A while back (maybe a month ago?) we asked you what were your tips for someone shooting a wedding. We got an overwhelming response, so we thought we'd compile them into a blog post. Not all of these are included (maybe a part 2 will be happening soon?) but here are a lot of them. I didn't edit the responses too much, because this is advice coming from YOU! All the photography for this post was done by Melanie Issac Photography. You can check her out on facebook here or her blog here.
Thanks everyone for your advice and thanks Melanie for your pictures!
Keep a small palm-sized card in your pocket with a schedule from the wedding planner- on the back is a list of the couple's must have photos.
Don't be afraid to order people around, especially if they have a lot of demands and a limited amount of time.
Check and then recheck your lighting and camera settings throughout the day. It's amazing how quickly your thumb can move a dial off what you need!
Visit the location before the wedding day, but do it during the same time frame as when the wedding will be - get to know what light you'll be working with.
Do your shots in sections: start with all of the families, then one and the other family, then wedding party, etc., releasing people as you no longer need them. Finish off with just the couple.
Bring different size lenses (you don't want to interrupt the wedding by walking up to the front during the ceremony to get that closeup).
Find something special that you can provide to the bride and groom on their day - be it a congratulations card, a print of one of their pics from earlier in the day or even just a quick preview of their images on a laptop. They'll remember you for it and recommend you to their friends.
Get the Maid of Honor and the Best Man to act as shepherds for all of the people.
Photograph as many of the small details as you can before the wedding.
Don't forget to have a big breakfast to hold you over just in case. Bring snacks and remember to keep hydrated.
Extra batteries and memory cards are always good to have just in case.
Silly photos are sometimes the best ones. Some of my favorites i have taken have been outtakes where couples have been replaced and were laughing.
Bring an assistant. Whether they shoot too or just help you get everything organized and together, it's always helpful to have another person with you at least part of the day.
Go to the Rehearsal so you have an idea of how it will all go down.
Check with the priest / pastor as to what places you CANNOT be during the ceremony, I. E. on the altar.
Smile on at all times! You never know, your next client might be watching!
Be there for the bride and groom. Go beyond their expectations and understand their needs and wants.
On that list of pictures the bride wants... have the NAMES, so you as the photographer are able to glance down and say "Sally! We need you front and center" instead of trying to get the attention of the lady you've never met in the green shirt.
Learn the bride and grooms parents names and make a great first impression.
Be confident, don't forget to eat, and stay in charge.
At times you may feel bad that you could be in people's ways but just remember you are the one the happy couple is paying so don't be afraid to be bold so you can get those awesome moments captured!
Take snacks in case you are not included in the meal and if to are, make sure to eat last.
Go to the rehearsal and shoot it as if it were the wedding.
Make an itinerary for YOU. And give it to the bride and groom. Allow about and 1 1/2 to 2 hrs for shooting if you can't get most of them done before the ceremony.
Shoes that are light and comfy are a must.
Dress in neutral colors. DON'T wear white though and don't stand out.
Pay attention to your subject's hair and clothing. Watch for crazy hair, straps that should be hidden and other wardrobe malfunctions.
Build a relationship with the bride as much as you can before the day. She really needs to trust you and you need to know her personality.
Keep things like band-aids, Tylenol, extra snacks, tissues, mints, and safety pins on hand.
Remember to take pics from different levels and perspective.
SHOOT! SHOOT! SHOOT! You can never take too many pictures and the more you shoot, the bigger your selection to present your bride and groom with.
Have confidence. They hired you. They already like your work.
And possibly my personal favorite...
Remember above all else, the bride and groom (unless they are themselves photographers) are going to view the images from an emotional standpoint, not a technical one. They are not likely to nit pic your work. That doesn't mean don't do your best; it just means that you are going to be way harder on your work than anyone else is.
Thanks everyone for the great advice!
I'm thinking we need to do more posts like this because our fans really know their stuff.