It’s only a matter of time before one of your friends asks you to be their wedding photographer. Or maybe this is an area you’re actually interested in getting into as a career. Well, weddings are a world unto themselves! And if you want to take great shots at a wedding, you need a clear system and a profound understanding of what’s actually going make the day run smoothly. Unlike any other event, this day is often the culmination of someone’s dream. So it’s vital that you get it right.
In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss what you need to know if you’re a newbie at weddings, essential checklists so that you have everything covered, and tips on how to survive and thrive on the big day.
This week’s theme for #ginachallenge is “love”
Pic by Shooting Wild photography
- I am originally from France and currently living in Sweden.
- Canon 60D and its kit lens (Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS)
- For portraits, I use the Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II
- I listen to the show since day 1 on my commute to work… great way to pass the time and learn 🙂
- This is my #ginachallenge submission for the B&W theme… shot on the Iena bridge in Paris, between the Eiffel tower and the Trocadero. The weather was overcast so this is natural light only. I still feel quite unsure using flash anyway (but the podcast help!).
- Also, the lens is a cheap 50 mm f/1.8.
Great shot Jean-Marie. We provide feedback in the episode!
Check out Jean-Marie’s shots here: Shooting Wild photography
From Kunal Prasad (USA): “I sometimes wonder what kind of post processing is done on event capturing photography… So that it does not look like a snapshot, neither s it over processed and how to make sure white balance of all pics of the event looks similar.”
The basic formula I use for events is as follows:
- I preset my WB to 5200 and adjust in post ( I shoot only in RAW)
- Import to lightroom rename
- WB adjustment and apply to all images
- Increase blacks
- Increase shadows slightly
- Maybe +10 clarity if they need some punch
Tying the knot: a beginner’s guide to wedding photography
Before the Big Day: The essential pre nuptial gig checklist
- Start doing your research with wedding photographer’s websites and wedding blogs.
- Practice the aisle walk by getting your kids, partner, dog to walk run towards you.
- Visit the wedding venue at the same time as the wedding is scheduled to scout for locations and suss out the lighting
- Meet the couple two weeks out. Get a copy of rundown.
What you need to bring: My Essential “First Wedding” Gear Checklist
- 2 x camera bodies (Beg, borrow, hire 2nd body)
- 24-70mm 2.8 For group shots
- 70-200mm F4 long lens for couple shots/ceremony/hero
- 50mm 1.8 Great for removing ugly backgrounds
- 1 speedlight + Modifier small soft box ( Lumiquest http://lumiquest.com)
- 1 x reflector
- 4x 8GB memory cards + spare case for used cards
- 10 pack of batteries or rechargeable
- Monopod or light tripod
- Friend or assistant you can trade assisting gigs for each other
- Comfortable backpack or roller bag to store gear
A few other things
- Step ladder
- Nice wooden hanger for dress shot
- Sheet to put down for bride to sit or stand on
On the Big Day
We go into detail on what to do at a big event in episode 8 “How to shoot events”. Make sure you check it out.
- Set White Balance to 5200 ( daylight)
- Set ISO to 100-400 for outside; 800-1600 for inside
- Shoot Raw L and Jpeg L
- Shoot at 1/125 or higher if hand held
- Meet the marriage celebrant and ask about the ceremony.
- Long exposure on monopod
- Shoot wide open
- Look for open shade or backlit
- Pose and go with the flow
- Get at least 2 set up shots of the bride and groom
- Turn off the beep beep on your camera
- Expose for highlights so you don’t lose detail in the dress
- Look for high angles at the venue to get great group shots
- Wear soft shoes that don’t squeak or tick tack
- Dress appropriately
- Get lots of little details rings, flowers, signs, shoes, table decorations the menu, cake,
- Shoot lots and then shoot more
- Avoid flash wherever possible. Look for the good light
- Get the reactions during speeches and the ceremony
- Enjoy the day smile, get caught up in the emotion. It’s going to reflect in your shots
- Make friends with the MC and get them to organize people for you
After the Event is Over
Make sure you check out episode 11 “Workflow just got sexy” – especially about the backup procedures.
- Do a quick edit and send the couple 5 hero shots you love
- Send all the suppliers (flowers, rings, dress, venue) copies of images they can use
- Deliver the images as quickly as possible
- DVD or USB stick
- Give a wedding gift as a thankyou – like a print of your favourite image