First off I would love to thank Erin for having me back again! I am excited to share some tips on what I’ve learned over the past few years with being a wedding photographer. These tips are things that have worked for me and help make shooting weddings more smoothly. If you can learn or use one thing from this article then I am a happy girl! Every photographer has their own way of doing things and thats completely ok. This is just what works for me. Some of the tips that I will discuss I’ve learned ( and tweaked) from some of the best wedding photographers in the industry. I am one that constantly loves to learn and grow as a business women and photographer and am a firm believer in learning from your own mistakes. From all of the mistakes I made I’ve grown as a person and photographer. They have helped me pave the way for my business and clients. So lets get started!
Tip #1 Flexibility
I know this seems obvious but shooting a successful , stress free wedding you have to be flexible. Think of this… your shooting at your dream venue for a wonderful client. You have scheduled their portraits for outside in a field of wild flowers. Then a storm rolls in and everything you have had planned is ruined by the weather. They are looking at you with blank stares on their face, looking at you to guide them and tell them the new plan. Life throws us curve balls and you as the professional have to make a decision on where their portraits have to be. Look for the best light. My rule of thumb is always shoot where there is the best light! It may not be where you originally planned but you do the best you can do with the situation you are given. This was so hard for me to learn. I remember this exact situation happened to me my very first wedding I shot. I was heart broken that my beautiful bride and groom portraits were ruined by hail and rain!…. Michigan summers are crazy! Being new I turned to my second shooter who told me… “ you can not change the weather, you can only work with what you are handed”. THAT right there is what made me learn that flexibility is very important in weddings. I had my heart set on those portraits in the field but that was no longer an option. I had to move on from it and focus on the new situation given to me. Everything goes so fast on a wedding day. Things change in a moments time and you have to learn to roll with the punches. Don’t stress… fix the mess! Ha!
Tip #2 Greeting the bride
As soon as I enter into the bridal suite I always greet my bride and chat with her for a minute. I like to talk to my brides to get a feeling of how she is doing, if there is anything she needs help with or simply just put her at ease if she is a ball of nerves. I don’t pull out my camera until I feel I have done my job. This whole process is pretty quick. Maybe 5 minutes at the most. A brides wedding day can be very stressful and I like them to know I am there to help them along the way!
Tip # 3 Nailing the details!
Ohh details! You are my favorite! (If you missed my first article it’s ALL about details –> HERE) Pretty little details are the way to my heart! Nice clean simple backgrounds are the most flattering to any detail you are shooting. Remember to shoot at eye level and if the location you are shooting at does not have the same feel as the wedding itself don’t be afraid to use one of the bridesmaids dresses! Drape it over a chair and make yourself a backdrop! I love doing this! It brings in the colors of the wedding day!
Tip #4 Utilizing your assistant
Lets talk family formals…. they are probably the most stressful part of the day for me! Over the past year I have given my assistant the shot list and have her gather and line up the family being shot while I get my lighting and setting correct in camera. While I am shooting the family she then gets the next set of family together and ready. This whole process has been tremendous for me and such a stress relief! Together we work as a team and knock out family formals in about 10-15 minutes. Also during bride and groom portraits I have my assistant shoot opposite of me. I always tell my couple to focus on me while my assistant shoots more candid shots of them. This way my clients get more portraits! I love working with other photographers. It makes the day fun and I love bouncing ideas off one another. I always encourage my assistant to feel free to to suggest any ideas they may have. I work with some awesome photographers and they really help make my wedding days run smoothly and I couldn’t do it without them!
Tip #5 Back up shoes
This one I learned the hard way! I was shooting an outdoor wedding in a newer pair of shoes. I had developed some horrid blisters and could hardly walk! Lucky, my sweet kind loving husband literally dropped off a pair of shoes to me minutes before the ceremony started. I don’t know what I would of done without him rescuing me like a night in shining armor. I think we have all been there! Finding some cute shoes to shoot in seems like a never ending task for me. Now I ALWAYS bring a pair of back up shoes to every wedding. Just like my back up gear, my trusty back up shoes are their waiting!