Weddings are a stressful time for everyone involved, and numerous things need to be taken care of during the big day. Even if you aren’t the one exchanging the vows, and have no relevance to the people involved, there is a high chance you will feel the stress. As a wedding photographer , you are primarily out of the limelight, but your job becomes making sure that you capture every possible emotion and moment that happens throughout the event. For an amateur or first time photographer, this can feel incredibly scary and daunting. Unlike the case of arranged photoshoots, everything here has to be quick and spontaneous. Below, we have put together a few tips that can get you started with your work as an amateur photographer, and hopefully make you feel more confident about the entire process.
Make checklists: Even though weddings have essentially spontaneous work, there are certain photographs you will have to make sure you capture. This includes the typical photos with the wedding guests, the people getting married, the candid photos of their various ceremonies and the tears and laughter. If you start out with a general list of all the photographs you hope to accomplish throughout the day, you’ll find that others simply fall into place. As an amateur, you might be working alone, but it’s always a good idea to bring along another person with a camera to cover all the things you might not be able to. Even dividing up the guest list, or saying that each of you will focus on one particular element of the wedding can make a huge difference.
Switch off camera noise: This is one thing that every photographer who is photographing an event should keep in mind. Camera noise is very annoying and distracting, and shouldn’t be a part of the wedding proceedings. Many people also tend to get more conscious when they realize they are being photographed which can lead to you losing some good shots or candid photos. Constant beeps in the middle of speeches, or from different angles can also cause awkwardness from all ends. It’s a small thing to keep in mind but can lead to a world of difference.
Lighting: Anyone who uses a camera is well aware of the importance that understanding your lighting can play in the photograph. If you are not completely aware of the venue and all the light sources that your subjects are being exposed to, the photographs will turn out sub-par. Moreover, it is always a good idea to scout the location well in advance so that you can bring along any equipment that you think you may need to make the best photos. Outdoor venues are more impacted by the different environmental factors, while indoor venues can get tricky with lights and shadows. If you are extremely nervous, try taking mock photographs to understand the settings before the main participants of the wedding walk in, or a day prior.
Small details: Something that even really good photographers tend to forget is that a lot of a wedding depends on the small elements that people tend to miss. Photographing the embroidery on a dress, the detailing of a ring or the subtle movements of people can convey entire stories. Since weddings are substantially dependent on storytelling and emotion, focus on taking pictures which convey these. Moreover, your photographs will be different and more interesting if there are subjects and elements which are unlike those which most wedding photographs provide. Alternatively, bring along another friend with a camera and instruct them about clicking these specific photographs to stop yourself from getting overwhelmed.
Continuous shooting: A very good idea, especially for weddings, can be to set up one camera on a tripod, at a convenient location, and leave it to click pictures at regular intervals or in bursts. If positioned correctly, this should be a great way for you to capture pictures that are genuinely candid and interesting.
Hopefully these tips are enough to get you started on your journey as an amateur photographer! Good luck, and make sure you enjoy the proceedings while you’re there.