Creative photo ideas for July: 02 Shoot your first wedding
At this time of year, there’s a high chance somebody will pop the question – “Would you shoot my wedding?”
The enquiry usually comes from family and friends who see you are a serious photographer, and hope to save big bucks by roping you in for the big day.
Shooting a wedding is a big responsibility, but it doesn’t mean it’s totally beyond the capabilities of the skilled amateur.
If you feel up for the challenge, the first thing to do is to meet the couple to clarify expectations, and what you’re going be asked to shoot on the day.
You don’t want to suddenly be asked to take a trickily lit shot of the couple against a firework display just as you’re packing up.
If you have time, visit the venue with the couple beforehand, so you can get used to shooting them, talk about the kind of style they like and discover nice spots to shoot people against.
Try a couple of prime portrait lenses, say 50mm and 85mm, and a fast standard zoom (perhaps a 24-70mm f/2.8) for group shots.
Fast lenses and high ISOs are even more important if you decide you don’t want to take a flashgun. (Many priests won’t allow flash during the service anyway.)
“You can’t leave anything to chance,” advises top pro Phil Barber. “Make sure you have a back-up camera. I never use memory cards bigger than 8GB, in case one suddenly fails.
“I use a memory card wrap so I can swap my pre-formatted cards quickly, and use a shoulder bag rather than a rucksack, to make it easier to swap and store lenses.”
Get started today…
* Watch the light constantly and move people around to make the most of it. On a bright day, consider using fill flash to minimise harsh shadows and place people carefully against the sun so they are not squinting or obscured by shadow. Flash also helps to saturate colours.
* Get the bride’s mother on your side. She’ll introduce you to relatives and ensure you’re fed. Interact with ushers and bridesmaids too.
* Consider taking along lightweight stepladders to give a good vantage point for group shots.
* Shoot in raw to give yourself maximum latitude at the editing stage.
* Transfer and back up all your images as soon as you get home!
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