30 Tips for Beginners to Cover a Wedding.

by - 23:21

They repeatedly ask me what the tips I could give them to cover x and type of event, I even wrote some tips on some of these events. But so far he had not done so over a wedding.
The truth I believe is too much responsibility and the degree of commitment I feel when they trust me, to accompany them on that special day; that maybe that's why I did not want to simplify something so delicate in a list of advice; In addition to be honest with you I do not know if it can be enough.
If you are at this time between the sword and the wall for having agreed to cover a wedding and have never done so, then this article is for you. Are you interested? Continue reading...
Disclaimer of responsibility.
I did not want to start this list of advice without making this clarification that I think is very important. Covering a wedding, marriage or whatever they tell you in your country or region, is something very serious, requiring all their experience and skill as photographers.
This is a very special moment that contains multiple sessions in a single commitment; the vast majority of these moments is unrepeatable and could hardly do something if they lost one of those moments that everyone expects to be captured in an image, due to their lack of Expertise or experience. I really want you to feel the weight of the responsibility of covering such events. It's something I take very seriously.
Since we are aware that as photographers know what is involved and that they know the technique and that they are able to solve the technical problems that may arise, these tips will not include any technique or aspect of configuration, equipment or any subject that has something to do with creating photographs.
Having said that and if you are more than aware of what it means to accept this challenge, I have only to give you some advice to try to help them and that you will not be responsible for a mess for the bride and groom.
Tips for a first-time photographer at a wedding.
Then I will list some tips that will serve to get the best out of the commitment. Do not discount them for not being about techniques or equipment recommended, because even if you do not believe it, a good part of what they should do for a wedding has nothing to do with technique or skill as photographers and about this nobody speaks in No blog or book.

30 Tips for Beginners to Cover a Wedding.

1. Make a list of photos or poses.
It is not a joke. With the rush, the nerves and the pressure of responsibility, the mind can go blank and all those beautiful poses that you had in mind are erased. You can even carry the poses on the cell phone ... why not?
2. - Visit the place of the event before the date.
I think if you know the place, if you have the opportunity to see the light of the church and the place, it will be easier to get an idea of ​​how you have to lock, you can even identify those points where there is something interesting to use in the background.
3. Make sure you have all the equipment you will need one day before.
One of the worst things that can happen to you is that you are many miles from the house and you realize that you have not taken the camera or batteries or memories. I do not want to imagine it.
4. - Make sure that the bride and groom is clear about what kind of photos they can deliver.
When someone hires you, it is because they have seen the photos you have in your profile or in your online portfolio. However it is very easy to be confused and believe that some photo they have seen out there is yours and come with a different expectation. The best way to be sure is that at the previous meeting, to get to know and sign the contract, give them a brief presentation of your photographs.
5. - Carry two cameras, with one not enough.
If you only have one camera and you are planning to cover the event only with it, then you are really very confident. There is no way to be sure that your camera will not have any problems and you will be without camera to half-event. It does not have to be the same as the one you use to cover the event; after all it's a backup camera, to get out of a hurry. But especially at weddings things happen at the same time in different places.
6. - Consider an assistant or a second camera.
No one can guarantee that that special day for the couple, we are completely healthy and ready to cover the event. Besides and despite our confidence and ability, it is always good to have at least two angles of a moment, sometimes we cannot locate and we are at a bad angle and if we do not have another camera at a different angle, we will end with a photo without sense.
7. - After the session we lose control.
A wedding begins very early, when the bride is getting ready, the make-up, the hairstyle, the dress; Then usually follows the session of the bride and groom, until then we can have some control of the situation. Once we are in the church we lose control, people will move at will, cross in front of us, ignore us, etc.
At this moment we can not intervene, the priest or pastor carries out his ceremony and we cannot ask them to pause or repeat the scene; In certain cases we cannot even get very close to the couple, sometimes there are cords or lines or rules of the temple that prevent us.
8. Practice group photographs.

