10 Tips for Amateur Wedding Photographers

Shoot in RAW

Many people feel they don’t have time to shoot in RAW due to the extra processing. But a wedding is one Amateur Wedding Photographers of those occasions where it can be very useful. Because RAW gives you more freedom to alter your shots after they are taken, RAW is a great tool for adjusting exposure and white balance in weddings.

Reception: Show off your pictures

The best thing about digital photography is its immediacy as a medium. One of the most fun things I have seen recently is for photographers to bring their computer to the reception. They can upload shots from earlier in the day and let them rotate during the evening as a slideshow. This adds a fun aspect to the evening.

Be aware of your past

The challenge of weddings is the fact that so many people are moving around, even your background. Look for great backgrounds, especially when taking formal shots.

In order to get the best shot, make sure you have clear areas and shaded spots that aren’t in direct sunlight. Find out more about backgrounds.

Don’t discard your “mistakes”

It is easy to scan digital images and then delete the ones that don’t work. You might end up losing some of your most useful and interesting images. Remember that images can be edited later and cropped to create more abstract shots that will add interest to the final album.

Change your outlook

Try something new with your photos. The majority of images in the album will likely be “normal” or formal poses. However, it is a good idea to get creative with your shots.

Photographs of the wedding group

Every wedding I’ve photographed has had me attempt to photograph everyone present in one shot. My method is to find a high enough place above everyone right after the ceremony. You could use a ladder, a balcony, or even climb on a roof. It’s possible to include everyone’s faces by climbing up, and fit a lot of people into one shot.

You need to quickly get everyone where they want to be and then be ready to shoot without waiting. It’s best to have the bride and groom present at the location and then have some helpers guide everyone. Find out how to take group pictures.

Fill flash

You’ll want to attach your flash to give some fill flash when shooting outside after a wedding or during posed shots. To ensure that the photos aren’t too bright, I dial back my flash by a couple of stops. However, fill flash is essential for shooting in dark or midday conditions, where there might be a lot shadow. Find out more about fill flash.

Continuous shooting mode

On a wedding day it is extremely helpful to have the ability to take a lot more images quickly. You can switch your camera to continuous shooting mode and use that. Sometimes, it’s the second shot taken after the formal or pose shot that captures the moment.

Expect the unexpected

A friend gave me another piece of advice on my wedding day. “Things may go wrong, however they can still be the best parts.”

There are always problems at weddings that I have participated in. The best man doesn’t have the ring. It rains right as the ceremony is over. The groom forgets his fly. The flower girl chooses to stand in the middle. Or, the bride can’t recall her vows.

These moments can seem a little anxious at times. These moments are what make a day memorable and can give memories to the bride and groom. These moments can be captured and they could make a great album that captures the essence of the day.

The first wedding that I photographed was the one in which the car of the bride and groom crashed into a tram. It was on our way to the park, where we were to take photos. The groom was more stressed than the bride, and she was in tears. Once everyone was calmed down we all started to see the funny side of it. We even took a few photos before we drove on to the park. They were favorites of all.

Have fun

Weddings should be about having fun. You will make your clients more relaxed if you have fun as a photographer. Smiling as the photographer can help people relax. (Warning: I often return from weddings with sore jaws, cheeks, and eyes because of my smiling strategy).

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