history together as-well as the opportunities to travel! We also love the fact that no two weddings are ever the same. Even if you were to shoot at the same venue a couple of times in a year each wedding will be very different.
From a photography point of view it’s also one of the only times that you can practice nearly all disciplines of photography in one day’s work. The obvious ones being portraiture and event/reportage photography but you also have fine art, landscape, architectural, maybe automotive and then product photography for the wedding rings and other intricate wedding details that you’ve spent months, maybe years, planning.
We’ve picked some of our top tips from Lord Lichfield (who’s spoken at the National Wedding Show) which he gave in an interview with the BBC back in 2002. They’re still hugely relevant and great for those starting in the industry.
- Visit the venue, do a “recce”, plan every last detail in advance. Walk through with the photographer the events and timing for the day (a similar rehearsal to that of the bride and groom) so he/she has a precise knowledge of the layout, expected details and location of the wedding event. Then, add time and a half to account for unforeseen circumstances on the actual day.
- Make sure you know who the important family members are – otherwise you will find strangers creeping into your valuable photographs.
- Photograph the bride before she gets into the car to take her to the ceremony – if wearing a veil this is the only time you will find her with it in place over her face. Make sure when she gets out of the car you have the children in place.
- Always start your post-ceremony photographs with the biggest group and then start to discard individuals, this means you will not be searching for people at the last minute. Expect to work right through to the last photograph of just the bride and groom.
- Get the children in the first few photographs if possible – otherwise they will get their clothes messy, tired and emotional or even lost!
- Be ready for the speeches and cake – the photographer must not be distracted by the prettiest bridesmaid! (LOVE THIS ONE!)
- Be aware of the time the bride and groom are likely to depart from an of the venues – shots of confetti and the car are important.
Here are some of our own tips to make sure any aspiring photographers get a good head-start:
All lenses and screens cleaned and clocks synced on the #cameras ready for Rosie & Will’s wedding today!! #canonprofessional #canon #5d3 #5dm3 #5dMark3 #6d #fullframe #2470L #15mm #fisheye #35L #50L #135L #prime #lensporn #professional #internationalphotography #weddingphotography #quality #photographybyjustinandemily #photographer #somerset #woodlandscastle #taunton #justinkrausephotography
- Plan an Engagement or Pre-Wedding Shoot with the couple. Super important! It means you can get to know the couple and how they are in front of the camera. They can also see how you work and what their wedding photos will look like. Click HERE to read more about our Engagement Shoots.
- Take backup equipment!! Spare camera bodies, spare lenses, spare flashguns, memory cards and lots of batteries…just incase…Have you seen this guy? Hopefully could carry on capturing the day (even if he was a bit wet).
- Charge and check all of the above the night before the wedding. Get everything packed and ready to go the night before if possible.
- Format memory cards to minimise errors.
- Velcro flapped camera bags are not the one in a silent wedding ceremony. Get one with a zip and/or buckle.
- Plan your route to the venue(s) in advance and take traffic/roadworks/diversions into account.
- In your pre-wedding meetings ask the couple if one or two of the ushers can help to gather family members for the more formal photographs. They’ll have a better chance of knowing who they are than the photographers will.
- Don’t forget to eat on the day! Pack some mars bars, bananas and bottled water for snacks and to stay hydrated. Nobody wants a hangry photographer…
- Sync your cameras clocks if you use more than one. It will save you so much time in your post-production.
- Keep your car clean and tidy and filled with enough fuel…you never know when you’ll need to race rescue a stranded bride (yes this has happened).
I’m sure we’ve missed some tips! Feel free to leave them in the comments section!
For those brides or grooms to be who think they can’t afford beautiful wedding photography it’s simply not true. Maybe think “can you afford not to?” Read this extra blog post and talk to us. We’re realists and we’re married ourselves so we have an idea of what you’re going through. We only require a deposit to secure your wedding date wherever it is in the world! Email us with your wedding plans: weddings@JustinKrause.co.uk