Maybe they think it's trivial, but believe me it's not. Photographing a group can be a real challenge, people often look the other way, close their eyes, stand at different depths or distances, and form a group with too much space between them.
A large group requires a large depth of field and therefore a small opening and if you do not have flash you will have serious problems with light.
9. - Practice photography in low light.
In this type of events there is usually "ambient" light; it is a very nice type of lighting for the guests, with colors, lamps, candelabras, etc. Which represents a challenge to be photographed, since the bride hopes to see that illumination in her photos, because she has paid for that setting, we cannot eliminate it with the flash?
10. - Learn to use the flash.
With regards to the flash we have two alternative bases: TTL or manual. Each one has its challenges and its advantages and disadvantages. Do not think that by having a TTL have solved all their problems, in a way is an automatic flash and therefore we have no control over it.
11. - Remember that in a wedding everything can happen.
As I told you at the beginning, a wedding starts from early and ends at dawn, there are many hours of coverage, there are many people involved, providers, transfers, coordination with other people, etc. The most common is that the itinerary is not fulfilled, it is delayed, a person does not arrive, etc. We do not have the control of the situation and we will hardly be able to do something to solve it. React quickly and in a good way, adapt and move forward.
12. - Get a good contract.
A compromise of this size, has many details that can be misinterpreted, the chances of ending up in a legal problem because of some communication problem are very high. It does not matter if they are your friends or your relatives, in a wedding there are two families involved and there is money from more than one source, so there is no guarantee of going well if there is any problem. A contract that stipulates the scope, responsibilities and commitments you are acquiring is the best way to sleep peacefully.
13. Make a list of the photos that the bride wants.
Sometimes brides have in mind certain photos that they expect us to give them. In order not to fail, it is very important that when talking with her we ask if you have any special photo and show it to us or explain it to us so that within our work we will be sure to create it.
14. - Make sure the dress looks white and with details.

It may be because of the filters or the styles, or because of lack of care when exposing, allowing white balance to affect the white color of the dress. The dress is usually white (although I have been photographing brides with dresses that are not white). If the dress is white we must make sure that it looks white, not yellow, not orange, not blue, it should be white because the bride so selected.
15. - Bring power to spare.
With so many hours to cover, not enough with a battery for each camera or a set of batteries for each flash, it will not be enough to carry the chargers, there is no time to lose; It is best to have two or three batteries per camera and at least three sets of batteries charged by each flash. Believe me that it is not the same to use the built-in flash and if they do they will also be affecting the camera battery and then the camera will need another battery.
16. - Talk to the video makers.
 During our work as photographers and if we do not offer video services, we will have to interact and coordinate with a team of videographers at each location. The idea is that we work in coordination, so that we do not affect each other. Perhaps in video it is easier to cut our intrusion, than to miss a unique moment that is not repeated by a videographers standing in front of us, because it is the best angle.
17. - More photos do not mean better photos.
 Some time ago I commented on how many photos we should make in an event, some people believe that being a digital photographer is easier, because it is very cheap to shoot hundreds of times and then select the best. I think this is a mistake. There are situations that require burst shots, but the vast majority of the moments require careful analysis, framing and focusing, so making more than 3 photos of the same pose or angle is excessive, and people get annoyed if it takes too long and even distrust if they see that we make too many photos of a pose.
18. - Do not forget the details.
At weddings there are many details, beginning with the rings, the bouquet, the arras, the bow, the flowers in the church, the decoration in the place, the children, the hugs and greetings of the family and the friends who gather, The smiles, the tears, the surprise, etc. Do not let them pass.
19. - Do not get distracted; sometimes things that are worthwhile happen.
 Sometimes we focus so much on the bride and groom that we let pass moments that are part of the story that we must tell and that we do not document them for not paying attention to what happens around. In a wedding there are more photos to capture the bride and groom, the bride and groom miss many things to be attending the guests and we are the ones who can give them the opportunity to live it.
20. - if there are preschool children attention.

