Starting out in the wedding industry can be tough, looking back I was fortunate to have a little help along the way thanks to attending workshops and doing as much research as possible. Gaining experience from doing as many shoots as I could helped me to pick up some tips and tricks (and also to learn from my mistakes). Here are a few tips I wish I had known/thought of starting out. I really hope you find these suggestions helpful.
- Always try and meet up with clients before. This is why engagement shoots are such a cool way of getting to know your couple and them getting to know you. When that isn’t possible, arrange a coffee date and discuss all the exciting elements regarding their wedding. To your couple, their wedding day is one of the most incredible days in their lives and they chose YOU to document that. Pretty flipping incredible right? Definitely something so worth getting excited about. I realize that with international clients it can sometimes be difficult, but there’s always Skype 😉
- When you’re planning the engagement session, ask your couple what specific type of photos they like from your portfolio. This will give you a good indication of what drew them to your work and ensures that you are both on the same page in terms of expectations. Ask them about their favourite locations, don’t be afraid to ask them for location suggestions. Being a photographer doesn’t always mean you know every single available location, but asking them for suggestions might help you scout the perfect setting.
- The wedding day can sometimes be a flurry of excitement and craziness, so be prepared. Ask your couple for a list of those must have shots. Even though you can’t always guarantee you are able to take them (time, location, weather etc are big factors here) atleast you will be prepared and know what to look out for. This can be anything from an intimate moment between Mother and Daughter to Granny’s special broach. Your couple spend months, sometimes even years cultivating their perfect wedding and it is your job to help make their dreams a reality. Isn’t it amazing?
- If it is at all possible, bring along a bridesmaid to help with the bouquet and dress during your couple shoot. That way you are focussing all your energy on the love in front of your lense.
- The first couple of minutes I like calling the Breath space. It is the first time your couple is kind of alone, give them those few minutes to just take a breath and enjoy each other. Something incredible has just happened to them, they need a moment to enjoy it. It also gives you the opportunity to get some lovely scenic shots.
- Emotion now, details later. Sometimes you are limited to a few minutes during the couple session. Try to capture as many images of your couple enjoying one another’s company so that you know you have those shots. You can focus on closeup shots of the details like the ring and bouquet or dress lace etc after that when there is time. This might also be silly, but it has happened to me once early on in my career where I forgot to photograph the dress from behind, remember to always get a back shot.
- Be attentive. Always offer to help during the wedding day, your couples put a lot of trust in you. By listening to your clients you are more likely to get some incredible shots that will not only make them happy, but will make you proud too.
- Lastly, and this might sound like a silly one, but it is a good question nonetheless. Ask your bride if she has a good side. I never use to believe in good or bad sides, until I tried it myself. If she feels that she does, file that info in the back of your mind so that during the couple shoot you are more at ease with giving direction.
That concludes my list of tips, I hope that you find it helpful. If you have any other questions, you are welcome to email me. I am happy to help.