5 Professional Wedding Photography Tips for New Photographers

Wedding photography is one of the most profitable and enjoyable types of photography. There are ways to ensure that your first professional wedding photography session goes well by taking the necessary steps. You will get the best results for your brides and for yourself through your own portfolio by following the wedding photography tips below.

You should know, though, that wedding photography is no easy task. You will be with the bride all day, and you should be ready to build a relationship with that bride. You should make the couple feel comfortable throughout an already stressful day. Continue reading below for more information and tips on how to become a great wedding photographer.

Wedding Photography Tips for Beginners

An engagement session is a great thing to offer for your couples. You will start building a relationship with the couple right away when doing engagement photos before the wedding. You will also get a feel for the couple's style and what they are comfortable with. This will help to build trust between the two of you that is needed on the stressful day of the wedding.

Wedding couple by steven young

Add a second shooter to your package. A second shooter is a great option for a wedding day. Second shooters offer a new perspective. They also are able to make sure all photographs that the couple wants are taken. Second shooters can be more experienced than you at weddings as well to give you some pointers on what exactly to do on the day of the wedding. You can obtain a lot of valuable photos and new angles when working with a second shooter at a wedding.

The reception is an important part of the wedding, and there’s a lot happening, so you always have to be ready. There will be great, candid moments during the reception and dinner. And according to one of the top New York wedding photographers, STAK Studios says “You should try your best to eat dinner in the reception room rather than a back room where the vendor meals are. Ask your couple to put you on the guestlist so you can eat at the same time as the guest. You do not want to miss spontaneous special dances and toasts that may happen when they serve vendor meals and take you out of the room.”

How To Photograph a Wedding Alone

If you are not able to get a second shooter, it is important to make plans for photographing a wedding by yourself. Make sure to have extra backup equipment with you. This is especially important if something was to go wrong with your camera during the wedding. Bring extra cameras, extra lenses and even extra flashes.

You will probably run into things going wrong on the wedding day. This is perfectly normal. You should make sure to try to stay as calm as possible in case this happens. This will make the couple feel calm as well. They do not need extra stress on an already stressful day. Always smile.

Wedding photo by steven young

You should also realize that you cannot be two places at once. If the men and women are getting ready at the same time, for instance, split up your time between them. Pick and choose the moments that are important to capture if they are occurring at the same time.

One pro tip is to ask the groom to get ready first if you want to get shots of both members of the couple getting ready. He should get ready as early as possible. This will give you ample time to ensure you get photographs of the bride getting ready with her bridesmaids and loved ones.

Bring a Shot List for Family Photos

Ask the couple for a wedding photography shot list of all family members that need to be photographed. You will be sure to get pictures of the bride and groom with each of these family members when the time comes for family photos. No one will be forgotten if you have a list.

wedding photography photo by steven young

You should also make sure to not forget anyone on the day of the wedding. All the wedding guests are important. Be sure to get a photo of each member of the wedding party and each member of the family. Try to get candid photos of as many guests as possible as well.

You should also make sure you talk to the bride about exactly the types of photos she wants, and write those down. Some brides want more pictures of decor and florals. Others want more natural-looking photos of candid and natural moments throughout the wedding.

wedding photography photo by steven young

Be sure to know exactly when certain moments of the reception are going to occur by speaking to the band or DJ about the reception. Write down the times, and be sure to be ready with your camera to capture these special moments.

Wedding Photography Poses

There will always be some posed photos no matter the type of wedding. Put in the effort to make sure everyone is posed in a way that they are comfortable. Make sure that people look their best in the poses. Ask them to adjust as necessary to get the best results possible. People will not like the photograph if they do not think they look good in it. A great tip is to ask the girls to put the weight on their back leg and point the front leg forward. It helps pop the hips and gives that ‘S’ curve look to their body.

Lighting

Pay attention to the time of the wedding. If possible, try to shoot posed photos when the best lighting will occur. "Golden hour" is typically an hour before sunset. This hour allows for the best lighting for poses. After sunset also offers beautiful results to photographs with a dark blue sky. Lighting is literally the key to getting good photographs to the couple.

wedding photography photo by steven young

The reception also requires special lighting. You should make sure that you refresh yourself on using video lighting and flash photography. Receptions often utilize dark overhead lighting with only soft lighting in the details such as candles. Make sure you have your camera set up to capture moments in the reception with good lighting. Flash is perfectly okay to use in a dark space such as a reception. You should want to capture as many moments of it as possible.

Final Thoughts

Being hired to be a wedding photographer can feel daunting and intimidating. It’s a lot of responsibility. You should not worry though. You will do great when following the above tips. Be sure to capture as many moments as possible throughout the wedding day to make the couple and all loved ones are as happy as possible. Capture all the guests. You should also be sure to have the best lighting possible when capturing these special moments, and do not neglect the requests of the bride. Make a list of these requests and your own ideas in order to capture every moment of the day from beginning to end. And then relax after the wedding and take the next day off to rest!

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