Wedding Photography Tips

Photography enthusiasts often wonder: "What wedding photography tips do professional photographers recommend for optimum results?"

Successful wedding photographers develop strategies that allow them to create guaranteed exceptional results. Working as a wedding photographer requires many skills. To produce the best photographs you must be able to work alone and communicate, to strategize and plan, and to capture not only expected but unpredictable moments.

All of these elements are executed under pressure, as a family and many friends rely on you to capture a vital moment forever. Wedding photography tips that lead to a brilliant product can be broken into three categories or phases.

First, a wedding photographer must plan before the event. After planning comes execution. Last, the photographer works after the wedding, turning great images into mesmerizing works of art that "sell" the finished product as a work of art.

Wedding Photography Tips:
Planning for the Event

  1. Expectations are Everything

    When you are hired, meet with the couple and talk about expectations. Show them work you have done in the past. Ask them what they are looking for in their wedding photos.

    Make sure to ask if they have special moments that need to be recorded, what type of style they want you to use and how they will use the photographs after the wedding. Be sure to agree on a price as well.

  2. Make a List of Photographs

    While coordinating with the couple, have them develop a list of people, events and places that they would like photographed. On the wedding day, bring this list with you and check each item off as you shoot.

    This list can include everything from family members to architectural shots of the church or art photographs; it is entirely based on what the couple would like.

  3. Recruit a Family Member

    Before the wedding, agree to have one member of the family help you gather people for family photographs. It is difficult for a photographer to understand all of the chaos of a family event. A family member who knows everyone, understands the dynamics of the family and is willing to help makes family photography go smoothly and easily.

  4. Location, Location, Location

    Scout the location where the wedding will be. Visit the places that you plan to shoot. If you know where you are going and scout locations prior to the wedding day, you can think about the composition of important shots.

    Write down your ideas for position, the way light will be traveling, where subjects should stand, etc... Add these ideas to your list of photographs. Not only will this preparation result in better photographs, it will calm your mind on the big day, as you will know where you will be going.

  5. Prepare Equipment

    Have an extra set of batteries, extra memory cards or film if you use it. Turn the sound off on your camera. If you plan on changing lenses, digital image size, filters, or format (especially if you use a film camera) consider bringing two cameras.

    Always have a backup plan. Equipment can and will fail, don’t let it destroy your wedding photographs.

  6. Prepare your Mind

    Think about the importance the big event will have for your clients. Make sure you do everything you can to know the ins and outs of their wedding day.

    Attend the rehearsal if you can to avoid any unexpected moments on the big day. Speak to other family members about any surprises that may occur, so that you can be there to capture the moment.

Wedding Photography Tips:
Wedding Day Execution

  1. Think About Backgrounds

    Think beyond the subject of the photograph. A background can make or break an image. Backgrounds should be free of clutter, well organized and simplistic. A busy background can detract from the true focus of a photograph, especially in formal shots.

  2. Keep it Simple

    One of the best wedding photography tips: do not get carried away with complexity. Most of the best photographs in the world are simplistic in nature.

    Think about composition and flow in your photographs. People read an image just like they read a book. Action in a photograph should move left to right. Incorporate simple lines and shapes that guide the eye through the frame. Don't include too many patterns or colors.

    Research other wedding photographers or fine art photographers and imitate their style. Some of the most appealing art in the world is imitated and simplistic.

  3. Perspective

    Take photographs that alter the way you normally look at things. Interesting images are ones that look different from what we see every day.

    One of the best tips is to change perspective. Certainly incorporate shots that look straight on at your subject, but also try something new: look up on subjects, look down on them, get wide angle shots and close-ups.

  4. 4. Capture the Little Things

    Don't just photograph people. Photograph the flowers, the rings, shoes, dresses, and table settings. These add variety to a photo album, and capture elements that may be overlooked in the excitement.

  5. Keep Mistakes

    If you shoot with a digital camera and you review your images as you shoot, do not throw away mistakes. Mistakes often end up being some of the more unique and artistic images you take.

Wedding Photography Tips:
After the Ceremony

  1. Present your Photographs Early

    Bring a computer to the reception and show off your work. This will add to the reception and to the appeal of your work. Don't worry about imperfect images.

  2. Edit your Images

    Don't be afraid to manipulate your images using Photoshop or a similar digital darkroom application. If an image is too busy, crop it.

    Experiment with contrast, color values and light. Think about converting a few images into black and white for a classic look.

  3. Peer Review

    Before you select the best images to present to the couple, have a friend or peer review your work. When you focus on a particular vision or way of thinking it is common to overlook elements in photographs that you may have not thought about.

    Some of the best ideas come from friends or other photography enthusiasts that you know.

By following these strategies for planning, execution and post-ceremony, your wedding photography is sure to succeed. The best in the business have tried and tested these wedding photography tips.

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