When it comes to weddings, we tend to think of an adult event. However in weddings there are usually children, such as pages and as guests. Usually the pages are nephews or children who are special in the life of the bride, so she will be the first to thank us that we have photographed and that are part of those beautiful memories.
21. - Bring a roll of waxed paper or a white cloth.
You may not even have thought about it, but during the session, photographers have a lot of really good ideas about poses that will look great on a photograph, but there is a catch, many of those poses require the bride to lean against a wall or sit on a wall or step and know what? The bride will not want to mess her dress. The paper or fabric can be placed between that surface and the dress, that way the dress will not get dirty and we will have our pose.
22. Do not lose your temper.
Covering a wedding is exhausting, stressful, and stressful, complicated and can lead to losing your cool. On that day the bride is the only one who can stress, we do not. If the bride notices our stress the situation will be very uncomfortable, she needs us to motivate her, telling her that she looks very beautiful, that she is doing very well in the photos, that she is very photogenic, that her dress is beautiful, that we love her bouquet, etc. Avoid that she or the family does not make you stressed or tired. Carry a chocolate bar and when they feel the pile is lowering them, eat it.
23. - Try to talk to whoever is in charge of the ceremony.
In some temples the rules are very strict, some even have a person who cares if we dare to put one foot on the altar or cross the line and it is very uncomfortable for all when the priest or pastor catches your eye. It is best to approach that is to officiate the ceremony, to introduce ourselves and to put ourselves under your orders; that simple gesture softens the tension, because it is a message of respect that is highly valued by these people.
24. - Take your own itinerary.
Today weddings are usually organized by a company; few weddings are organized by the family. These companies assign a manager for the event, which must have an itinerary of activities. It is very important to introduce ourselves to this person and find out the schedule that you have in your itinerary for certain moments, such as the waltz, the wedding dinner, the bouquet, the garter belt, the Toast, etc. They validate that they are within their contract schedules and make sure that they are carried out at the indicated time; otherwise they will work overtime that they can hardly charge.
25. - Photos should include more than romance.

Of course, a wedding is romance, it is love, it is a very special moment that we must document; But a wedding is not only that, a wedding is joy, nostalgia, sadness, fun; It is our task to capture all that variety of emotions and put them into a beautiful memory that is a true story to remember.
26. - Remind the bride to smile.
With so many activities and stress and fatigue, the bride forgets two things: smile. Believe me, you should remind a bride that she smiles, especially at the entrance to the church, when she goes from the arm of her father or godfather. But also when leaving the church, during the waltz, etc.
27. - Make sure the bride and groom look at you from time to time.
The second thing they both forget is that you are there. Sometimes they will have to get their attention so that they both look at them, but sometimes they will not be able to do so, so whenever they can remind them that they should look for you from time to time. Although their style is documentary or style, parents and even the bride and groom expect to see photographs where the bride and groom are looking directly at the camera.
28. - Explain to the couple that kissing should be slow.
During an event of love, there are usually kisses, some spontaneous others are part of the ritual; The problem is that they often do them so fast that we only catch them a moment before or after the kiss; So during the interview they should tell them that if they kiss, that they do not hurry, that they do not pity them, that they take a few seconds, so that you can capture that detail.
29. - Learn to work with a tripe or monopole.
As social photographers we usually go here and there, with the camera in hand, shooting and capturing moments of all kinds; some think that a tripod or a monkey foot is a nuisance. However there are certain moments during the coverage that they will want to have some point of support, such as during the entrance of the couple to the premises or during the waltz. I advise you to try.
30. - Take a few minutes to rest.
The last point is to remind them that they are human and that they can get tired; if I already know that I told them that their customers should not notice, but they must learn to identify when it is appropriate to take a break. That is why it is important to know the itinerary, the safest thing is that they can rest and eat something, when the bride and groom do; But many times the person in charge of the event has no instructions from the couple to serve their dinner with the couple or want you to have dinner until after you have served everyone.
You must explain it to the bride and groom, you take their rest and they will have time to eat something, just when the couple have dinner, they have no other time and let them know that they are very early. If they do not have this care, they will end up dead.
Final comment.
Did they read them all? I hope if you have read them and take note so that they can get a clear idea of ​​everything that happens at a wedding. They are aspects that I have not read in any book on wedding photography; they are advice given to a friend who is beginning to cover events of this type.
For some wedding photographers may be what are secrets of the trade, but I think if we share this kind of advice, if we help each other, we all improve, because a young photographer with new ideas, motivate us to improve ourselves in our work.
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