What you should do whenever you land a wedding photography contract is that you should have an in depth discussion with the bride and groom to make sure that you understand everything that they have planned out for the wedding photo shoot. You need to make sure that you are able to really wrap your head around what they are trying to do because this is the only way for you to make sure that you will be able to satisfy them in the long run. This is basically something that more or less goes both ways. You need to manage their expectations by making sure that you are able to discuss everything in detail and that they know exactly what they are getting out of the deal. You can’t afford to spring up any surprises along the way because it might lead to disappointments and frustrations on the end of the clients and you don’t want anything like that to happen any time soon.
Make sure that they know exactly how your services cost and what they are getting out of those corresponding costs.
At the same time, you should also take this time to listen to what they have to say. What would they like to implement during the wedding photo shoot? Is there anything that they would like to request for in particular? The lines of communication should go both ways as much as possible. You also need to talk to the couple about any traditions or any practices that they would like you to know or observe during the wedding. There are some who strongly believe that it brings bad luck when the couple sees each other right before the wedding and they don’t want to have any couple’s shoot beforehand, among other things. These are issues that you will need to map out and work out in advance so that everything is already laid out well come wedding day.
Make sure that you are also able to meet up with the bride to discuss her must-have shot list.
You need to list down all of the important moments that she thinks you absolutely cannot afford to miss during the wedding. This is to make sure that you don’t have any disagreements with the bride right after the pictures have been delivered. You need to make sure that the list is comprehensive and is inclusive as much as possible. A lot of brides and wedding photographers usually have misunderstandings when it comes to the concept of the missed important shots. You need to make sure that you don’t fall for something like that. The list is something that will keep you safe from such an argument when it all comes down to it. This is a kind of argument that can turn ugly or take a turn for the worst in next to no time. You need to make sure that you are able to avoid it as much as possible. Stick to the list all throughout the wedding and check things through or cross them out as you go along.
Aim to tell a story in the pictures that you are able to take during the documentary wedding photography shoot.
Go for things that are able to more or less able to reveal something that will pique your interest somewhere in the background. The secret to pulling off something like this is all in the composition when it all comes down to it. You will need to make sure that it is something that you are able to learn one way or the other. Learn how to play around with the concept of layers during the composition. Make use of the added benefits of special effects as well as the use of all of the best lenses and angles that you will be able to get your hands on during the wedding photography shoot. You will only be able to give a “documentary” kind of feel to it if you get to bring in some kind of sophistication and depth to the pictures that you are able to take. There is no one right way of doing this and it can always turn out to be different for everyone so try to find your own style and try to go ahead and develop your own technique in the process. It may not be the easiest task to check out when it all comes down to it but it certainly is something that will really get to pay off in the end the moment that the documentary wedding photography shoot is all over.
Work on being able to capture the details during the documentary wedding photography shoot.
The details are the most interesting and the most exciting parts of the wedding photography shoot. You need to train yourself how to constantly observe the little details that come along the way as much as possible. You should try to see things from both a bigger picture and from a more close up angle as well. Don’t ignore anything or don’t brush anything off as something that is not that important for the wedding photography shoot or as something that will not really amount to much in the pictures that you are trying to capture during the entire process. All it sometimes requires is that you take a look at things differently and from a different perspective and you will constantly be surprised at how things will pan out for you and for what you are planning to accomplish.
A documentary wedding photography shoot mostly lives “in the moment”.
It means that the ideas are pretty much free flowing which definitely gives you a lot of room to be creative and a lot of opportunities to capture the unexpected. Try to trust your gut instincts and just let your creativity flow. Don’t overthink anything too much because when it all comes down to it, there is no such thing as a sequence when it comes to detailed shots. Just try to go ahead and absorb the moments as they go by and photograph the things that stand out for you because they will be the perfect glue to bring your wedding photography album together.
If you would like to make sure that you are able to really cover everything that you need to cover during the wedding photography shoot, then go through the motions of really hiring out a second shooter for the weddings that you book. A second shooter will enable you to cover more ground than you would have if you worked alone. You have to keep in mind that weddings are usually big events. Most weddings have a minimum of a hundred people coming in to the event. This is something that can turn out to be quite overwhelming for you if you are just flying solo. And when it all comes down to it, you really shouldn’t fly solo. It wouldn’t be fair for your clients if you miss out on any important moments because you have spread yourself too think. A second shooter will really be able to help you at least level the playing field so that you can focus more on the must-have shot list that you have worked on with the bride. Hiring out a professional wedding photographer as a second shooter will also ensure that you will always have another camera for backup and for added insurance so it is something that can really work to your advantage at the end of the day.
A lot of people in the wedding photography field get turned off by the aspect of hiring another professional wedding photographer to help them shoot the events that they book because of the fact that it costs a lot of money. Although that may be true, it doesn’t mean that you would have to suffer or lose out on income for it. Reach out to the rest of the other up and coming wedding photographers in your area and try to ask around for people who are also having problems when it comes to getting second shooters for the weddings that they book on their end. You can offer an exchange of services wherein you can be the second shooter in their weddings and they do the same for you in return. You get to solve your second shooter issue right then and there at no added cost at all. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement that both parties will really be able to appreciate at the end of the day. This is something that you should not pass up if you have the opportunity to do so.
You should also make it a point to really prepare well when you have a wedding photography shoot.
It will be extremely frowned upon if you come to the wedding photo shoot and you run out of memory space or batteries in the middle of the event. It will give people the notion that you are not a true professional in wedding photography. Bring in enough memory cards to really last you all throughout the event, and then some. Make sure that they are wiped clean all of the time. Buy extra camera batteries and have them fully charged and ready to do.
If there is something that wedding photographers really make sure that they are able to do the right way when they are out there and shooting the weddings that they book, it would have to be the aspect of really making sure that there is always a tripod available and ready to use all of the time.
This may seem like a bit of a stretch but when it all comes down to it, a tripod is something that can really come in handy because it will be able to get you the kind of stability and support that your camera needs in order for you to be able to produce really high quality images at the end of the day. There will be a lot of scenarios and circumstances wherein you think it would be necessary or it would not be necessary for you to being a tripod along with you but the truth of the matter is that regardless of what the situation is or how things may turn out to be, that there will always a need for a tripod, period, point blank.
Help with lighting
The first reason why wedding photographers get a tripod is so that they have something that will be able to help them out along when they are shooting in tricky lighting situations. The point of the matter is that when natural lighting is reduced or is not as much as you would like to get out of it, the shutter speed of the camera tends to really considerably slow down and that is something that you will have to prepare for one way or the other. the risk of the camera vibrating or shaking tends to magnify a lot without the use of a tripod so holding it by hand really won’t make that much sense especially if you would like to go for clear and crisp looking photos that your clients will really be able to appreciate one way or the other. This can help you out a lot when you are shooting in tricky lighting situations such as during the sunset or during nighttime. There will also be a lot of church scenarios wherein you will have to deal with tricky lighting as well. Old cathedrals usually have bad indoor lighting so that is something that you will also need to prepare for at some point or so.
A tripod can be really great when you are taking portrait shots during the wedding.
The thing with portraits is that every single element needs to be in the right place and at the same time every single time. This is something that really requires a lot of skill and a lot of patience to get to pull off at some point or so. Any minor movements might ruin the portraits that you are trying to take so getting a tripod set up will really be able to help you pull things through. Reducing any unwanted movements in the camera can make your photos at least ten times better than they would normally look compared to when you are just holding the camera up.