You bought your first DSLR camera and you’re ready to roll at your best friend’s wedding! The first thing you need to do is to make sure you, and your friend, understand what you are getting into. Not only that, but make sure expectations are very low. That way, if something goes wrong there will not be hurt feelings. Here are a few photography tips to help you get started with wedding photography:
Under Promise, Over Deliver
Make it a habit to always under promise and try to over deliver. If your photos do not turn out as good as they could have, you will still hopefully have a friend. If they are expecting snapshot images they won’t be disappointed with the results but they will be grateful and impressed with any photos above the average level.
Create A ‘Shot List’
One of the most important things in wedding photography is to have the couple decide upon a list of photos that they’d want you to capture on the big day and make a list so that you can check them off. This is especially good in the family shots, where the couple wants to photograph with everybody and not be disappointed that you didn’t photograph them with grandma!
Practice With Lighting And Exposures:
It may be really frustrating making excuses for terrible exposure in your wedding shots. It doesn’t sound right to just say that the church was too dark or blame it on the flash. The best thing to do before the wedding is to scout the location, take a lot of test shots and experiment with different angles, lights and exposures. Then write down your notes, so you know exactly which settings to use on the wedding day
There is no such thing as the best camera, really. Pick one that you are totally comfortable with. It’s pointless to get the latest model and be intimidated by all the new stuff you need to learn. Choose one that you feel competent with and know all its settings and features and most importantly, know when and how to use them. Basically, any DSLR camera will do a good job on a wedding, if combined with a high quality fast lens.
Here is a breakdown of the main equipment you’ll need in wedding photography:
Lenses – A great asset for any wedding photographer, be it professional or amateur, is a lens with a large maximum aperture of f/2.8 or larger. You will need it to capture all the available ambient light, even in dark churches or dimly lit rooms. Another important thing is the option to shoot without a flash, as very few people would actually consider the flash burst as being romantic. Your prime lens kit should include a wide-angle zoom, a wide-to-telephoto zoom and an image-stabilized telephoto zoom.
Flashes and accessories – If there is not enough ambient light, you might find yourself with a bunch of underexposed images. A flash solves the problem and is a must-have tool for evenings as well as indoor shots where the lighting is just not enough. Also, make sure to include a diffuser to avoid harsh shadows and instead give your photos a soft and warm look.
Tripod – Invest in a stable tripod, as the last thing you want during the wedding is to make sure your tripod does not topple over. Also, a tripod is a must have for group shots, especially if your lens come without image stabilization.
Memory cards – This is one of the most important items to include in your equipment. Choose Secure Digital and Compact Flash cards that are high quality and have a good speed, which allow you to store the images at outstanding quality and never get lost. Stay away from cheap cards that may ruin your entire work and performance. Next, you’ll need battery packs and a bag to hold it all.
Being able to take a lot of pictures fast is extremely helpful during a wedding. Switch your camera to Continuous shooting mode and use it. Often times it’s the picture you take a second after the posed one – when everyone is relaxing – that really captures the moment!