Are you ready to be a wedding photographer?
This article will answer the question ‘How To Be A Wedding Photographer’. These are some of those questions you need to ask yourself before entering into the world of wedding photography. The things you will need and the things you must have.
Wedding Photography – The Pros
You will be working for yourself.
You will be working from home.
You will get satisfaction from many happy couples.
You will get 30% of the year off.
You are building a name and a business, even a brand.
Wedding Photography – The Cons
You will be working hard.
You have to do your own taxes
You will be working all week for 70% of the year and weekends.
You will be under a lot of pressure to deliver.
Wedding Photography – The Reality
Wedding photography is a FULL time job and you will probably be working harder than you think. From generating business to delivering images and doing your own taxes. Its not just shooting a wedding on the weekend and it all ends there. It’s not a job to enter into lightly, but if you succeed, many don’t, there are plenty of rewards to be found
So are you ready to shoot your 1st wedding?
All over the Internet you will find photographers and enthusiasts asking how to shoot a wedding. They were asked to shoot someones wedding because they own a fancy looking camera, took some great pictures once or aunty Jessica asked them to because the couple are on a budget. This isn’t to say they wouldn’t be any good, but wedding photography is a completely separate form of photography and you need to be prepared before entering into it.
Before we ask any questions, the 1st thing you need to ask yourself is how good your ability as a photographer is.
Do you understand what makes a good picture, do you understand how your camera works, do you understand what tools are required, do you know the flow of a wedding. Are you confident enough to instruct people, do you have the necessary equipment. Can you work under pressure, not only that, can you work your equipment under pressure.
Wedding Photography Equipment.
Apart from actual photographic ability, this I probably one of the most important aspects to consider. If you want to be a professional wedding photographer and deliver professional wedding photos to the standards required of your clients. You will need professional photography equipment that is capable of operating under the various conditions a typical wedding day can bring.
To be fully prepared to photograph a wedding, this is a list of equipment that you will need.
2 SLR cameras which can operate at a high ISO level without a dramatic loss in image quality. Preferably 12 mega pixels or higher. When shooting weddings, the venues may not have an abundance of available light and using flash may not be permitted or you may not be able to get close to your subject. 2 cameras are ideal with different lenses on each. This will enable you to capture a range of images, whether using a zoom lens, portrait lens or wide angle lens, high/low apertures. Otherwise your images will all look the same.
A range of lenses for different circumstances and ranges. Ideally L lenses with a high aperture e.g 2.8. This is, again, to allow as much light through the lens when shooting in low light conditions, which you will at some point be shooting in.
Multiple memory cards. Ideally you will want as memory cards as there are sections of the day e.g wedding preparations, wedding ceremony, after the wedding ceremony, posed shots, group shots, wedding speeches, 1st dance e.t.c. You will need fast memory cards so every image is transferred quickly, enabling all those key moments to be captured. These cards need to be large enough to capture hundreds of high quality images
External flash e.g Canon 430ex Speedlite
Spare batteries, spare everything.
If you don’t have access to the equipment you need, you can always hire it. A good site for hiring equipment is Lenses For Hire
Now you have the equipment, you also need to know how to use it. Understanding apertures, shutter speed, camera modes, RAW, JPEG, metering modes. You will have to know, understand and use these under intense pressure.
You will also need as much processing power as you can if you are post processing every wedding photo. Some RAW files can be 25 megabytes in size. You will also need back up hard drives for those just in case moments. Colour calibration hardware. Your client is expecting a professional service and having backups is all part of that service.
There are certain things that you will need to know and must have before even beginning to shoot your first wedding.
Do you have wedding liability insurance?
If you didn’t know you need insurance, you do now. Liability insurance is there to protect you more than anything, goes it’s your business on the line. It’s also there to protect the venue and all the guests. If someone trips over your bag, stands, you; As the song says ‘There could be trouble ahead’ Some venues may not let you shoot unless you have it and it’s better to be safer than sorrier.
Do you understand the flow of the wedding day?
We all have to start somewhere and if you’ve jumped in at the deep end and are shooting your first wedding without being a second assistant. You will need to research how the day goes. It’s not essential even after researching, nothing beats experience. You will need to know what happens and at what points in the day. This helps to know where you should place yourself as the photographer, to capture all those special moments. The first kiss, the placing of the rings. Get online, ask other wedding photographers, wedding planners e.t.c. Be prepared. Every wedding is different and finding out the flow of each is also important. For instance, you may feel you have an hour or so before the speeches but some couples want to get the speeches over before the wedding breakfast.
Do you understand light?
Depending on the style you shoot, you will not have any control over where your subject is, but you will still need to understand how the light is working and how to get the best shot. Lighting takes a long time to master and that’s what photography is all about. Light. It’s an in depth subject so do some research. Direct light, diffused light, speckled light. GOOGLE ‘understanding light for photography’ and go from there, there are plenty of resources to be found.
So. Now you know. If you are looking to get into wedding photography or have been asked to shoot a wedding. Read over this article and ask yourself…
Are You Ready To Shoot A Wedding