So You Got Your First Wedding...

You’re excited, your work has gotten the attention of someone and they’ve chosen to hire you. Congratulations!

Here are a few things to consider:

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  • How will you deliver the product? Album, slideshow, standard prints?

  • Get a backup body. Follow Murphy’s law on this. What will go wrong, will… be prepared. Even if it’s a point and shoot have SOMETHING in the event of failure. Rent a body, get a film SLR, anything. Get a back up.

  • VISIT the venue beforehand!! If you absolutely cannot, get there early!!! You will want to connect with the wedding planner or event coordinator to see what the lighting will be like at the event. Know how to properly meter! It’s a good idea to visit the event before hand. For instance if you’re going to be phtoographing at 800 ISO or more, you’ll want to inform the bride her photos will be grainy. Show her examples. Some places may not allow for flash or additional lighting.

  • If you can use flash, great. Learn to how properly use it. A visit before hand will show you where you can bounce from and give you good ideas. Take PLENTY of batteries! Make sure they’re fresh, or charged. Take a charger with you! I don’t care if you have 500 batteries, take the charger. Take extra batteries for your cameara as well and your charger. Find a place where you can have these plugged in and are easily accessible. Most flashes take on average 6 seconds for a recycle, on full power. Meaning from the time you flash, you will have to wait 6 full seconds for the red indicator light “ready” to appear again. Some flashes are faster. Don’t wait for it to die. Replace as soon as it starts wearing down.

  • Replace in between. You photographed the details before the wedding and the bride and groom getting ready, now you’re waiting for the procession to begin. Change your batteries! Check your memory card. If you’re less than 100 photos, put a new one in!! Most batteries in cameras have 3 bars, don’t wait until you get to the last one!

  • Talk to your bride and groom. Remember, they are who you work for. You don’t work for the brother, the cousin or the neighbor of the bride. They will come up and ask you to take a family photo right there. The bride didn’t hire you to take family photos of them. Now, I am going to tell you that you’ll RARELY sell these photos, so don’t think it’s worth your time as an extra buck. Pull a card out of your pocket, and say, “I’m obligated to the bride today, if this is her desire, I shall return. You have a beautiful family and I would love to do some work for you. Here’s my card, give me a call”. Take that one step further and also eliminate BS, ask for their name and number and write it down. Say, let me get your information so WHEN you call, I’ll remeber us meeting here tonight.

  • Slow down and think! You have a few seconds between your flash recycle, so take the time to consider your next composition, lighting, etc.

  • Don’t be afraid to move around! You will stand in front of people. Who cares? Aunt Grace will have her digicam pointed at the bride coming down the aisle along with everyone else standing upon the bride’s entrance. You’re going to have to stand in front of one of them. Who cares? You’re getting paid to do a job. They are not.

  • Visit other weddings! Watch the photographer.

  • Stay positive, stay upbeat, have fun!!