Due to the very nature of the wedding, whatever I do will be magnified so my first tip is to…
1.Tread Lightly - I don’t impose my personality on the day everything even photographer opinions should always be in deference to the bride and groom and when diplomacy fails humor usually works.
2. Expectations - I like to find out from the bride and groom what is expected of me and if necessary I ask them to tear out pages from magazines showing me the pictures that they like. I let the bride & groom know what's my style and what I feel comfortable with & that’s what I am happy to reproduce.
3. Gain an understanding ~ of what happens at a wedding and when. e.g. the legal necessities and also because there are points throughout the service/ceremony which are considered disrespectful if I photograph them. I may also be called upon to act as interim wedding co-coordinator so I need to have an idea of what happens next.
4. Preparation ~ This is a once in a lifetime event and can’t be repeated so I challenge myself with my photography, I PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! (do my homework before each event- visit the venue-find out where the great shots can be taken) I Know my camera inside and out, should my camera fail at a crucial moment then I need to know what to do next. Yes I’m afraid the buck really does stop with me. So I do lots of Practice!
5. Back Up ~ Yes literally! I take a back-up camera & lighting system with me! Should one of my camera fail then I need to have one waiting in the wings! Flash cards: I use small denominations of fast & reliable flash cards but incase if one fails then I haven’t lost a great deal of imagery I normally carry plenty of 4GB cards with me. As soon as I can upload the images that I have taken to a laptop or portable hard drive then I know that they are safe! (I also back-up each and every pictures with second flash card as I take pictures)
6. Familarize ~ Myself with the inner circle I should have the advantage here but if I don’t find out who the chief bridesmaid and best man are, I try and be on first name terms with both should I need anything I need to be able to ask them. It's also your job to introduce me to your closest family members so I don't miss their pictures.
7. Timings ~ What time is the bride getting ready, would she like some prep shots, how long does it take to get to the venue, I need to allow myself plenty of time, what time is the groom getting ready and do I need to take photographs of that. How long to get between the two. As I can’t be in two places at once get someone to drive me between the bride and groom or alternatively delegate the photographs to one of the groomsmen. (additional professional photographers are available at extra cost)
8. Where ~ yes you guessed it where I have to be and when. I make the list next to the timings:
Bride Prep – Address on the Day – Time to be there
Groom Prep – Address on the Day – Time to be there
Ceremony Venue Time to be there, a postcode is not enough I have this address memorized for the day.
I make myself known to the Imam/Pundit/Officiant/Registrar/Priest/Vicar/Rabbi on the day they may look to advise that they have set up a photograph for me and will be looking to take their queues from me. They may also have strict rules about what I can and can’t photograph, if needs be I negotiate but I don’t get bogged down in it. Hint No-one likes being blinded by flash:)
9. Presentation ~ Once I have all the images together I burn them to disk for the bride and grooms return from honeymoon or (they are usually ready within two weeks).
10. Enjoy It ~ I truly enjoy seeing the smile on brides & grooms face.
High Dynamic Photography