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Killer Tips for Shooting Weddings

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Sep 22

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Killer Tips for Shooting Weddings

These are my tips, and I have shot about 10 weddings, making me not the worlds best source of information. I am really looking forward to reading all of your tips on how to photograph a wedding successfully!

Question of the Day
What tips do you have for a person about to photograph their first wedding?

See the recommended GEAR LIST and the Ultimate Guide to Wedding Photography

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  • Jeni

    Eat when everyone else is eating.  Nobody wants pictures with food in their mouth anyway.  Make sure the bride and groom let the caterers know that you (the photographer) are allowed to eat as well.

  • Marc A. Sporys

    thanks for the infos!
    but what lense will you use into a curch during the wedding (for ex during the benediction)??
    a prime lense or a zoom lense? 

  • Elisa Copeland

    Bring backup gear!!!

  • Jonas Seaman

    Awesome tutorial! I’d suggest when culling not to have too many photographs that are similar to each other. You’re not doing the bride and groom any favors by giving them too many photos. Keep photos in sequence that tell a story. But you don’t need 4 shots of the same candid from the same angle in your final delivery. Pick the best one and only give them that one. Otherwise, the bride and groom will be put in the position of having to choose their favorite out of a few similar images, and whenever their doing that, their actually mentally rejecting the other photographs. You never want them rejecting any of your photos. Even though it may seem like your giving them the option to choose, your actually diluting the quality of your finished product.

  • James Warwood

    1. Talk to the bride and groom before hand. See if they can provide a “cheat sheet” – basically a piece of paper with images of the the most important people at the wedding. It’s a lot easier than missing people out of group shots and you know who to look out for when taking candids.

    2. Scout both the church and the reception venue before the wedding. Try and talk to the vicar and find out what you can and can’t do in the church – some can be quite restrictive. Talk to the venue and find good positions for a few posed photos. Preparation will save you so much time and headaches on the big day!!

    3. Shoot the kids! Kids make weddings. Images of the kids playing are awesome. Especially if they are close to the bride and groom. (and you can quite often sell images on to the parents afterwards :D )

    4. Confidence. You don’t want to be shouting your head off and bossing people about but people need to know your working. At the end of the day you need to get your shots. My biggest bug bare is people over my shoulder with point and shoots when trying to get some posed photos of the bride and groom. Let people know there will be a specific time for everyone to take shots once you’ve done yours. But do it in a nice way! Always smiling helps! :)

    5. Be open to change. Remember your employed by the bride and groom and it’s their day (well the brides anyway :D ). Something will invariably not go as planned but thats ok just work with it the best you can.

    6. HAVE FUN! Shooting a wedding is possibly the hardest and most intense thing you’ll ever do. But your taking pictures all day. And you like photography right? So enjoy it! Theres very few times we as amateurs have license and justification to spend an entire day shooting. Embrace it! :D

  • Rick

    I have only shot at friends weddings and unofficially. First thing I do is ask the professional photographers that have been booked for the wedding if its ok to take candid photos. If its ok with them i turn into a what i call a “sniper photog” . I use a 70-400 lens and take natural photos, basically record the groups of people talking (later dancing), catch the laughter or crying, capture the raw emotion of the day. To do this you must not be in anyones personal space, sit back and capture the natural behaviors not the posed ones. Its these shots that will be talked about the most, however it will be the shots of the professionals that will last a lifetime.
                  Cheers  Rick  

  • Luke Fonfara

    I’d takes in something long like the 70-200is into the church, I use it for closeups, hand and detail shots, but will also switch out for a wide angle to get spectacular church shots, the roofs usually help make a great image. If I could only take one lens/body, it’d be my 5d with 24-70 f.8.

    My tip would be to build on aaraons, if u can, be that 2nd shooter before your first big day. Maybe start with a smaller wedding first (mine was a 3rd marriage for the couple, held at A restaurant with 20 friends. I’m still grateful for this baby step before I took on anything else several years ago. This year I shot a Hindu wedding with 1250 guests! Quite a contrast

  • Stef

    there’s a room in a castle (my friend married there) which has red ceiling and wall. And really bad light condition. It’s quite dark… What to do???

  • Cindy Renate

    “Even though it may seem like your giving them the option to choose, your
    actually diluting the quality of your finished product.”  That just resonated so much for me!   Thanks!

  • Mark O’Donnell

    Here are some tricks I have used in the past.
    1) Carry a shot list in your pocket.  I have a list of shots and have had the Bride and Groom select the shots they consider the most important.  I refer to the timeline and the list so that I won’t miss the important stuff.
    2) Adjust your white balance for the venue your shooting.
    3) Get an extra battery for your camera, and invest in good/great rechargeable’s for your flash.
    4) Bring a small step stool.  If your shooting in a venue that has steps, raised platforms this is very handy for composing a shot with your subject at eye level.  It also is great for photos with a point of view that is above the crowd. (garter & bouquet toss)
    5) The best man, and made of honor are your best friends.  Strike up a conversation with them as soon as possible to get the inside scoop on family relationships, and any surprises that may be planned.

  • Massimo

    Hey these, phlearners! I’m partecipatin on a contest, can you help me with a “like” here? … THANKS A LOT for your time :) .

  • Massimo

    Hi phlearners, I am participating in a contest. Can you give me a “like” :) ? 1-click work! .. thanks a lllllllot!!!!

  • Dunja Zupanic

    thank you for this wedding photo tips, tomorrow i will shoot at wedding for a first time so this is so helpful :)

  • Kyle Miller

     Thanks for the Shout Out!  

    One thing I do at weddings (which is probably me just being anal) When we are photographing the more traditional portraits of the wedding party, i take the same pose on 2 different cameras.  That way i know i have the shot.  (Ive been burned by cards not reading or uploading correctly)  

    Another thing to keep in mind, if you are in a smaller community or place like NEBRASKA like me, or anywhere really that there is no wedding planner. Be prepared to assume that position to keep everything running on time. At 90% of the weddings I photograph, i am the one that has to keep everything going, and let the bride and groom know what comes next.  (something i was not prepared for in my first wedding that i wish someone would have told me)  

    Never Use flash during the ceremony in a church.  Feel free before the ceremony and after, just not during.  Its not respectful, and its distracting.  

  • Jonas Seaman

    Cool. Glad to help : )

  • Scandiphoto

    Thanks a Million for your willingness to share with the
    general public, but also for your patience and regularity doing so. 
    Much appreciated; even advanced shooters learn from you… (nobody knows
    everything, we can all learn something).

    Thus, thanks a again….. great stuff….I wish I had your time + energy + dedication helping

    You are one of the sites I visit every week….. and will keep visiting.

  • Melanie Hernandez

    I’M SOOO EXCITED YOU DID MY EPISODE!!! Thank you so so much for all the tips!

  • Dan

    Great advice. I would add ‘take a large reflector’. This is my no1 piece of kit when I shoot weddings. Used outside to fill in the shadows it really differentiates your shots from the half dozen guys with prosumer cameras trying to outdo you :-)

  • Anonymous

    Great tips still though don’t like weddings :D To big responsibility :(

  • Andrea Peipe

    Personally, I have never photographed a wedding, only done a few – but more private – photos in front of the church… so I don’t really have tips! But I guess taking candids is great for the bride and groom!

  • Andrea Peipe

    very cool tips!!

  • James Warwood

    thanks! :)

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