Many people think that wedding photography is easy, a rote exercise in snapping photos of setup photos. Far from it. During the big day, a wedding photographer will have to take a wide range of photos – portrait (group, formal or solo), fashion, photojournalism, glamour and even architectural pictures. He also plays many roles aside from photographer. He is the director, fashion consultant and sometimes referee too. Thus, a wedding photographer must be well-versed with his craft if he wants to succeed and earn a lot. But before you dive into the complexities of wedding photography, you should have a firm grasp of the foundations for your success in this endeavor.
Be Friends With Your Clients
This is something I learned while working at Bliss Photography Studio. As a wedding photographer, you are in charge of making a visual documentation of one of the most important event of the couple. You don’t want to produce stilted poses because your subjects are uncomfortable with you. It’s easier to smile at the camera if the person behind it is a friend. So, build a relationship with them. Get to know them personally so that you can incorporate their history and personalities into the photos. Don’t forget to ask about their customs, if they have one. Every photo should tell a story of unique event.
During your consultations, take the time to analyze the faces of your clients. Look for their most flattering angle, usually the 7/8 or 3/4 view. Study the differences in their eye sizes. Most people don’t have eyes that have the same size. Look for the perspective that will not highlight this difference. Take note of each person’s best expression. By knowing all of these, you can produce photos that they will love.
Remember, when you are doing this, you should be discreet. Make it an informal meeting. If the couples are shy, offer to do an engagement portrait. It will be an additional bonding session for you and your clients.
Prepare A Detailed Schedule
In wedding photography, the devil is in the details – always. Long before the wedding day, talk to the couple about the schedule. You should know the other vendors too so that you can coordinate everything. Ask about times, venues and preferences. Some might want photos of their preparations, while others would rather do away with that. In wedding photography, every nuance is important.
Once you have all the information, flesh out the details. Make time for transfers and delays. It’s best if you arrive at the place at least 45 minutes before the scheduled time. Study the route carefully and the traffic going there. At the same, make room for sudden changes. The wedding day can be a whirlwind of events, but that does have to be reflected in the photos.
Get To Know People’s Names
You cannot keep yelling “bride” or “groom” during the day. It can be irritating to the people around you. And when that happens, forget about potential business. People like it when you call them by their names. Who wants to smile at someone who called you “lady in red dress”? If you do a good job, the couple or the people who saw you work will recommend you to other couples. If you have a bad memory, learn now!
Hire An Assistant
During the wedding day, there will be a million and one things that need to be done right away. An assistant can ensure that everything is smooth sailing. He or she can run interference for you, organize the guests, hold the cords securely and whatever else that needs to be done so that you can get the perfect shot. An assistant has to be trained on how you work, so don’t just hire one on the spot. A good assistant will be on the same wavelength as you, making your job a lot easier.
Present a Professional Image
As a photographer, you know what an image can do for you. It can make or break your career. Select your attire carefully especially during the wedding day. Choose one that is comfortable and yet stylish. Many wedding photographers wear tux these day, both for men and women.
A career in wedding photography can both be fulfilling and financially rewarding. Learn these foundations of wedding photography by heart and you will be well on your way to becoming a successful photographer.