Guide to Photographing a Wedding Day
Here are 7 wedding photography tips for beginners in preparation of their first wedding day!!
What gear to pack that morning!!!
Bring three cameras with you!!! Always have two pro level cameras and the third one can be a consumer level as a backup! Make sure each of the cameras has a dual card slot so that you can record to multiple cards at once so that you always have backups of your images!
For lenses, I recommend one or two prime lenses and a zoom lens. I’ve found that my favorite combination is the 35mm and the 70-200! The 35mm is best in most circumstances, but the 70-200 is absolutely critical for ceremony and reception! Getting up close shots of pure emotion during the ceremony is best on the zoom lens. Then for the reception, people generally don’t like when they can tell the photographer is getting candids of them! With the zoom lense, you can be on the opposite side of the room and capture all of the little moments unnoticed. Plus you never know when your couple is going to surprise you with a photo request. One time a bride surprised me by wanting a photo of the wedding party from across a small lake!!! I was soooo thankful for my 70-200mm.
Don’t forget your extra charged batteries, your off camera flash, and extra SD and CF cards!!!
Arrive early and find the best lighting
If you haven’t been to the venue before, it’s absolutely critical that you arrive early and check out the space! Pay attention to all of the different lighting scenarios and pre-plan where you’ll likely take wedding party and family formal portraits! Also scout out several different options for the couple’s photos!!
Don’t be afraid to move background objects for getting ready shots
Alright this is a big one that I was kind of timid about at first. I felt guilty physically removing items that were in the background of photos but weren’t mine!! It’s a HUGE pain to remove in photoshop, and sometimes that’s not even possible so do not make my mistake! People want the best photos so just go ahead and ask if you can move anything that gets left out- I can almost guarantee they’ll say yes!!! Clean backgrounds make all the difference.
Have your second shooter call out the family shot list
If you have a second shooter with you, have them read out the family photo list as your taking photos. They should always be getting the people who will be in the photos next lined up and ready to go! The faster these photos go by, the happier people are!!!
Get allllll the candids you can!!! While I don’t think you should haphazardly take thousands of photos, I do think getting candids of your couple and their guests is really important!!! This is what will give their photos so much life and personality! You can easily cull through any of the unflattering candids when editing!
Try to get photos of the other vendors to share with them
If the couple has hired a florist, makeup and hair artists, entertainment, etc.- try your best to take detail photos of their work. You can even take it one step further and take photos of the pros making their magic. For example, don’t just take a photo of the bride’s makeup, take a photo of the makeup artist actively putting it on them! Trust me, this will be SO appreciated!!!
Back up your photos that same night!!!
Lastly, back up those photos as soon as you get home!! Don’t take any chances with those beauties!!!!
Bonus tip: Is this your first wedding and you’re nervous about posing?
Pull up poses you really love on your phone! Then take a photo of the photo on your camera. If you ever need a quick idea, just scroll one forward past your last photo and you’ll see those ideas there. It just looks like you’re checking out the photos you just took!!! Super helpful to stay confident and keep you off your phone in front of the couple!!
I hope you found my wedding photography tips useful!!!
Looking for more information?!! Send me an email or message me on Instagram!!!
Photos by Rachel Christopherson Photography